Location, history, important companies, politics and tourist destinations of the city and the district

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Regensburg’s historic town hall © Armin Weigel / dpa

Regensburg looks back on thousands of years of history. The district of the same name is the southernmost of the Upper Palatinate administrative district. The eastern Bavarian metropolis has numerous attractions: around 1,350 listed objects are scattered around the city area.

  • the city Regensburg it is known for its historic center and cathedral.
  • The neighboring district offers a variety of excursion destinations with the Danube valley and other river valleys.
  • The city and state license plate number is “R”. The vehicles registered in the city can be identified by the combination of two letters and three digits that follow, or by the letters B, F, G, I, O and Q followed by one or three digits.

Eastern Bavaria – With 153,094 inhabitants (as of December 2019), Regensburg is the fourth largest city in Bavaria after Munich, Nuremberg and Augsburg. It ranks 55th on the list of largest cities in Germany. As of December 2019, 194,070 people lived in the neighboring Regensburg district. It is the southernmost district in eastern Bavaria.

+++ All stories and news from all over Bavaria are available on Merkur.de/bayern, for Regensburg and Upper Palatinate visit our brand new department of the same name. +++

Regensburg: geographical position of the city and district

The city of Regensburg is located at the northernmost point of the Danube and at the mouth of the rivers Naab and Regen. The area is characterized by several Danube islands: the Oberen Wöhrd (Jahninsel), the Unteren Wöhrd and the Stadtamhof. The district, which was autonomous until 1924, was separated from the mainland in 1970 by the construction of the Europa Canal.

Four large natural areas characterize the landscapes of Regensburg and the surrounding area:

  • the Danube plain with the Regen, Laber and Naab valleys
  • the Franconian Jura (Franconian Jura)
  • the Western Bavarian Forest (Falkensteiner Vorwald)
  • the hilly territory of the Lower Bavarian Tertiary

The following out of a total of 30 municipalities in the district border the city:

  • Lappersdorf
  • time alarm
  • Wenzenbach
  • Tegernheim
  • pungent
  • Neutralization
  • Obertraubling
  • Pentling
  • Sinzing
  • Pettendorf

In addition, the following cities and market towns are part of the district:

  • home
  • Neutralization
  • Worth on the Danube
  • Beratzhausen
  • Donaustauf
  • called coin
  • laaber
  • Lappersdorf
  • Nittendorf
  • thunderstorm
  • hemlock

The Regensburg district shares its borders with six neighboring districts:

  • Schwandorf
  • Cham
  • Straubing Arch
  • Landshut
  • Kelheim
  • Neumarkt in the Upper Palatinate

Regensburg: history of the city

The history of the city of Regensburg dates back more than 5,000 years. Archaeological finds indicate that the area was already inhabited in the Stone Age. The first mention in historical sources dates back to the year 179. On a stone slab discovered about 100 years ago, it was noted that the emperor Marc Aurel had built a “Castra Regina” on the Danube, the “Castle on the Regen”. Regensburg had numerous names during its development, including Radaspona, known around 770, and Ratisbonne, which derives from the Celtic language.

In the Middle Ages the importance of the city grew rapidly. From about 500 to 788, Regensburg served as a center for the Frankish nobles of the Agilolfinger family. The diocese of Regensburg had already existed for several decades before the diocese of Regensburg was founded according to canon law in 739 on the initiative of Duke Odilo and was therefore officially subordinate to the bishop of Rome. This makes it one of the oldest dioceses in Germany.

Regensburg: metropolis of the Middle Ages

The exposed position on the main long-distance trade routes contributed significantly to the rise of the city in the Middle Ages. Around the year 1050, 40,000 people lived in Regensburg. This made it the largest city in the German Empire. The economy flourished mainly through trade with major centers such as Venice, Paris and Kiev.

Architecture from the Middle Ages has largely been preserved to this day. These include buildings such as the stone bridge as a link across the Danube from 1146. The bridge has made a significant contribution to maximizing prosperity.

From 1207 onwards, the nobility granted Regensburg wide privileges and thus enabled it the status of a free city. Wealthy citizens have influenced politics and commerce. About 60 of these families formed the patriciate and at the same time the government. During their rule, numerous representative buildings were built. The Golden Tower, built around 1250, survives from this period.

