Sunday, June 19, 2011

On the Road: Regensburg

The large medieval center of Regensburg - with quaint cobblestone streets and courtyards - is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The fourth largest city in Bavaria is known as "the city of churches" because of the unusually large number of places of worship. We visited the cathedral of St. Peter, built on the site of a former Roman military camp.

City walking tours are not always about churches and cathedrals; our guide stopped outside an interesting window display in the historic district to explain that Der Hutmacher had made the iconic hat worn by Johnny Depp as The Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland. The German millinery shop is known internationally for its craftsmanship; the Queen of England is a client.

Our morning tour ended at the 1,014-foot long Stone Bridge, built in the 12th Century.

The former Benedictine monastery of St. Emmeram was converted into a castle in 1812 and inhabited by the princely family of Thurn and Taxis, who established the first certified mail and precious goods delivery service in Europe and held the monopoly of the imperial postal system from 1490 to 1867.

Today, they are the largest landholder in Germany, one of its wealthiest families and still in residence after more than 250 years.

After visiting Thurn and Taxis castle, we stopped at the castle's cafe for a glass of wine before heading back to the ship.

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

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