After sleeping in, we awoke to the good news that our vessel had indeed made it to Regensburg as planned. We decided to skip the morning tour and venture out on our own. Regensburg was founded in 179 AD, when a Roman legionary fort was built here on the southern bank of the Danube. As we made our way into town, we came across parts of the original fortress wall.
The old town area is actually quite small, but lovely. It features the Gothic architecture of St. Peter’s Cathedral, with two prominent spires reaching toward the heavens. Built in 1275, St. Peter’s is the only remaining Gothic church in Bavaria. One side of the front facade was covered with scaffolding due to ongoing repairs, so I didn’t get a great photo.
You appreciate the true grandeur of the building once you enter and see its gorgeous stained glass windows. I sat in one of its pews to soak up the beauty of this building. No matter how many magnificent churches we’ve seen in our travels, I never tire of stepping into these structures to take in their history and rich beauty.
As we left the church, it began snowing pretty heavily. We stopped by the nearby Christmas market for a mug of glüwein, and then made our way back to the ship to warm up and dry off for a bit!
Our afternoon excursion took us to St. Emmeram Castle, built by Benedictine monks in the 15th century, and later became the home of the wealthy German family Thurn & Taxis in the early 1800s. The family made their fortune when Franz Von Taxis founded the first public-access, paid mail service for carrying both government and private mail throughout central and Western Europe and in Spain.
The family is one of the wealthiest in Germany. Family members continue to reside in portions of the opulent residence today.
After a tour of sections of the palace open to the public, we ventured outside to a crisp, snowy evening to enjoy the Romantischer Weihnachtsmarkt in the courtyard and surrounding exterior. What a lovely market – full of lights, good quality, handmade items, and German food specialties! This was definitely the prettiest of markets we’ve seen so far.
All in all, a lovely afternoon and evening! Tomorrow, we arrive at our last stop on the Danube – Nuremberg.