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Day 10: Regensburg, Germany

Like a bridge over troubled waters, I will lay me down...lyrics from the song "Bridge Over Troubled Water" by Simon & Garfunkel

overcast 19 °C

We left Passau fairly early and had to backtrack roughly an hour to reach the town of Regensberg. The drive along the way was beautiful with rolling hills and small villages spotting the countryside.

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This is one of Germany's best preserved medieval cities, having bypassed the bombings from WWII (although the Germans blew up part of it to stop the advancing Allies), and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Our tour today was split into two sections; One section looked at the town and Christian heritage and the other section looked at the Jewish history of Regensberg. After being dropped off at a collection point, we approached the town's famous bridge thru a short walk that passed by some shops.

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The street leads to the historical 12th century Old Stone Bridge with its iconic archways. This bridge is the oldest surviving bridge in Germany and is considered a medieval masterpiece.

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At the end of the bridge, we came to a structure which has the keys to the city, namely St. Peter's keys (along with the town crier!).

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Before making our way to St. Peter's Cathedral, we had to pay a visit to Germany's oldest restaurant, Alte Wurstkuche, also known as the "Sausage Factory".

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A few steps up the street is the towering structure of Dom St. Peter or the Regensburg Cathedral. The church has been in existence since about 700 AD but due to several fires over the centuries, the church was rebuilt in its current Gothic architecture, being completed around 1320. The facade of the structure contains many statues and scenes including the depiction from the First Testament (Genesis 22) rendition of an angel stopping the sword of Abraham as he is about to sacrifice his own son Isaac,

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as well as the keyhole that fits St. Peter's key (stairway to heaven?).

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Once inside the cathedral, we saw amazing views of the stained-glass windows as well as the many out coves and altars.

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After spending some time at St. Peter's, we then began the Jewish history portion of Regensburg starting in the Middle Ages and ending up in the present day. Sadly, the antisemitic aspect of Jewish history begins on the outside walls of the cathedral with a statue that degrades Jewish people. The statue shows three Jewish men suckling a sow. As many people in the Middle Ages were not literate, this was a powerful message from the Catholic Church on how it viewed Jewish people at the time.

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We then stopped at St. Kassian, the second oldest church in the city.

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Within this beautiful church, a ceiling painting is present that depicts a strong woman representing Regensburg (symbol of St. Peter's keys are evident) trampling the Jewish people of the town while many flee over the famed bridge out of town.

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We then fast forwarded to state sponsored terrorism of the early 1900s and the late 1930s of the Nazi regimes. We visited a peaceful memorial to a synagogue that was destroyed and now allows visitors a place for quiet reflection.

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The next phase of Jewish history was a visit to several "Stumbling Stones", each of which is researched and commemorates a victim of the Holocaust at their last known residence.

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After visiting Schindler's house (from the famed movie Schindler's List) where he resided for a for a year while in Regensburg, we ended the history tour with a visit to the outside of the new Synagogue.

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After lunch in a local restaurant, we headed back to the buses but not before catching a few photos of a day in the life of Regensburg.

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After driving back to meet our ship in Passau (having stopped at a McDonald's for a rest stop), we attended an enrichment lecture on Bavaria, Germany that highlighted its history, commerce (BMW), and culture (Munich-Oktoberfest). The lecture was given by Dr. Andreas Klein.

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And if that wasn't enough, after a traditional German meal, we ended the night with some traditional Bavarian music played by Helmut and Hans.

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Posted by Argenti Travel 12:07 Archived in Germany

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