Old town of Regensburg with Stadtamhof (2006)

Back to index

Germany 1978. Europa Stamp. The Old Town Hall, Regensburg.

Located on the Danube river in Bavaria, this medieval town contains many buildings of exceptional quality that testify to its history as a trading centre and to its influence on the region as of the 9th century. 

It has preserved a notable number of historic structures spanning some two millennia, including ancient Roman, Romanesque and Gothic buildings. 

  • Germany 1978. Europa Stamp. The Old Town Hall, Regensburg. 
Regensburg’s 11th - 13th -century architecture – including the market, City Hall and Cathedral, still defines the character of the town marked by tall buildings, dark, narrow lanes, and strong fortifications. The buildings include medieval Patrician houses and towers, a large number of churches and monastic ensembles as well as the Old Bridge, which dates from the 12th century. The town is also remarkable for the vestiges that testify to its rich institutional and religious history as one of the centres of the Holy Roman Empire that turned to Protestantism. 
  • Germany 2000. The Old Bridge (Steinerne Brücke), Regensburg. 

Germany 2000. The Old Bridge (Steinerne Brücke), Regensburg.

The below coin (token) shows a tramway coin from Regensburg, depicting a young clerk of the master builder of the bridge, who was in professional competition with the master builder of the dome. The young apprentice had to look at the dome every day and then report the progress to his patron. The sculpture of the apprentice on the bridge is a copy, since the original sculpture was often stolen. 

The Regensburg Tramway was built and constantly enlarged between 29th January 1911 and 1st July 1936. The closure of the first tramway line took place in 1955, and the last tramway ran its course on 1st August 1964. 

Germany. Tramway Coin, 1 Mark. Front: Mandl Bridge.

Germany. Tramway Coin, Back: Regensburger Strassenbahn 1 Mark.

Germany. Photograph of Bruck Mandl, Regensburg.

Regensburg is situated in southeastern Germany, in Bavaria, at the confluence of the Danube and Regen rivers. Undamaged during World War II (1939-1945), Regensburg is considered one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Germany. Among the many historical buildings here are Saint Peter's Cathedral (begun 13th century), the former city hall (14th-18th century), Saint James's Church (early 12th century), and Saint Emmeram's Church (5th century). Its abbey of the Benedictines became an important center of European learning, and the abbey's library contains more than 200,000 books and illuminated manuscripts. 
Saint Peter's Cathedral has maintained a well-known boys' choir for more than 1000 years, and has a museum of medieval and Renaissance church art. The city's Stone Bridge across the Danube (completed 1146) was the only Danube crossing for hundreds of years, and was the starting point of the second and third Crusades. The city is the seat of a university. 

A person particularly interesting for philatelists is Franz von Taxis, the founder of the German Post. The portrait on the right is an engraving on the basis of an anonymous painting (early 16th century) by the so-called Masters of Frankfurt, now on display in the Princely Palace of Regensburg. 

  • Germany 1967. Franz von Taxis. Portrait in the Princely Palace of Regensburg. 

Germany 1967. Franz von Taxis. Portrait in the Princely Palace of Regensburg.

Germany 1995. 750th anniversary of Regensburg as a Free Imperial City, showing a part of the relief on the old City Hall. The relief shows two symbolic figures "Schutz und Trutz", supposed to give protection against enemies.

Around 500 bc Regensburg was a settlement of the Celts. The Romans later utilized the community as a fortress city from the 2nd century to the 5th century. Regensburg became a free imperial city in 1245, which is illustrated through this German stamp issued 1995. 

  • Germany 1995. 750th anniversary of Regensburg as a Free Imperial City, showing a part of the relief on the old City Hall. 

    The relief shows two symbolic figures "Schutz und Trutz" [literally translated: defense and attack], giving protection against enemies. 

From 1663 to 1806 it was the permanent seat of the diet of the Holy Roman Empire and one of its most important commercial and political centers. Saint Albertus Magnus taught in Regensburg from 1236 to 1240 and was its bishop from 1260 to 1262. The painter and architect Albrecht Altdorfer spent most of his life in Regensburg. In 1810 the city became a Bavarian possession. 

Among the most notable residents of Regensburg may be mentioned Pope Benedict XVI, who was professor at the University of Regensburg 1969-1977, and classed as honorary professor until 2005, when he assumed Papacy after the late Pope John Paul ii. 

Regensburg is traditionally known to English speaking people as Ratisbon, derived from Latin "Ratisbona". In French the city's name is still Ratisbonne. 

Many thanks to Mr. Gerhard Reichert (Germany) for all help and support. 

Sources and links:

Other World Heritage Sites in Germany (on this site). Inactive links are not described on stamps. Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, section Germany for further information about such sites. 

Back to index

Revised 04 aug 2006  
Copyright © 1999 Heindorffhus 
All Rights Reserved