Friday, 2 May 2014

Cesky Krumlov and Regensburg

I left the boat at Linz on a coach and rejoined it at Passau. Nick stayed on board and sailed to Passau, following with a walk around the town. We stopped briefly at Rosenberg, a pretty village on the river, and were reminded it was May Day by the maypole.

Rosenberg on a quiet stretch of river
Cesky Krumlov is presented as the quintessential medieval village and it certainly is charming, though, as our guide said, so much of it has been given over to catering for the tourists that most residents now live on the outskirts and commute into the town for work. So there is a slightly Disneyfied air to the place, though the buildings are genuinely old…just retouched a bit perhaps.

The entrance is through a multilevel arched gate which looks Roman but is not. The Romans never crossed the Danube for settlements. Surprisingly, much of the original background is Celtic.Here the palaces are connected by this high walkway and inside are the towers of the nobility and the churches with their spires.

Entry gate with palace walkways above
Tower from which one mad king threw his wife
The large castle
Village rooves and the church
Within the town buildings have been repainted and repurposed to serve the legends and the tourists. This hotel was once the house of a drunkard, so legend goes, so a monkey painted in one window indicates this. I doubt it would have been so advertised at the time. Now a pretty place to stop on the square


The palace walkways make a great place from which to get panoramas of the village with its surrounding waterway


Back to the ship at Passau though no time for me to explore it.

An afternoon sail to Regensburg, past the Temple of Valhalla, an incongruous copy of the Parthenon,

was followed by a walking tour of the city. The guide set a cracking pace which took its toll the next day on knees and energy levels.

Regensburg was much more a city in its own right, very chic and with gorgeous shops. Its mighty cathedral was marred by the time it took to build, good times characterised with white limestone and worse times by yellowish sandstone. Now, as they clean the facade of centuries of soot and grime, they are left with a  patchwork of stone that not even its lacy spires can save from ugliness. However, I was rather taken with St Peter clutching his keys while inside his boat.

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Inside there is lovely glass, yet to be cleaned in most cases, and a beautiful altar. Soaring Gothic lines are appealing and they have kept the interior decoration rather spare. It may yet be beautiful and glowing when the cleaning is finished.


The architecture was really remnants of older times, with towers beside houses in the style of San Gimignano in Italy “I am richer than you because my tower is taller” and some charming courtyard houses preserved, and now used to house students.


Again, the signs for the older shops were unusual and pretty.

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The municipal buildings such as the town hall and very old hotels showed the importance of the city. Even kings stayed here.

Figures on the town hall door mean defend and attack
The grand hotel and tower
Regensburg official measures which seem bigger than those of other towns

The charming dirndl dress which is still worn by inhabitants on special occasions was on show in a shop.

By the time we staggered back to the boat, about a mile from the centre, we were pretty well ready for the nursing home. So while tomorrow is meant to be Nuremberg, for us it will be a rest day.

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