Monday, June 3, 2013

Crossing the Border: Regensburg, Germany and Linz, Austria

Regensburg, Germany.  Notice the medieval Regensburg Stone Bridge, built from 1135-1146.
We had originally planned to spend our first travelling night in Nuremberg so that we could continue to explore the city the following morning.  Unfortunately, there was a festival going on in the city center, and we were not able to find a place to stay.  Instead, we stayed at a Bed and Breakfast in the small town of Donauworth, along Germany's "Romantic Road."  It was a cute little place.  The lady who helped us spoke very little English, but she was really sweet.  Breakfast was good so all in all, it was a pretty good experience.

Donau Hotel Bed and Breakfast in Donauworth
Regensburg, Germany: The bed and breakfast was right off of the highway, and we didn't go into town.  Instead, we headed to Regensburg.  Regensburg is located at the meeting point of the Danube and Regen Rivers, west of the Bavarian Forest.

Regensburg City Center
The first settlement in Regensburg dates to the Stone Age.  The oldest name given to a settlement in the area was Radasbona, a Celtic name.  The romans built a fort in Regensburg around 90 AD.  During WWII, Regensburg was home to an aircraft manufacture and an oil refinery.  They were bombed by the Allies on August 17, 1943 and again on February 5, 1945.

Dom - Regensburg Cathedral
Regensburg Cathedral from the side.
Dom, the Regensburg Cathedral is a pure example of German Gothic and is counted as the main Gothic work in Bavaria.  It was founded in 1275 and completed in 1634, with the exception of the towers.  The towers were completed in 1869.


The yellow building is the Church of Saint Michaels

Linz, Austria:  After a quick walk around Regensburg, we continued across the border.  I was really surprised at how easy it was to cross the border.  Crossing from Germany to Austria is basically like crossing the Florida/Georgia border.  We did have to stop at the border to purchase the required toll sticker for driving in Austria, but if we already had the sticker, we wouldn't have been required to stop. This is true within the European Union.

Our first stop in Austria was in the city of Linz.  Linz is the third largest city in Austria and is located on the Danube River.  The city was founded by the Romans who called it Lentia.  It was first recorded with the name Linz in AD 799.  Linz was home to Johannes Kepler and Anton Bruckner.  The city was also Adolf Hitler's home for much of his youth.

St. Mary's Church in Linz, Austria
One of the highlights of Linz is the St. Mary's Church.  Construction of St. Mary's Church (Mariendom) began in 1862.  The church was originally called, New Cathedral (Neurer Dom) and was consecrated as Mariendom in 1924 by the bishop Johannes Maria Gfollner.  With 20,000 seats, it is the largest church in Austria, though it is not the tallest.  The originally planned higher spire was not allowed because, at the time, no church in Austria-Hungary was allowed to be taller than the South Tower of the St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna.


The aforementioned Stephen's Cathedral is quite spectacular.  Post to come soon!

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