Wilkommen zurück! Today was another busy day, as we spent most of the day in the Regensburg area, one of the few remaining Medieval cities in Germany, as most were destroyed during World War II. Miraculously, around 90% of Regensburg was undamaged during the bombing, as the city opted not to defend itself, sparing it from American and British bombers. Regensburg lies on the Danube River, making it a popular trade city during Medieval times.
Shortly after arriving, we met up with our tour guide, who led us through the city’s detailed history. For example, there are many Patrician Towers, which used to be owned by the city’s wealthiest families. Now, due to the sheer abundance of them within Regensburg’s center city, they are part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as are many other buildings in the city. She also discussed how Regensburg was mostly spared from bombing in World War Two, which help preserve much of its history and culture. Our tour concluded at the Regensburg Cathedral, a gorgeous Gothic cathedral by the city’s center. While we did not enter just yet, our tour guide encouraged us to visit the cathedral during our free time for the day.
After our tour, the group split up for lunch, planning to meet back at the Cathedral. Originally, I went off by myself, but, by chance, ending up meeting the girls at an Italian restaurant called L’Osteria. L’Osteria is actually a popular Italian chain in Europe, similar to Olive Garden, except everything is at a much better quality. I ordered Tortelinni Proscuitto e Panna, which was phenomenal. A couple of the girls ordered a pizza for themselves, which were enormous! Typically, in Germany, lunch is the largest meal of the day, as you’re expected to work it off just in time for a small dinner. Naturally, portion sizes around this time are huge. Despite this, portions in Germany are still generally smaller than what is expected in America.
After lunch, we grabbed ice cream (which is gelato), and went shopping. We returned to the Cathedral with about 20 minutes to spare, so we decided to explore it. The Cathedral was stunning, reminding me of the Cathedral in Köln. While part of the Cathedral was under renovation, we were still able to explore the interior, which was gorgeous. The windows were entirely made out of stained glass, and there were many graves of bishops and philanthropists who wanted to be buried within the Cathedral (and who wouldn’t want to be buried in such a beautiful place?). There’s even a hanging organ used during services, which is one of the largest organs in the world! Unfortunately, we had to leave by 2, as a service was about to start, but that was when we had to meet outside of the Cathedral, so it ended up working out for us.
Before we headed back to Augsburg, we made one last stop: Walhalla, which was less than 30 minutes from the city. This is a temple built by Ludwig I of Bavaria, but today, acts more of a hall of fame for accomplished Germans that have done an undeniable good to German, European, or even global development. There are marble busts of each inductee, each of which are intricately carved. The museum is on top of a mountain, allowing it to have a gorgeous overview of the Danube.
Once we left Walhalla, we arrived back to Augsburg later in the afternoon, having the rest of the day to ourselves. Compared to the rest of our day, Augsburg was a welcome reprieve. Tomorrow will be another busy day, as we’re visiting Barvaria’s most iconic castle, Schloss Neuschwanstein! Bis später!
German words used:
Wilkommen zurück = Welcome back
Köln = Cologne (German city)
Schloss = Castle
Bis später = See you later