Four rivers meet in Regensburg: Naab, Regen, Danube and, although not a “real” river, the Main-Donal Canal. We took a look around Regensburg on the banks of the Danube and also took a boat trip on the famous Danube “Strudel”.
A walk along the riverbank is really beautiful. Not only the glitter of the sun on the water, but also the buildings on the shore are worth seeing.
Landmark of Regensburg: Stone Bridge
The Stone Bridge is one of the landmarks of Regensburg. A walk across the bridge, which connects the old town with the district of Stadtamhof, is part of a visit to the city. However, I liked the view from the salt tower on the bank of the old town side almost better. From here you have a great view of the structure.
In 1135, master builders erected a bridge made of stone in Regensburg. Today, it is considered the oldest stone bridge in Germany and a masterpiece of medieval architecture.
For a long time, this bridge was the only bridge on the stretch between Ulm and Vienna across the Danube and thus often the only safe place to cross the river, especially for merchants with their carts.
In the course of time, the appearance of the bridge changed again and again. Originally, three towers belonged to the structure, today there is only one tower on the south side.
On the bridge stands the monument of the master bridge builder looking toward the cathedral. It stands exactly at the point where the Stone Bridge in Regensburg has an “inexplicable bend”.
Whereby there is an explanation in a legend…
Legend about the construction of the bridge
According to legend, the master builder of the cathedral and the master bridge builder had made a bet as to which of them would finish the construction first. Unfortunately, the bridge construction did not go as the master builder had wished and it looked as if the cathedral would be finished sooner.
The master bridge builder then made a pact with the devil. If he helped him and the bridge was finished first, the first three souls to cross the bridge would belong to the devil.
The devil agreed to the deal and indeed the master builder finished building the bridge in front of the cathedral.
The day of the inauguration came and the devil waited anxiously for his three souls. The master builder, not at all stupid, first drove a dog, a hen and a cock over the new stone bridge. Oh, how angry the devil was at this move of the bridge builder. He was so angry that he wanted to tear the bridge down again. The devil stood under the bridge and tried to lift it – the bridge held and only a small hump appeared. The devil then kicked the bridge in anger. The result – the bridge has had a bend in its course ever since, which can still be seen today.
Or is it rather due to the flow conditions and the subsoil of the Danube at this point? Today, due to the construction of the bridge, Regensburg is definitely one attraction richer at this point. If you take a closer look, you can see the formation of whirlpools (Strudel) in the Danube. These are not only used by sportsmen and women, but also give their name to the Strudel rides on the Danube.
Strudelfahrt across the Danube in Regensburg
During the construction of the Stone Bridge over the Danube, 16 piers were built (14 piers are still visible today), which affect the flow of the Danube. The water masses are forced through between the piers, the speed of the water flow increases. Looking directly downstream after the bridge piers, whirlpools form. These burrow into the depth of the river in a vortex shape, wear away the river bed, and form depressions 7-8 metres deep.
The Strudels are not only dangerous for swimmers, who run the risk of being pulled into the depths; ships can also be caught by cross currents and run the risk of capsizing.
Until the 20th century, ships on the Danube were towed through this passage for lack of sufficient propulsion. Later, an electrically operated ship passage system was used. For today’s inland navigation needs, the Stone Bridge in Regensburg is a problem. The passage is not possible. A lock canal had to be built to guide the ships around the historic structure.
With pleasure boats and smaller excursion boats, you can sail under the Stone Bridge today. We took a leisurely trip along the Danube on one of the excursion boats, not only to see Regensburg from the water, but also to take the trip through the bridge.
Once the ship is back on the banks of the Danube in Regensburg, you should definitely stop off at the Wurstkuchl. The historic Wustbratstube is located directly on the banks of the Danube and has been attracting guests for over 500 years.
During the construction of the Stone Bridge, the building on the city wall housed the construction office. After the bridge was completed, the Regensburg stonemasons and dock workers ate here in the equipped cookshop. Initially, boiled meat was served here, but it is not known exactly when the bratwurst arrived.
Today we have homemade sausages from the open charcoal grill. There is homemade sauerkraut and the mustard has been made according to their own recipe for years. The Wurstkuchl has become a tourist attraction in Regensburg, but at lunchtime, every now and then a Regensburg resident finds himself here and enjoys his bratwurst.
We ate the traditional bratwurst with sauerkraut and mustard and I really wanted to try the “sauren Zipfel”. Those who prefer to go meatless will find some vegetarian dishes on the menu, salads are offered and of course desserts. If you read the menu to the end, you will discover that almost all products come from suppliers in the region.
There is room for 28 people in the historic guest room and 65 people in the tavern, but there is seating for a good 100 outside.
until 31.3.: 10-18 h
from 1.4.: 9-19 h
no closing day!
Disclosure: We were in Regensburg as part of a research trip. The report corresponds to our experiences.