Friday, July 25, 2014

Day 2: Regensburg / Kelheim

Today we left the Main/Danube canal and entered the actual Danube.  The river is beautiful, and our ship slipped silently through the picturesque  scenery into the town of Regensburg. 



We opted to take  tour to the nearby town of Kelheim and then by boat up through the Danube Gorge to a very old monastery and abbey – which was founded in 620 AD.

Towering over the town of Kelheim is the Hall of Liberation, built to commemorate a victory over Napolean.  I really wished we could have visited that monument, but it was not part of the tour.



The boat ride up through the narrows was spectacular:




The Weltenburg Abbey is monastery complex perched on the shore of the river:



Among other things, the monastery brews beer – and is one of the oldest monastery breweries in the world having been in operation since 1050 AD.  Their ″Weltenburger Kloster Barock Dunkel″ was given the World Beer Cup award in 2004, 2008 and 2012 as the best Dunkel beer in the world.  Denise decided to give it a try:



Dwayne liked it much better.


The interior of the church at the Abbey was a good example of the baroque style – as everything seems to be in this area:


This part of Germany was really into St. George, valiantly defending good from evil.  As you can see above, the statue is cleverly lit by indirect lighting coming though yellow stain glass windows to illuminate it brightly in contrast to the rather dim interior of the church.



Again, with the stabbing of dragons:



After lunch we took the walking tour of Regensburg, which started at the town cathedral.


It is a beautiful building on the outside, but rather plain and unadorned on the inside – except for the amazing stained glass.


The exterior stone showed a lot of damage, so they employ a team of traditional masons perpetually to maintain the building.  The masons were not working at the time of our tour, but we got to see their work area.

Another amazing thing about this town is that you can still see sections of the wall built by the Romans:



Another interesting site was the medieval bridge constructed in the 12th century.  For 800 years it was the only bridge in the area to cross the Danube.


Denise and I spent the rest of the afternoon window shopping through the old part of town, enjoying ourselves very much.

On the way back to the ship, we saw a building modeled after an ancient Greek temple perched up on the hill.  Named Walhalla, this is another of Ludwig’s monuments, built to honor famous personalities in German history.  Unfortunately, this was also not included in our tour.


We had a wonderful time in Regensburg!  Tomorrow we sail for Passau.

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