Christmas Markets – Regensburg

We arrived into Regensburg today where we quickly took a walking tour of the city before going to the Christmas Market.  BTW, a huge perk in taking a European River cruise is that all tours are included. Well I can’t say all, excursions sometimes they have a specialized event for a fee.

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St. Peter's Cathdral in Regensburg

St. Peter’s Cathedral arrival

 

The tour started at the famous Steinerne Brucke (the old stone bridge) was built in 1146, an interesting note, this is Germany’s oldest bridge. Steinerne Brucke crosses the Danube from the original old town Salt Mill and it has 16 large arches similar to the Charles Bridge in Prague but without the statues. It’s still used today over 800 years later. For it’s time the Stone Bridge was considered a masterpiece of early engineering. In fact Regensburg is remarkably  preserved medieval city suffered nearly zero damage during WWII, it’s amazing that this city still exists.  Built by the best builders of its time you can see the buildings as they were originally constructed.

 

Wurstkurchl home of the Bratwurst in Regensburg Germany

This is the iconic Wurstkurchl of Regensburg. Anyone who has visited knows about it. Even if your not a fan of German sausages you have to try it just to say you have been there.

At the entrance to the bridge is the Wurstkurchl home of the Bratwurst.  This restaurant has been in business for over 500 years and has the best place on the beautiful Danube.  Watch them cook their bavarian specialties in the original kitchen then eat a traditional meal in old European decor. The place is small but was filled with plenty of happy customers. There are only a few tables inside and a lot of picnic tables outside plus you have a good view of the Stone Bridge. While it took a little time to order due to the crowds and at least it didn’t take forever to get your sausages. They looked great having about 3, 6 or 9 (your choice) long thin links over a bed of sauerkraut. I’m not really a kraut lover but did take a taste, it was sweeter than most and although not my fave it looked like everyone else was enjoying it.

 

Regensburg at night with St. Peter's Cathedral lit up

Regensburg at night with Steinerne Brucke and St. Peter’s Cathedral steeples all lit up

 

When approaching Regensburg by water there the first thing you see are two very tall steeple towers that dominate the skyline. This was our next sight to see St. Peters Cathedral. Built in the 1300’s this ornate Gothic structure was considered the most important church in all Bavaria. Within the exterior are intricate carvings of spooky looking gargoyles with both animal and human faces or long slimy tails. More carvings of kings riding their royal horses and foolish virgins underneath the tall spires of the church. What I like about this building is that there is all kinds of symbolism, for instance there is a statue of St. Peter who the church was named after holding a very large key that symbolizes the admittance into heaven. It not huge but you get what the artist was trying to convey. Another statue is the “Smiling Angel” who brings the good news to those who hear it. In fact this statue represents the angel Gabriel who is more than smiling, he’s laughing! One more thing to mention about St. Peter’s is the earliest known boy’s choir that brings listeners from all over the world.

 

The altar inside St. Peter's Cathedral in Regensburg Germany

The altar inside St. Peter’s

Another church that I enjoyed was just around the corner from St. Peters and I think this was my favorite. The Alte Kapell also known as Old Chapel, is the oldest place of worship in Bavaria constructed in Rococo style around 1000 A.D.  You would never know it by looking at the outside that inside is richly extravagant! The minute you walk through the doors you are hit with bright white and gold everywhere you look, along with grand marble pillars, ceiling and wall frescoes trimmed in gold and bright white pillars rising to meet these painted stories. Alte Kapell is a true masterpiece.

 

Frescos on the wall of Alte Kapell in Regensburg Germany

Frescos laced in gold on the wall. You can’t help but notice how rich this church was when they built it.

 

Inside Alte Kapell in Regensburg Germany

Have you ever seen anything so beautiful? The Alte Kapelle altar kept us there admiring the Rococo decor for what seemed like hours!

 

We also got to see the Porta Praetoria, an ancient fortress wall that used to surround the city. Still left is part of the East Tower with a rock archway which was once the Northern gate that lead to the old Roman camp built around the year 100.

 

 

Porta Praetoria tunnel in Regensburg Germany

The Porta Praetoria looks more like a cave than a tunnel!

On our free time we walked around the town and explored the back streets. Regensburg is home to about 100,000 people who live in apartments that fill the city. It was fun to see how they were decorating for Christmas with stuffed Santa’s crawling into windows, and lights. The buildings are colorful pastel all about the same size 4-5 stories high. Everyone rides bikes here you will see them chained near their front doors. There are plenty of restaurants and shops to keep you busy.

 

Regensburg Town Hall or Rathaus

I loved this unique balcony at the Regensburg Rathaus or as we know it the Town Hall

 

Bikes in courtyard in Regensburg Germany

I just liked this photo op and couldn’t resist sharing.

 

It was getting dark and you know what time that is, its time to visit the Christmas Market in the old town square!  Quite smaller than its Nürnberg neighbor and not nearly as crowded but was just as festive. The booths were more traditional not as commercial.