Construction of Regensburg’s St. Peter’s Cathedral began around 1275 as a successor to a destroyed Romanesque church. Today it is one of the most important cathedrals in the world.

Regensburg: development in modern times

The rise of the city ended in the 14th and 15th centuries: due to the transfer of trade routes to Vienna, Nuremberg and Augsburg, Regensburg had fewer and fewer inhabitants. The plague that raged from 1347 to 1353 did the rest. The Hussite Wars of 1419 led to the destruction of the sales areas and the city was cut off from trade routes.

During and after the Thirty Years’ War, Regensburg became a place of refuge for Protestant refugees from Austria. From 1663 to 1806, the city functioned as a meeting place for the Perpetual Reichstag, the assembly of the imperial possessions of the Holy Roman Empire.

Regensburg: development of the number of inhabitants

With the connection to the railway network in 1859, modernity developed: the urban landscape changed radically due to the demolition of the medieval fortifications and new buildings. However, hardly any industry settled in Regensburg and the population only increased slightly. The situation has changed since 1924 through numerous incorporations, including the municipality of Stadtamhof. After World War II, the population quickly crossed the 100,000 refugee mark. The Bavarian territorial reform of 1972 led to further incorporations and an expansion of the adjacent district.

Regensburg: Formation of today’s administrative district

In 1862, the Regensburg district office was created by various regional courts (the precursors of the districts introduced in 1939). This united the districts of Regensburg and Wörth an der Donau. At the same time, Stadtamhof and Regenstauf were administratively united. The city of Regensburg has remained unchanged. In the following decades, both districts were subsequently expanded. In 1929 the Stadtamhof district was dissolved and the city was incorporated into Regensburg.

On January 1, 1939, according to an official decision, the district office became the Regensburg district. After some changes in 1946, this increased significantly during the Bavarian territorial reform in 1972. Two years later, after further incorporations, the district reached its current expansion.

Regensburg: important branches of the economy

With the founding of the University of Regensburg in 1967, the previously underdeveloped economy experienced rapid growth. At the same time, a number of large companies settled in the city and in the district. A selection of the most important companies in Regensburg:

  • Bayernwerk
  • BMW
  • Continental automotive
  • Siemens
  • Infineon
  • Osram Opto Semiconductors
  • BSH household appliances
  • Schneider Electric

Regensburg: political distribution in the city and district

Since 1 May 2020, Gertrud Maltz-Schwarzfischer (SPD) has helped shape the policy of the city of Regensburg as mayor. In the 2020 city council elections, voters were distributed as follows:

  • CSU: 25.7 percent
  • Greens: 21.7 per cent
  • BRIDGE: 12.4 percent
  • SPD: 12.2 percent
  • ÖDP: 7.2 per cent
  • Free voters (FW): 7.2 percent
  • Other: 15 percent

District elections for the distribution of seats in the Regensburg district also gave the CSU the majority of votes with 33.8%. The other counting results at a glance:

  • Free voters: 22.8 percent
  • Greens: 13.5 per cent
  • SPD: 9.3 percent
  • AfD: 6.1 percent
  • ÖDP / PU: 4.6 percent
  • PLR: 3 percent
  • Left: 0.9 percent

Regensburg: city attractions

The entire historic center of Regensburg, including the Stadtamhof, has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 2006 as the largest medieval center north of the Alps. Within the historic center there are also the most important places:

  • Stone bridge, landmark of the city and the crossing of the Danube to Stadtamhof, model of the Charles Bridge in Prague
  • St. Peter’s Cathedral, landmark and burial place of the citizens and canons of Regensburg
  • Basilica of Sant’Emmerano: historical scientific center in Baroque style
  • Porta Praetoria: the oldest surviving architectural monument of Regensburg, around 2000 years old
  • Thurn und Taxis Castle: complex of castles of the noble family from the buildings of the former Benedictine monastery of St. Emmeram
  • Torre d’Oro: 13th century patrician building

Regensburg: renowned tourist destinations in the district

The Regensburg district is rural and offers numerous historical sites. In the city of Donaustauf is the Walhalla, a memorial to important personalities from 1842. An overview of the other tourist destinations in the region:

  • Kallmünz Castle Ruins (Naabtal)
  • Ruins of the Donaustauf Castle
  • Raumspau Castle in the Regental near Regenstauf
  • Frauenzell monastery church near Brennberg
  • Eichenberg Nature Reserve near Kallmünz

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