September 29, 2010

Student Blog by Kacey Parks: Regensburg

 Kacey in Regensburg

Europe! Germany! I am here! I can honestly say that I never imagined myself living in a German city for three months, especially such a quaint and picturesque city such as Regensburg. I have thoroughly enjoyed myself so far. Being here is incredible, because I wake up and can take a ten-minute walk from the hostel and be in the center of a city over a thousand years old. This is a new experience for me, because I live in a small town of eight thousands which, I would estimate is less then a hundred and fifty years old. Not in the same time period as Regensburg. 
Today we went on a walking tour of the churches, buildings, and bridges of the Regensburg. I was astonished to see so much history in this place, from the towers that guarded the city to the smooth cobbled stone steps that caused many of our groups to stumble. I have never experienced a city like this before. We wandered and crossed the old stone city bridge and entered into the city. Our class saw a variety of different shops and old houses, all different styles and bright colors. 
The first church we went to was a prominent protestant church in the city. I liked the inside it was not as ornate as the church in Munich, but it was still amazing. I liked looking around and even signed the book where many had left prayers to God, mainly in German, but some in Chinese as well. It was different then any of the catholic churches, for it didn’t have paintings of Mary, and I didn’t feel like it was quite as ornate. I was still nice to be able to go into a protestant church though because it was unique to see a different sort of church.
The Church of Saint Peter was incredible. I was taken back by how intricate the gothic design was on the outside. The gargoyles reminded me of what I would imagine Notre Dame Church looks like. Yet the inside was my favorite part. I loved the intricate stained glass windows and the paintings and structure of the church. The ceiling seemed as though it was a hundred feet high or something of the sort, I am not very good measuring distances. It was a fascinating church to be in.
One fact that stood out to me about the church and Regensburg was the story about three martyrs. They stood up to the SS because the Americans were threatening to bomb Regensburg if they didn’t surrender the Nazi’s. So these men went to the SS and asked them to surrender to spare the city, and were martyred in the process. I think it is very honorable to lay down your life for your people and your city. The Church had a few tombs that you could go visit underneath and I believe one of them was buried there, along with some of the past bishops. It was very silent in the tombs and the amount of reverence by the people was apparent in how they studied and observed the tombs.
I thought that this experience was a good introduction to the city that we are going to live in. Wendell Berry talks about making the place that you are dwelling in somewhere you care for. In turn this place becomes your own and then you care even more about how you are impacting your place, and in turn it makes a greater impact on you. This is an idea that I am going to incorporate into this trip. My goal is that when I leave Regensburg, I am going to leave a small part of myself here. I think that in order to truly enjoy an experience and get something out of it, you have to be able to put yourself out there to be changed and molded by the experience that is going to encompass you. So far I have really enjoyed my time here!

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