The Bend on the River
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Regensburg? What is there to see in Regensburg?
Regensburg? What is there to see in Regensburg?" We are in Munich. My friends, a Russian couple living in Germany with their young son, are casting about for a suitable day trip. To the west is the fabled Black Forest, in the south the serene shores of Lake Constance. The attractions of the north include picturesque medieval cities such as Nuremberg.
As per the customs of modern life, he who drives the car gets the casting vote. Regensburg wins — it is a three-hour drive away. Also, it is a medieval town, next to the Danube and getting there entails driving through the Bavarian forest. All the virtues as it were.
Regensburg is located on the northernmost bend of the mighty Danube. The Proto-Indo-Europeans named the river after the Vedic goddess Danu, the mother of the Danavas who rather in the manner of the Titans, fight and are ultimately defeated by the Devas.
Flowing from its origins in the streams of the Black Forest, the Danube describes a great curve to the north before it angles back and flows down, eventually draining into the Black Sea more than a thousand kilometres away.
The river for many centuries formed the northern boundary of the Roman Empire, a barrier against the turbulent Germanic tribes. When these barbarians began making incursions into Roman territory, Emperor Marcus Aurelius launched a series of campaigns against them to stabilise the volatile front. It was against these tribes that Russell Crowe flashed muscle and unleashed hell in Gladiator.
As part of the war, in 179 AD it was decided to build a stronghold on the frontier. The strategic confluence of the Danube and Regen rivers, which already had a small Roman presence, was significantly enlarged and fortified. The Castra Regina was established, which would be the nucleus around which Regensburg would eventually grow.
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