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German Christmas Markets: Regensburg

From: German Christmas Markets

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ABOVE: Local residents prowl Regensburg's Christkindlmarkt in search of gifts, food, and hot spiced wine.

Regensburg Christmas markets

photoMedieval Regensburg was an Imperial Free City for 600 years, and that was when the city was relatively new in historic terms. Regensburg dates back nearly 2,000 years, and remnants of the Roman fortress built by the emperor Marcus Arelius are still visible along the Danube and in the underground excavations known as Document Neupfarrplatz.

Interestingly, Regensburg's Christkindlmarkt lies above those excavations, which include a well-preserved medieval Jewish quarter that was unearthed in the 1990s when the Neupfarrplatz was dug up to install wiring for the Christmas market's booths.

photoIf you visit the main Christkindlmarkt in Neupfarrplatz, I'd suggest going twice: Once during the day when you can browse the booths without being stampeded, and again in the evening when the square is packed with people of all ages who come to drink warm Glühwein, load up on sausages that range in size from tiny pairs of Nuremburgers to half-meter monstrosities, and eat steamed Dampfnudel dumplings with vanilla sauce at stand-up tables amid the crowds.

photoFood and drink aren't everything, of course, and you'll find plenty of gift items and handicrafts in both the Neupfarrplatz and the smaller satellite markets such as the Lucrezia Craft Market in Haidplatz. Another popular destination is the local princess's Romantic Christmas Fair with traditional handicrafts at the Palace of Thurn and Taxis.

photoOther events during the holiday season include concerts by the Regensburger Domspatzen boys' choir, Santa's Wednesday visits to the Christkindlmarkt, a dramatized "Christmas and Twelfth Night" walking tour, and independent musical events around town.

(As I walked through the streets one evening, I overhead a German choir called "Deliverance" singing American gospel music in the Protestant Dreieinigkeitskirche, so I wandered inside to enjoy the concert.)

Daytime river cruises on Klinger excursion boats are another option, or you can visit Regensburg during a week-long Christmas or New Year's voyage on the Danube and the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal with international river-cruise lines (such as Avalon Waterways and Uniworld) that offer holiday itineraries from late November to early January.

For more information about Regensburg, see:

Regensburg City Guide

Regensburg Photo Gallery

Next page: More Christmas Markets Web links



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