Regensburg Germany - A Frustrated Retirement
|Map of Regensberg, Germany|
What did April 2005 have in store for the old German? That month he was to celebrate his 78th birthday and, considering his unfortunate early days, his life had turned out rather well. At the age of 14, like all his contemporaries, he had been conscripted into the Hitler Youth. After two years, he was conscripted into the German armed forces and, after another two years, World War Two had ended and he found himself in a prisoner of war camp from which he was released after a few months. He then entered a seminary and this eventually led him to a distinguished career as a catholic theologian and university professor. A part of that career which particularly satisfied him was his 12 years as professor of theology at the University of Regensburg. Pat, our youngest daughter Anna and I visited the Bavarian city of Regensburg for the first time in November 2010 and we had no difficulty in understanding why the old German liked it so much. Regensburg stands on the River Danube at the point where its tributary, the River Regan, flows into it. Two thousand years ago, the Romans used the Danube to mark the northern frontier of their empire. Consequently, Regensburg was an armed Roman encampment at that time, then known as Castra Regina. It had existed as a Celtic settlement several hundred years before that.
|Regensberg medieval bridge|
Later, in medieval times, Regensburg became a wealthy city as its merchants benefited from the trade moving up and down the Danube. What they built at that time provides us today with an unspoiled example of a medieval city center. Remarkably enough, the city escaped damage during World War Two. Indeed, it suffered more damage during its capture by Napoleon in 1809 during the Franco-Austrian War.
|Bob and daughter, Anna, in front of Napoleon's house|
|Life-size statue of King Ludwig I|
|Scottish church romanesque portal|
We came across in Regensburg something called the Scottish Church (Schottenkirche), the construction of which was completed in about the year 1200. In fact, this church was founded by Benedictine monks from Ireland, whom the locals mistakenly thought came from Scotland. One Celt must look very much like another in Bavaria.
The splendid atmosphere of Regensberg is further enhanced by its striking Gothic cathedral, which took some 250 years to build during the Middle Ages.
|Stained glass windows and altar|
|St. Peter's Cathedral Regensberg|
|Silver altar in St. Peter's cathedral|
|Pope Benedict XVI|
This piece, written by Bob, was originally posted on our website on November 14, 2010.