 

Christmas Markets carousel in Regensburg Germany

The kids loved this small carousel around the corner from the main market. Isn’t it adorable?

 

Regensburg street at Christmas

One of the main streets decorated for Christmas has plenty of shops and places to eat.

 

Santa's hanging from windows in Europe during Christmas

I just love these Santa’s that hang from apartment windows throughout Europe during the Christmas season. I want!!!

 

Couple of  gifts I picked up were for my husband they had very unique instruments that I had not seen before, and the mink hats looked awfully cozy on a cold December day. Scarves and pashmina’s always make a good present and leather purses were prices exceptionally well.

My favorite Christmas Market was at the Palace where the best artisan’s in the area had booths. It was so old-fashioned you could warm yourself next to containers with fire in them like in the olden days. The stalls had hand tooled leather belts and purses, beautiful handmade crafts, paintings and jewelry.

 

Some of the things you can buy at the Christmas Markets in Regensburg

Some of the interesting items you pick up at the Christmas Market!

 

A booth full of smokers at a Christmas Market in Europe

Probably the most popular gift to pick up at the markets

 

Decorated Christmas gingerbread cookies at a Christmas market in Europe

And my favorite big, decorated gingerbread cookies! Perfect for our Christmas tree when we get back home.

 

The most popular place to eat was at the Strudel Booth in the main market square with many choices of different types of Strudel.  For instance, there was cherry, apricot, walnut, berry and of course Apple.  It was served warm with a thick vanilla sauce poured over it and then shook fresh cinnamon over the vanilla.  It was the best strudel I have ever had! I’ll be dreaming of how tasty it was for years to come. To tell the truth I would go back to Regensburg just for that!

34 Comments:

  1. Oh, wow, I did not know Regensburg has so many amazing sites to visit. A friend lives there, but he has not told me of any of those. And the night photo of the bridge and the church is just marvellous!

  2. Everybody is raving about Christmas markets all over Europe and I only wish I could go to Nicaragua and be done with it. I really don’t like Christmas. Call me Grinch, lol

  3. I hear sooo much about the Christmas markets! I really want to go.. i just hate the cold!

  4. I’m going to agree with Claudia and say I am a bit more Christmas these days (there is just too much and it is everywhere!!). What jumps out for me from these pictures is how amazing this architecture is – and I also enjoy the tiny green building.

  5. Ahhhh I’m obsessed with Christmas, I would love these 🙂

  6. Gotta say I don’t particularly like Xmas but I LOVE NYE celebrations. In any case, been to Regensburg before and I could not imagine it turned to be so colorful during Christmas! Thanks for showing us this other side of the city 😀

  7. Wow it looks so quaint 🙂 Would love to do a European river cruise one day I’ve heard amazing things about them.

    • We love the European river cruises, they are so easy and relaxed compared to ocean cruises. Best part all shore excursions are included and no huge hidden expenses. I love how they dock in smaller villages so you don’t have the crowds and hustle of bigger cities. It is very quaint!

  8. So quaint! I love Christmas markets, and this looks like the perfect place to spend December. Have you ever been to the markets in Edinburgh?

  9. No christmas market is complete without the obligatory gingerbread is it, yum! I love these beautiful German towns as a backdrop to the markets, not heard of Regensburg so will have to put it on the list for next year, looks so cute (and I love that they have a carousel).

  10. Great inspiration, I’m searching out Christmas markets in Romania t the moment myself!

  11. I love local Christmas markets but never been to Germany to really experience it. Its on my list though. .. apple strudel and ginger bread yum

  12. Oh yeah, a Brackwurst, mulled wine and a German Christmas Market – I wouldn’t mind it at all 🙂 So far I’ve only been to Christmas market in Berlin but I can see there are so many more good places to be in December 🙂

    • I love how each market is similar and different at the same time. The decorations, the music, the gluhwein, the sausages and pastries, local arts and crafts, each market has these but with their own signature style. It never gets boring!

  13. I love that picture of Regensburg at night! I realize how similar those streets and christmas markets are in some parts of europe.. It reminds me of the old town in Innsbruck and some parts of Italy 😉

  14. Christmas markets are always fun to explore but wasn’t aware of regensburg having such a nice one 🙂

  15. Beautiful pictures! I went to Regensburg like tons of years ago but it’s nice to see it’s kept its charm. Thanks for sharing!

  16. What a beautiful city. I’m still yet to visit a christmas market anywhere!

  17. History, strudel and shopping…sounds like an amazing time to me!!!! I’ve never been to a Christmas market, it sounds wonderful:)

  18. I’ve never heard of this town but I absolutely love these little places in Germanic countries, they just have something magical about them and especially at Christmas

  19. Never heard of this town before but it looks lovely, love these little places in Germanic countries they are magical, and even more so at Christmas.

  20. Looks like a great place to spend Christmas and I always love the little wooden toys they have in Germany. Regensburg is great, I was there many years ago with my mom (who was born in Germany – Regensburg one of her favorite towns).

    Would love to get back there someday.

    Frank (bbqboy)

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