Friday, December 29, 2023

29th of December 2023 - Regensburg

Today we had the option of having a “Taste of Christmas” Frankfurt walking tour (as per the original schedule) or an additional option of a walking tour of Regensberg.  I chose the Regensburg walking tour.


Regensburg sits on the Danube river which I had not expected to see on this cruise.  It is the fourth-largest city in the State of Bavaria after Munich, Nuremberg and Augsburg.  Regensburg was founded as an imperial Roman river fort.  The medieval centre of the city was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2006 because of its well-preserved architecture, being the biggest medieval city site north of the Alps, and the city's historical importance for assemblies during the Holy Roman Empire.  Regensburg was also fortunate not to be particularly damaged during WWII.

We entered Regensburg by the Stone Bridge which is a 12th-century bridge across the Danube taking us into the Old Town.  Until the 1930s, the Stone Bridge was the city's only bridge across the river.


We were led by a guide through the old centre of Regensburg.  Thankfully this meant I had little chance to shop.  It was also great to see some sunshine for the first time on the cruise.

Regensburg Cathedral, also known as St. Peter's Cathedral, is an example of important Gothic architecture within the German state of Bavaria.


Parcel vehicle delivery vehicles are a little different in Rotherburg.

Although it was really chilly in Regensburg we found a sheltered courtyard where a tree had come into blossom.

After doing a little shopping I ended my visit to Regensburg sitting next to the Stone Bridge at the Wurstkϋche Regensburg which has been serving up sausages to dockworkers and now tourists for hundreds of years.  It is the oldest continually operating restaurant in Germany.  I sat there drinking a beer by the Danube watching people queuing for sausages in a bun.

The River Princess finally moved today along a canal up to Roth and back to Nuremberg.  The river levels were still too high for the ship to travel beneath the bridges.

Thursday, December 28, 2023

28th of December 2023 - Nuremberg World War II Art Bunker

Today we visited an art bunker in the ancient bedrock cellars under Nuremberg Castle.  This was established shortly after WWII began to store the city's most important art treasures..  The bunker is as much as 80 feet underground which meant that the art treasures survived the heavy air raids intact.

This last picture taken in the bunker shows some of the bombs and incendiary devices that had rained down on Nuremberg during WWII.

Our final visit of the day was to St. Sebaldus-Kirche, Nuremberg's oldest church, which was consecrated in 1273.  It  houses the shrine of St. Sebald, a hermit who, legend has it, was son of a Danish king who married a French princess and abandoned her on their wedding night to answer the call and come to the forests around Nürnberg to preach Christianity.


A centrepiece of St. Sebaldus-Kirche, is St. Sebald's tomb which is a brass monument that took 11 years to build.

A Coventry Cross of Nails  is a Christian cross made from iron nails, employed as a symbol of peace and reconciliation.  The original version was made from three large medieval nails salvaged from Coventry Cathedral after the building was severely damaged by German bombs during WWII.  Several hundred of these crosses have been given as gifts to various organisations, including St. Sebaldus-Kirche.  The nails in the cross are said by some to echo the nails with which Christ was affixed to the cross.

27th of December 2023 - Würzberg and visit to the Franconian village of Aschfeld

Würzberg is overlooked by the Marienberg Fortress which probably was built early in the 8th century by Franconian-Thuringian dukes.

Our visit to Würzberg started at the very lavish Würzberg Residence palace.

This magnificent 300 room Baroque palace was built under the patronage of prince-bishops in the 18th century by an international team of architects, painters, sculptors and stucco-workers led by the then unknown architect Balthasar Neumann.  In 1981 the Residence became a UNESCO world heritage site in recognition of its outstanding Baroque art, design, and architecture.

After leaving the Residence I visited the Court Chapel, also known as the Hofkirche, which has a separate entrance from the main palace.  The Hofkirche is small in size but richly decorated.

We then went on a walking tour of Würzburg which is the third largest city in Franconia located in the north of Bavaria.  Würzburg spans the banks of the Main river.

The rainwater from the recent storms was still rushing into the river by the Alte Mainbrücke which is the oldest bridge over the Main river.  We had a traditional sausage lunch in an old timbered restaurant by the Alte Mainbrücke overlooking the Main river.

After lunch we drove to the Franconian village of Aschfeld.  The 1200-year anniversary of Aschfeld was taken as an opportunity to turn the fortified church, which was used there as a storage cellar and storage, into a museum of local history.  In recent years, much of Aschfeld have been lovingly restored.

We also visited Aschfeld's fortified church with nativity scene as befits Christmas time.

26th of December 2023 - Boxing Day

Today I ended up spending a lazy day aboard the River Princess having overslept and missing the coach departure time.

One compensation was getting a couple of rather superb iced coffees for breakfast.

It seems that the River Princess is stuck in Nuremberg for the duration of the cruise however tours to the towns on the schedule are still being organised.  

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

25th of December 2023 - Christmas Day in Bamberg

Today we visited the medieval city of Bamberg, a UNESCO world heritage site, lying on the Regnitz River in Bavaria.  I forgot to bring my camera so the first three pictures supplied in this entry are sourced from the internet.

Our walking tour of Bamberg initially took us past the district in Bamberg's Island City known as Little Venice.  This district is characterised by half-timbered buildings squashed together along the riverbank.

We walked up through the medieval streets to the Altenburg castle which dates back to at least 1109.

The rest of this entry shows pictures of medieval Bamberg taken by Nizme , a woman from Puerto Rico who is also on the cruise.  It was very kind of her to send me her photos.

At the end of the guided walk some of us stopped to sample the local glühwein before returning to the coach.

In the evening some of the crew sang Christmas carols to us in the lounge.