Gregory Brown
513 Agnes Arnold Hall
Department of Philosophy
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also called Ratisbon,

city, Bavaria Land (state), southeastern Germany, on the right bank of the Danube River at its most northerly course, where it is joined by the Regen River. In the area of the old city was a Celtic settlement (Radasbona), which later became the site of a Roman stronghold and legionary camp, Castra Regina (founded AD 179). The Roman north gate (Porta Praetoria) and parts of the walls survive. The capital of the dukes of Bavaria from 530, it was made a bishopric in 739 and shortly afterward became a capital of the Carolingians. The only imperial free city in the Duchy of Bavaria from 1245, Regensburg was exceedingly prosperous in the 12th–13th century. It was taken by the Swedes and later by imperial troops in the Thirty Years' War (17th century) and was destroyed by the French in 1809. It passed to Bavaria in 1810. The astronomer Johannes Kepler died there (1630), and the painter Albrecht Altdorfer (d. 1538) was both a city architect and counselor.

Despite repeated bombings in World War II, Regensburg sustained little damage and most of its medieval buildings survived. Its imposing patricians' houses (12th–14th century) are unique in Germany; and the Steinerne Brücke (Stone Bridge; 1135–46) across the Danube is a medieval constructional marvel that was repaired after the war. The Cathedral of St. Peter (1275–1524) is one of the most important Gothic churches in Bavaria, with 14th-century stained-glass windows and two Romanesque chapels in the adjoining cloisters; its Boys' Choir (Regensburger Domspatzen) is well known. Other notable churches include the Romanesque St. Emmeram's, parts of which date to the 8th century (interior remodelled in the Baroque style); the Alte Kapelle (Old Chapel), the earliest parts of which date from c. 1000, with an elaborate Rococo interior; the 12th-century Romanesque Schottenkirche St. Jakob, founded by Irish monks; the 13th-century Dominican Church; and the Minorite Church (c. 1250–1350), incorporated in the town museum. The buildings of St. Emmeram's Abbey (founded 7th century) have been the palace of the princes of Thurn and Taxis since 1812 and there are remains of the 13th-century Herzogshof, the residence of the Bavarian dukes. The town hall (14th–15th century with a Baroque extension) contains the Reichssaal (c. 1350), in which the Imperial Diet was held from 1663 to 1806.

The city is an important cultural, industrial, and commercial centre, a road and rail junction, and a head of navigation on the Danube with a busy port area. Manufactures in the area include electronics, steel and motor vehicles, and wood. Regensburg is also a tourist base for excursions into the Bavarian Forest. The University of Regensburg was founded in 1962. Pop. (1989 est.) 119,078.

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  • Encylopedia Britannica 2002, Expanded Edition DVD