January 23, 2014

Backyard Tour Part Zwei

Regensburg, Germany

Today was the 2nd half of our backyard tour. AMBEXers had the opportunity to learn about their new German hometown. The goal of these tours is to familiarize students with Regensburg while simultaneously giving them a taste of the rich history it has to offer.

This half of the tour students learned of the Thurn und Taxis family, who through their nobility & wealth were able to shape the city and its influence in Germany. The family currently resides in Regensburg, in their beautifully ornate castle near the city-center.

Rich in Catholic history, Regensburg is home to many Catholic churches. Some are ornamented even more extravagantly than the picture below. The Thurn and Taxis family have a private entrance into this particular church and even have their own elaborate chapel, accessible only to the family.

Regensburg remains to this day the oldest preserved city in the state of Bavaria. Originally a Roman military out-post, Regensburg (Ratisbona) was a strategically located and beneficial establishment. Located on the Danube river, this city served as the port city for any shipments coming from the south to the northernmost reaches of Europe. The Danube River was part of an important highway of rivers that stretched up to the North Sea. If you controlled Regensburg, you virtually controlled all shipping to the north.

                                                        A view of the ancient Roman Bridge.

This old Roman bridge not only serves as a great group photo in front of St. Peters Cathedral, but was one of the most important and only river crossings across the Danube River in the 12th century.

                   Park Hotel Maximilian is one of the oldest and most historic buildings in Regensburg.

Here the AMBEX Director, or "Coach" as we call him, lectures on a local Catholic church before entering so as to not disturb those who might be praying in silence and solitude within. This particular church at its founding had a priest who was very particular about the care-taking of the church that he utilized unique methods to see that nothing was removed or misplace while he was absent. One such method, he created a sculpture in his own likeness atop a balcony so as to convince people that he was watching when he was away.

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