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About barley juice and hospitality: a leisurely stroll through the historic Regensburg

Travelog • Bavarian Forest
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The scent of freshly baked bread streams from the bakeries, shop- and innkeepers slowly brace themselves for the upcoming day, while the huge assortment of regional fruits and vegetables on the market square displays grows from hour to hour. Even in the early hours of the morning, there is a hustle and bustle in the alleys of Regensburg’s historic center, which I can hardly withstand. Pleasure and hospitality have always been written in capital letters here, and I am constantly reminded of this as I walk through the historic old town of Regensburg.

500 years of traditional recipes in the “Wurstkuchl”

I am standing near the historical Wurstkuchl at the Regensburger Strudel, a river rapid caused by the picturesque Stone Bridge. The starting point of my leisurely stroll through the city happens to be the place where 500 years ago stonemasons and dock workers used to enjoy their lunch.

Craftsmen, locals and tourists come here today to enjoy what are – most likely – the best sausage rolls in town. I cannot resist the smell that flows from the Kuchl … and promptly treat myself to a breakfast of a special kind. But what is it that makes the Wurstkuchl such a success? Well, up until today the recipe, quality and production of the delicacies have not changed.

The historic hospitality of Regensburg

I now stroll along the Thundorfer Straße, which in the past centuries was considered to be the most important road in Regensburg. And where once many businessmen and merchants cavorted, restaurants could not be missed. After all, after an exhausting business day, the merchants had to find a place to eat and drink.

Among the most famous inns were the “Braulokal zur Sonne”, the “Gasthaus zur Steinernen Bruck” and the “Blaue Lilie”, all of which turned out to be goldmines and, incidentally, had the highest beer output in all of Regensburg. As profitable as the restaurants once were, they no longer pour out beer. Today, only the only the inn signs remind people of their former existence. Nevertheless, Regensburg has a remarkable attribute. The city has the highest density of pubs in all of Germany. So don’t you worry: nobody will die of thirst in Regensburg!

Talking about thirst: I could need a refreshment. The “Regensburger Hofbräuhaus” is just the right place for me and a cold wheat beer has my name on it. When I take my seat in the pub, I learn that in the past not everyone was allowed to enjoy a wheat beer. According to the motto “Wheat for the gentleman, the rest for the common man”, the Hofbräuhaus brewed specially for the Bavarian Herzoghof. Fortunately, the times have changed. Otherwise my tour would have developed into a real dry spell.  

Haidplatz: meeting place of the rich and famous

When it comes to good food, drinks and a pleasant place to sleep, the Haidplatz plays a central role. However, it was not the common folk that socialized here. The inns were rather grand. Thus, wealthy and famous personalities such as the Duke of Bavaria, Emperor Karl V. or King Ludwig I. occupied the noble rooms of the “Thon-Dittmer-Palais” or the “Zum Goldenen Kreuz”.

From adventurous brewing experiments to the purity law

My city tour through the historic city of Regensburg comes to an end. I let my stroll end with a Zwicklbier at the traditional Gravenreuther pub. While I am here, I take the chance to look at the Purity Law of Regensburg.
Yes, that’s right. Next to the Bavarian Purity Law, the city’s council already established a law in 1454 specifically designed for Regensburg. Thus law implies that from 1454 on only barley, water and hops could be used for beer production. The reason for this was the ongoing adventurous beer creations. Before, it occurred that beers were flavored with chives, parsley, ox blood or chimney soot to enhance color. On that note: cheers to the Bavarian Purity Law!

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Veronika Leikam
Updated: 2019-01-23

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Moni Hahn
waren auch da. Leider bekamen wir ohne Reservierung keinen Platz auf dem einzigen!!! Campingplatz in Regensburg. Durch Zufall sind wir dann im Naabtal fündig geworden. Sehr schön dort. Regensburg ist wie alle touristisch frequentierte Städte darauf ausgerichtet, so viel wie möglich zu vermarkten. Echten Regensburger Charme habe ich etwas vermisst. Alles etwas überteuert.