The alluring smoky aroma of grilled sausages cooked over a wood fire wafts through the narrow cobbled streets of Regensburg. By the Danube, the tiny green brick and stone Historische Wurstküchl (literally historic sausage kitchen) has been in business for so long it served similar delectable sausages to the builders of Regensberg’s Stone Bridge (Steinerne Brücke) and cathedral over 850 years ago. It must surely rank as the oldest fast food restaurantin the world?
Entry is through the kitchen and the menu only contains one item so hungry passers-by simply select how many sausages they want served on a generous bed of sauerkraut with a side splash of sweet mustard. Optionally, it can be served in a caraway seed roll to form a bratwurstsemmeland washed down with a beer (pils) from the neighbouring bar.
From the superb historic bridge and fully fuelled on pork sausages, Regensburg is ready to explore with its rich history. With its Italianate feel, Regensburg is a treasure trove of old buildings and landmarks with strings of cobbled alleyways to wander and explore. The streets are full of trading towers built by early wealthy merchants (the Stone Bridge provided opened trading with Venice and Northern Italy). To flaunt their wealth, towers were constructed above their multi-storey homes. Remarkably, only the first few three or four floors are inhabitable, the rest is purely for show with the hollow towers even adorned with false windows.
The Gothic cathedral dominates the town’s skyline with its ribbed spires and intricate carved exterior. The interior is lit by a kaleidoscope of medieval coloured stained windows and a towering pipe organ that appears to be suspended in thin air. The voices of the boys choir creates a truly angelic sound in the soaring vaulted ceilings. A controversial carving of the Judensau (Jew’s sow) showing three Jewish women drinking from a pig (which they consider unclean) reminds both of the strong Jewish history in the area and the racial tensions that date back to medieval times.
Similarly, the Alte Kapelle (old chapel) boasts a stunning interior dripping with golden rococo decorations and worthy of a sneak peek.
There is much more to Regensburg to be found in Part Two of the tour of Regenburg.