October 11, 2012

Student Blog by Shannon Gross: Regensburg

We went on a tour of Regensburg a few days ago and saw some grand examples of German history. We first stopped at the monument to Kepler. Actually, that’s probably not the first stop we made, but it’s the most memorable of the stops we made. Kepler was a lot like Galileo and signs of the zodiac surrounded the roof suspended above the columns that sheltered a life size statue of his head. 
The next place we stopped was Thurn and Taxis’ place of residence. The man was the general to the emperor from Frankfurt. The emperor needed someone to give Regensburg a reason to spend money and, therefore, boost the economy. Thurn and Taxis, however, were not going to move unless they lived in style. So, the prince gave them the monastery where Charlemagne was coroneted and it was a noble home. Thurn and Taxis spent their money and bought land and made quite a commotion in the city of Regensburg and, to this day, the Thurn and Taxis family are the largest and wealthiest landowners in the town.
Next we visited the Benediction. The imperial church! They were known for their focus on education and were protectors of libraries and books. The architectural style used for this building was High Baroque or Rococo. In laymen’s terms, the church was absolutely stunning. The Benediction was the mother church of the Scotch-Irish. Basically, Europe can thank the Scotch-Irish for Christianity.
Speaking of the Scotch-Irish, we also visited their other church. This structure used Roman architecture for its design. There are no windows because, in the 10th century, they couldn’t figure out how to put them in. Inside the church is a coiffured ceiling that gives the wood an almost 3D look. This was pretty uncommon back in the day. Fun fact! Mary Queen of Scot’s father is buried in the catacombs below the church.
Finally we made it to THE MOTHER CHURCH OF BAVARIA (the capital letters are an illustration of how you both read and say the words), otherwise known as the Alte Kapelle. It was founded in the 9th century and words cannot express how absolutely stunning the interior is. You are completely surrounded by white and gold and it’s mesmerizing. I don’t think I’d ever be able to attend a service there. I’d be too distracted by the intricate detail put into every piece of the church that you can imagine. The ceilings are painted extraordinarily and there are carvings and statues lining the walls. Another room has all the names of Mary painted upon the ceiling. The outside isn’t of much note and, compared to the outside architecture of St. Peter’s Dome, it is a speck of paint on the floor below the Mona Lisa. There is no comparison to the inside, however. I could sit and just look at everything for hours. If I could be half as good as the artists that decorated the interior, I would be ecstatic. I can’t imagine what it would have been like to attend a service there in the 9th century. It must have seemed absolutely magnificent compared to everything else in that time.
Regensburg is one of the most cultured cities I’ve ever visited. There is history around every corner and down every city block. The pure beauty of it all amazes me and it’s astonishing to know that so many German geniuses have walked the same cobble-stone streets that I’m still trying to figure out how to get through. I can’t wait to see more of it.

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails