Art, architecture, history, travel

Posts tagged “Regensburg


The wall is gone 1989

She’s singing my song



21 Things to do while visiting Regensburg, Germany



  • Regensburger Dom St. Peter
  • The World Heritage SiteBecause of the city´s unique status as “the only authentically preserved large medieval city in Germany” the Old Town Regensburg with Stadtamhof” was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site on July 13th, 2006. The Old Town of Regensburg is an excellent example of an inner-European medieval trading town whose historical stages of development are well-preserved. The development of the trade from the 11th up to the 14th century in particular is illustrated thereby extraordinarily well Regensburg is one of Germany’s oldest towns

A. Some history

  • 179 A. D. The Roman fortress Castra Regina (fortress by the river Regen) is founded for the Third ltalic Legion during the reign of Emperor Marcus Aurelius.
  • Regensburg becomes the seat of the Diet of the Holly Roman Empire or First German Reich
  • The longest word in the German language: Donaudampfschiffahrtselektrizitäten­haupt­betriebs­werk­bau­unter­beamten­gesellschaft.
  • Regensburg, Ratisbon, Castra Regina the northern most point of the Danube is at the confluence of four rivers Laab, Naab, Regen, and Danube. This was the starting point of Christianization of the Czech people , and the diocese of Regensburg became the mother diocese of Prague

B. Famous residents

  • Pope Benedict XVI, his brother Alois was the choir director and still lives in Regensburg
  • Oskar Schindler Haus
  • Albert the Great
  • Keplerhaus
  • Carl Theodor von Dalberg

C. Things to do and see

  • David and Goliath mural – don’t miss this one it’s your namesake
  • Jakobkirche (St James or Scotts church) people come from all over the world to study this church
  • When visiting Regensburg, going to the Alte Kapelle, which dates back to 875, is a must. While it has a modest exterior, this church has an ornate interior. Persons interesting in German history, art, religion, and architecture, will enjoy visiting this historic church. Used by Emperor Charlemagne
  •  Take a tour or walk around on your own and get lost-tours in English leave from the Stone Bridge at 1:30 in the summer
  • Donauufer walk along the bank of the Danube river. actually a dark green not blue at all
  • Steinererbruecke – Stone bridge used by crusaders
  • Bruckmandl
  • Medieval patrician towers
  • A historical interest is also attached to the  Gasthof zum Golden en Kreuz (Golden Cross Inn), where Charles V made the acquaintance of Barbara Blomberg, the mother of Don Juan of Austria (born 1547).
  • Art Forum East German Gallery Kunstforum Ostdeutsche Galerie
  • The Kunstforum is an excellent museum of modern art. It is dedicated to leading artistic personalities who grew up or worked in the German-influenced cultural regions of what is now eastern Europe. The collection of the Kunstforum consists of approximately 2,000 paintings, 500 sculptures, and 30,000 graphic pictures. 15 thermally regulated rooms display paintings that range from Classic Modern to east European present-day art.
  • Town hall

Tourist information office

Kaisersaal diet of the holy roman empire
Torture chamber Tour was very informative. The building is virtually untouched since the 1600s including furnishings, clocks etc… Even a totally original torture chamber with all original apparatus intact and in its original position. It was quite chilling to see.
  • City History Museum mostly in German
  • Astrolabe
    • Stone depicting the founding of Regensburg by Marcus Aurelius, oldest city for which date of which is documented

Museum This is a world class museum with an excellent exhibition depicting the history of Regensburg. The Roman history of the city is particularly well portrayed. Have a look at the models of the city as well as a model of Stone Bridge. It is however a shame that the curators did not provide more descriptions in English .

  • Schlosspark Thurn und Taxis
  • Maximillian Hotel
  • Hotel  Bischofshof
  • Porta Praetoria Roman Arch
  • Neupfahrrplatz
  • Top 10 sites according to Tourist information office
  1. Dom St.Peter-Cathedral
  2. Altes Rathaus-old town hall
  3. Historisches Museum-history of the city of Regensburg Museum
  4. Steinerne Brücke-old stone bridge used by crusaders
  5. Schloss Thurn und Taxis-castle
  6. Helenentor-Helens’s gate
  7. BMW Werk- Werksführung-BMW factory tour
  8. Segway Tours
  9. Radtouren-bicycling
  10. Wandern-hiking
  11. Schwimmen-swimming
D. Things to Eat
a restaurant serving game (Wild) I can’t remember the name but I think it was near the town hall it may not even be there any more. Besides German there are also some excellent Greek and Italian restaurants.
  • Arnulfsplatz  Kneitinger Kniepe doppelbock seasonal dark beer. Service is slow but worth it
    • 4.42/5  rDev n/a
    • look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.
    • Color is dark brown to amber-red with hints of orange in the light. Aroma is typical Pils/Münchner malt, very sweet with caramel forward, a slight citrusy/lemony aroma… a hint of hops in the nose, too. It’s 6.5%.
    • In the initial drink you can taste the alcohol on the front of the tongue, a very slight burning sensation all over the tongue. It’s very caramel & malt forward in taste, slightly sour in the back with not a strong but noticeable bitterness from Noble hops – in the back and aftertaste only, though. The mouth feel is thick and süffig, inviting you to drink more. It comes across a little like a caramel and beer flavored brandy. On the sides of the tongue I get black or deeply roasted malt bitterness, too. Overall, very good, very süffig, like drinking a malt, caramel, alcohol induced candy. süffig=light and sweet
  • Dampfnudel Uli this one is for Marian
  • The dumplings are sweet and light, the crust is crispy all is served with light custard sauce, not sticky just a pleasure to eat. Uli himself has been making dumplings for a very long time and he still does it! The whole restaurant is worth to visit.
  • Stella Eis cafe Regensburg Italian ice cream and crepes
  • historische wuerst Kueche You’ve had Wiener, Frankfurter, and Hamburger so now try a Regensburger. Yes, it seems every town in Germany has its own sausage. There is even a Nurnburger. some people rave about this place if you like sausages oldest sausage kitchen in Germany. Worth a peak in the window even if you don’t eat anything.
  • There are no set rules for tipping. In most cases a service charge is included in the price of meals in restaurants. Tipping can vary from place to place and, depending on the quality of service, can range from rounding up to the next euro to 10 percent of the total bill. Always tell the waiter or waitress how much you want to pay. If, say, the bill was €11.70, say “12 euros, please.” The practice of leaving money on the table is all but unknown. When it’s time to pay just say zahlen.bitte. They will never bring the check until you ask. If you want a receipt ask for ein Beleg, bitte.

 E. Getting there

  • One hour from Nurnberg two hours from Munich by train
  • Donau-Isar-Express (DIEX)
  • Note the Regensburg Hauptbahnhof (central station) is one of 85 DB Kategorie II stations all Kategorie I und  II have facilities for luggage lockers and storage
  • Walk out of the train station to Maximillian strasse. Head north. Leads directly to the old town on your left, about 15 minutes walking.
F. What others have said
I enjoyed the Dom St. Peter – a Gothic cathedral – large, dark, mysterious. It is interesting to contrast it to the interior of the Alte Kapelle (chapel) which was remodel to the rococo style. They are only a couple blocks apart.
Just walking through this town is pleasure. There are many squares connected by alleyways. You always turn the corner to something interesting. The Altes Rathaus (old town hall), the Danube river front and the Porta Praetoria (Roman ruin) are the places that I make sure to see along the way.
My wife took the tour of the Thurn and Taxis palace, formerly the famous St. Emmeran’s Abbey. It is still occupied by a German princess that allows it to be show as part of a tax settlement. My wife really liked it.
Regensburg is one of our favorite cities and we are returning there this December.
“A must ”
 Reviewed June 18, 2015 NEW
As a world heritage site it is unique, was the only town not bombed during the wars. It’s beautifully maintained and gorgeous to wander through. Great shops, coffee shops and the oldest sausage Restaurant in Germany. Highly recommend
“Germany’s UNESCO world heritage site on River Danube”
 Reviewed May 10, 2015
Regensburg’s charming Old Town was one of the few cities spared from the WWII destruction. Many original architectures had survived from the bombing thus makes it the best preserved Medieval city in Germany. Once a Free Imperial City of Roman Empire, its strategic position between Rivers Rhine and Danube made it a commercial and political power house from the Roman time onward. Old town is famous with its main Gothic Cathedral Dom (St. Peter) and many Evangelical churches. The arched Stone Bridge built across Danube to connect old town to the other side of the Danube was regarded as the eighth wonder of the world when was completed in 1146 and today is regarded as Germany’s oldest arched stone bridge with some sections are still in their original conditions. Touring of the old town is best by foot or bikes. There are morning farmer’s markets located in different Plätze of the town; offer fresh picked vegetables, flowers, pickles, honey, fruits and cheeses. As a solo traveler, I often take advantage of sampling local specialties at the markets. If you have energy and strength, take a visit to the Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, pay 2 euros and 102 steps up you have panorama views of the red roofed old town beneath you. The Tourist Information center is next to the Rathaus. The Gothic Dom towers and façade were under renovations when I visited. The Old Chapel (Alte Kaeplle) a collegiate church of Our Dear Lady dated from Roman times. The Romanesque basilica was rebuilt in the Bavarian rococo style in 18th century. The new organ was dedicated by Pope Benedict XVI in 2006 during his visit to Regensburg. This is the only organ instrument has ever been blessed by the Pope in person. Chapel celebrated 1000 years in 2014. Inside the sanctuary is richly decorated with frescoes and the gilded ceiling. The town’s 900 years old restaurant Wurstkuchl and the oldest running fast food restaurant in the world is nearby the Danube hofen where cruises docked. Its famous bratwursts are stilled grilled in the same original kitchen exists since town’s Stone Bridge was under construction in 12th century. One white bratwurst sandwiched in a roll with stone ground mustard and sauerkraut was 2.40 euros. The stone bridge was also under renovation during my visit, but accessible. Nearby the bridge tower gate is the Salt Barn and the Regensburg’s UNESCO’s world heritage center with exhibits of UNESCO world heritages and Regensburg itself. Suggest 3-4 hours walking tour by yourself or join the city tour with fees and do not miss Wurstkuchl’s bratwurst roll, a must to have experience for every visitor to Regensburg.


Travels in Germany 1978 map

My travels

My travels



Kallmunz was a village north of Regensburg on the Naab river a left bank tributary of the Danube, where Kandinsky lived a short time in 1904 during his formative period.

Napoleon was hospitalized at the Karthauspruell abbey after being wounded at Regensburg in 1809.

Kloster Pruefening west of Regensburg has the largest Roman cemetery in Germany.

Things about Germany that are German

  • Lederhosen
  • Gummibären
  • Oktoberfest
  • Max Beckmann
  • Wasily Kandinsky-Bauhaus Desau
  • Universities
  • German Expressionism
  • Protestantism
  • Black Forest tort
  • Beer and hundreds of kinds of sausages
Kloster Prüfenig

Kloster Prüfening


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I Spent a year in Germany Part 2

Bakery for Dampfnudeln in the Baumburger Turm ...

Bakery for Dampfnudeln in the Baumburger Turm in Regensburg, Germany (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The spring term brought the opportunity for more travelEnglish: Twilight panorama of Regensburg, Germany
English: Twilight panorama of Regensburg, Germany (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Andorra la Vella

University of Regensburg, Germany.

Semmelgebaeude University of Regensburg, Germany. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For spring break I had trouble finishing my term paper on Effi Briest. Ten pages in German. Effi Briest is a German novel by Theodor Fontane.  I read it for a class in German literature. Most of my friends were already gone, when I left for Paris by way of Frankfurt.  I was headed for Spain, Portugal and Morocco. I had a semester of Arabic under my belt and was looking for a chance to use it.

Effi Briest (1974 film)

Effi Briest

Paris was nice, my second time there. I have found Paris is best taken in small doses, besides I had other places I wanted to see.

I went to the Louvre. I got to see all of those ancient art things, I had studied last year. It wetted my appetite for Egypt even more. The train through the Pyrenees at night was fantastic with snow and bonfires. When I got to Andorra I was disappointed to find I wasn’t the only traveler there. I bought a pair of shoes and  some stamps and got my passport stamped. It’s quite a place nestled between France and Spain.

Spain When you cross into Spain at Port Bou you have to change trains because Spain uses a different bogey. Barcelona was nice.

Visited the University of Madrid which has another Vanderbilt Exchange program, one of four at the time.with others in France and England, the students were also out on spring break but I had a nice talk with the director. He seemed to appreciate my visit. This is a larger university than Regensburg. On the way back from Morocco I stopped in Cordoba and a festival at Valencia, where I saw a bull fight. I had to wait till 1992 to get to the Alhambra in Granada with Katie.

After Madrid, the train broke down on the way to Lisbon. We had to transfer to a bus. The trip took forever. Lisbon is a beautiful city on the Atlantic ocean. It’s the western most city in Europe. After a few days in Lisbon, Portugal LIS Portela Airport I flew to Casablanca CMN مطار محمد الخامس الدولي on TWA.

Morocco Morocco is on the Atlantic Ocean. I could see the Atlas mountains in the distance. Someone needed my help.  A man was trying to write his girlfriend in English.  After I helped him he invited me to visit his home. I was taking Arabic so a visit to an Arabic speaking country was essential. Both of my grandmothers had been here. One loved it the other not so much. So I had to see for myself. Actually depending on your point of view, they were both right. More on that later.

English: The Atlantic Ocean.

English: The Atlantic Ocean. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Casablanca is a large port on the Atlantic ocean. There is nothing left here from the movie. I spent a lot of time just walking around looking at things. It is very interesting.

MSA you can only understand educated speakers

My first time in Africa, I also had time to visit the cities of Merakech, Fez, Rabat, and Tangier. Morocco has a shameful 40% literacy rate.

My dad’s friend Buck Morse had worked for Purina in  Tehran. The first time I saw Persian writing I was about nine. I thought you’ve got to be kidding, people can’t really read that. I must admit as a left-hander I was intrigued by the idea of a language written from right to left. No Hook. It is because the ancient stone writers held the hammer in their right hand and the chisel in their left.

When I told people I was studying their language they’d say,lets hear you read Arabic very nice Iqra!  I bought an Arabic book for kids called Iqra! . Things are different here.  The week ends on Friday. I love the music. Arabic music is based on maqams with a seven tone scale, unlike the western scale of eight tones.

On the way back to Germany I stopped to visit my friend in  Chalabre, France  near the medieval city of Carcasonne.

Carcasonne France

Carcasonne France

The train along the Mediterranean is beautiful. I also stopped in Geneva and Zürich, where I bought a watch for my birthday. I had that watch till I was 40  years old. It was a good one. It was a left-handed Heuer with the winding stem on the right side. I fell asleep by accident in the train and woke up in Milan. The closest I ever got to seeing Leonardo’s Last Supper.

Liechtenstein is located between Switzerland and Austria on the Rhine. also German-speaking country. Vaduz is the capital. Located on the Upper Rhine, Liechtenstein has a valuable art collection. So by now I had visited three of the five smallest countries of Europe.

Principality of Liechtenstein

Principality of Liechtenstein

I still haven’t made it to Monaco and San Marino the other two. By the time I got back to Germany my backpack was destroyed. Called our director to let him know I was fine. I couldn’t repair the backpack, so I had to borrow a suitcase. I also loaded up on supplies. Then took off for Scandinavia, the second part of my trip.

I was in Aachen for Easter. Then I left for Scandinavia. Stopping in Cologne, Bremen and Hamburg. Bremen is the home of the famous town musicians.

Denmark. Copenhagen and Hamburg. I met my friend Hilde in Hamburg and we took the train to Copenhagen. We had arranged it before. Her father worked for the Bundesbahn, so she got a discount and can ride anywhere in Germany for half price. I saw a special Iraq exhibit of Eshnunna statues from Iraq. I’ve been to Chicago twice and they haven’t been on display. This was a traveling show from Baghdad.  

Tivoli is a famous amusement park in Denmark. It was closed for the season. I went back with Katie, the kids, and Margaret in 1999 and got to see it. We had a great time. It just goes to show if you don’t get to do something the first time, there is always a chance for the future. I have learned in traveling if you try to do too much and see everything in one time you are just going to end up making yourself and everyone else miserable. When you get to a place that you have come along way to see you should see what there is to see there and not go rushing off somewhere else.


Stockholm: Gamla stan (Old town)

Norway and Sweden In Oslo  I visited Nazi defense resistance museum. and home of the Nobel Peace Prize.  Stockholm was the farthest north I got that year.

regensburg ratisbona

Regensburg graffiti


Union Station Saint Louis
Carl Miles Meeting of the Waters

The downtown reminded me of Regensburg. Downtown Stockholm is an island. The city hall Stadshus  looks like the Anheuser- Busch brewery in St. Louis. The best part of Stockholm was the Milesgaarden home of Swedish sculptor Carl Miles. It displays many of his works in an outdoor park setting. Miles did the design for the famous Meeting of the Waters sculpture outside the St Louis Union station. It is still cold here and things are expensive. I can’t wait to leave.  After a month of intensive travel I’m ready to get back to my studies and see my friends.

Austria  Later that Spring we went on a Uni sponsored trip to Vienna and Hungary. There is a direct train to Austria that passes by Melk Abby, and through the Wachau on the way to Vienna. I had a better visit to Vienna than the last time.

Italy  That summer I took the train to Rome, looking for Katie. It seems odd but at the same time she was in Germany with her brother looking for me. My daughter said what you were each looking for each other at the same time? Why didn’t you just email each other. Actually at that time snail mail was the only way and you had to write at least three weeks in advance just to be sure you had time to get a reply. Actually, I had a system worked out. When I had an idea about a place I wanted to go, I would write to the national tourist office for information and would read about the highlights, and others things that sounded interesting, before planning my trip. No internet in those days. Also a trip to the library was invaluable and just talking to someone who had been to that country before.

While in Rome the strangest thing happened, I got a telephone call in my room. I thought how odd, no one knows I’m here. It was my high school teacher. They invited me for dinner. Katie and I stayed at that same hotel on the Via Sistina on another trip to Rome years later.

My travels

My travels

My friend,Ted and I set off in search of our friends Roberto and Marisa, whom we had met in Turkey. We made a stop in Verona, the home of Romeo and Juliette.Verona is a medieval town on a river just like Regensburg. We Found Marisa in Arco a small town on Lake Garda the largest lake in Italy.We had to go to Bologna to find Roberto, where he was a student .

On another trip to Italy I visited the port city of Trieste. It was fantastic. I stayed in a youth hostel and saw a dolphin in the Adriatic. Home of James Joyce in the 1920. Near the border with Yugoslavia and hotly contested. I wish I could have stayed longer. Once part of the Austrian Empire. Remember captain von Trapp in The Sound of Music? It was the port of the Austro-Hungarian EmpireSitting on the border with Slovenia in northeastern Italy, it was annexed by Italy after WWI.


Austria Europabruecke

View through the Alps and the Europabruecke in Austria was fantastic. Italy seems irresistible to me. I’m studying for finals on the train. There were just too many distractions in Regensburg. The Summer semester in Germany was a short one. May was full of holidays. No one feels like studying much in July.


Tower in Regensburg, Germany part of former ci...

Tower in Regensburg, Germany part of former city wall (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We decided to go to Turkey for Christmas, Germany 1977-8

Basilica Cistern.

Basilica Cistern. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: The Pudding Shop restaurant, Istanbul.

English: The ceiling of the Basilica Cistern (...

English: The ceiling of the Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Sarnıcı) in Istanbul, Turkey, mirrored in the still waters. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 I spent a year abroad  in Germany.

Jack F. Matlock, Jr.

Ambassador Jack Matlock

Deutsch: Die Bibliothek der Hochschule Regensb...

Deutsch: Die Bibliothek der Hochschule Regensburg am späten Abend. Kirundi: The library of the University of Applied Sciences of Regensburg, Germany. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Germany Switzerland Italy
I did a lot of traveling with my friend Ted D., also from St Louis. Oh, you’re both from St Louis are you brothers? I had a friend at the bank and at the train station. They knew we liked to travel. I had the train schedule memorized. We were always looking for the best deal. He’d say where are we going this time boys.
Nederlands: Sinterklaas tijdens het Het Feest ...

Nederlands: Sinterklaas tijdens het Het Feest van Sinterklaas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We decided to go to Turkey for Christmas. If we could be with our families we wanted to go somewhere that wouldn’t remind us of home. The train was very crowded. This was going to be an adventure. The train left Munich for Austria and didn’t stop till we crossed the border.

Getting the visas and crossing the bordernew-years-count-up5

They tell you can get your visa at the border, but it is better if you get it ahead of time. This is done by visiting the consulate in another city  before your trip, filling out  a form, showing your passport and paying a fee. You might also have to give a photograph.

Yugoslavia, yes it was before the breakup. Slovenia, we had crossed the Iron curtain at Klagenfurt Austria for Maribor. The first of many times that year.

Jack Matlock told me although the Croatian  language is essentially the same as Serbian it is written in the Latin alphabet. I know many will dispute that statement so don’t get angry. When he met Germans who complained Americans couldn’t speak German he asked oh where do you go on vacation? Dubrovnik, then you speak fluent Serbo-Croatian.


Croatia: Zagreb is the capital of Croatia. It was our first stop. It was nice. It was also one of the coldest places I have ever been. The cathedral reminded me of Vienna. Zagreb consists of an upper and lower town. People gave me money for my coin collection.  I try to get the smallest circulating coin or billon from each  country I visit, also a cigar and a newspaper.This is a catholic country. Many Serbs are orthodox.
1922, Departure of Mehmed VI who was the last ...

1922, Departure of Mehmed VI who was the last Sultan of the Ottoman Empire (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Zagreb (Photo credit: Morton1905)

It has a beautiful and impressive fortress at the confluence of the Danube and Sava
Christmas in Belgrade was a Tuesday, besides being a communist country the few Christians celebrate on January sixth. A man smiled and handed us a pack of cigarettes. We smiled and took them. We didn’t smoke so later we gave them to the maid in the Hotel. The hotel was really far out by bus. In Belgrade we discovered the wonderful dish of kebapcisi. It is winter. It is cold here, but it is a fun city.

Even in those times Belgrade had a reputation for an active nightlife, especially in the Skadarlija (Скадарлија) area. I remember the Republic square, equestrian statue of Prince Michael, Art museum, and parliament.

St. Margrethen - Switzerland / Austria

St. Margrethen – Switzerland / Austria (Photo credit: Kecko)

They don’t have Santa Claus in Belgrade. He’s called the New Years man. they still have colored lights and New year’s trees and a nice outdoor market. It’s very festive. We enjoy looking at the things for sale in the shops.
Before we got to Niš an argument ensued. Half the people said the train was going to Athens the other Half Istanbul.


We rented a car and driver and personal guide for twenty dollars. I know they thought we were some kind of big shots. The woman was nice. The highlight was the Rila Monastery. We also went to the opera.

When I told my neighbor about my trip she said,I don’t even know where Bulgaria is and you’ve been there.

English: Belgrade Railway junction

English: Belgrade Railway junction (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Istanbul Istanbul Istanbul
The train pulled into Istanbul Sirkeci station exactly a week after we had left Munich.

In Turkey we met two Italians from N. Italy who spoke German, Roberto+Marisa. They became our friends. I corresponded with them for years.

We visited the great Istanbul Grand Bazar. The Pudding shop is a great place to meet people and exchange information. The food’s not bad either even the pudding. It’s loaded with hippies. Istanbul is truly a crossroads between east and west.

We visited the famous underground Basilica Cistern Yerebatan Sarnıcı

We stayed in a cheap hotel in Istanbul. It was clean and the people we nice and helpful. They had a full-time cook. I had fried eggs cooked to order everyday for breakfast. We celebrated new Year’s Eve at the hotel with our new friends. The movie Midnight Express had jut come out. Our friends in Regensburg were sure we would never make it back alive. It snowed that year in Istanbul. It get’s dark about five o’clock the same as St. Louis this time of year. Traveling is nice because the crowds are low.

Before we left my friend Beth gave me a language guide Turkisch fur auslander (Turkish for foreigners.) Turkish is an Altaic language, not related to European. At one time the Ottoman Empire occupied half of Europe.

On day when we left our hotel a black car pulled up. A window rolled down a man asked, would you like to  go to Asia? Istanbul museum bust of Alexander the great. At the Istanbul Museum we met some students from  Pakistan. They told us how much they liked the United States. When I looked at a globe later I realized we where closer to Pakistan than St Louis. The idea that you could drive across Asia. We met a lot of people from England who were doing just  that. We met others who were on their way back to England from Hong Kong, India, or Iran.

Topkapi palace is an unbelievable. It has the largest emerald I have ever seen, 3.5 kg. It was the home of the sulltans of the Ottoman Empire. Tea is served in little glasses, just like the ones I bought in Jerusalem. University it wasn’t safe. The hammam is the turkish bath. It is really nice.

Golden Horn Istanbul

Golden Horn Istanbul


We got to the bus depot at night we had to ask for help. It was very crowded. An argument ensued. Somehow we got on the right bus. I wonder ow it would work out today.

Taking the bus to Izmir our Italian friends decided to join us. They don’t speak English. We communicate with Roberto in German. He translates into Italian for her. She is mad at him. He has always told he speaks English, but he doesn’t. They are dating. We got a guide and visited the caravanserai and a carpet shop. People are nice they really want to be your friends. We saw some kids watching the Jetsons in Turkish in a shop on an old black and white tv. We took their picture.

Greece it was winter it was cold in Athens. I took a bus from Istanbul to Athens it took 26 hours. They Parthenon is fantastic. I met some friends from Regensburg and had lunch at her apartment. We played cards and talked. It was great. I was tired of walking around in the cold. the high was about 5 C.
Back in Germany
I got back to Germany just in time for classes to begin. Reversing my route for Athens to Thessalonica, Nis, Belgrade, Munich

The one day I got up early to see the Domspatzen they were having a guest  choir from Ukraine.


London:A Toby Jug for myself 1974

May Day Parade 1957. Left to right Georgy Zhuk...

May Day Parade 1957. Left to right Georgy Zhukov, Nikita Khrushchev, Nikolai Bulganin, Kaganovich, Georgy Malenkov, Vyacheslav Molotov and Anastas Mikoyan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

7/29 Monday London

Last day in London. I got up early today to get David a present. I think I have something for everyone now. I got a nice porcelain vase for my grandmother.

Finally found a Toby jug for myself. Harrods didn’t have any. Can you believe it?? After that I came back and went to a pub with Cindy to use the rest of my luncheon vouchers.

Flew back to Chicago on TIA, then back to St. Louis by bus. The longest bus ride of my life. I’m so excited. What a great trip! I had a great time and have so many new friends now. I can’t wait to tell my friends about it.

A week after I got home Richard Nixon resigned. August 1974.

FINIS! End of Post

Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev was born in 1894 to an illiterate peasant family in Kalinovka, a village near Russia’s border with Ukraine. To supplement his family’s meager income he began working at an early age, but despite this, and despite his father’s second job as a coal miner, Khrushchev’s family was unable to survive as farmers. In 1908 they moved to an industrial center in Ukraine, where young Nikita began working in a factory. It was the beginning of his activist career: at the age of 18, Khrushchev joined a group of workers who had organized a strike protesting working conditions. He was fired.

Khrushchev found another job but continued his activism, helping to organize strikes in 1915 and 1916. In 1917, after the Russian Revolution had ousted the Czar, Khrushchev joined the Bolshevik forces of the Red Army in the Russian civil war, serving as a political commissar. He was now a dedicated communist.

After the war, Khrushchev was given a series of political assignments and received his first formal training in Marxism at a Technical College. After graduation he was appointed to a political post in Ukraine, where Lazar Kaganovich, a protege of Joseph Stalin, was head of the Communist Party. Khrushchev joined Kaganovich in supporting Stalin in his power struggles against Leon Trotsky and Nikolai Bukharin. With Stalin’s success, Khrushchev’s career soared. In the 1930s Khrushchev was promoted from one political position to the next, until finally, in 1935, he became second in command of the Moscow Communist Party. In Moscow, Khrushchev oversaw construction of much of Moscow’s subway system, and in 1939 he became a full member of the Politburo.

Khrushchev’s rise to power coincided with one of the darkest periods in Soviet history: the Great Terror. During the 1930s, Stalin began a series of bloody purges to consolidate his power. The terror spread throughout the Soviet Union, and Khrushchev was part of it, denouncing several fellow students and workers as “enemies of the people” and willingly taking part in the extermination of the Ukrainian intelligentsia.

By the time Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, Khrushchev had been sent to head the Communist Party in Ukraine, which put him near the front lines. He saw the devastation of war first-hand as the Germans routed the Red Army, then again as the Soviets turned back the Nazi advance.

After the war, Khrushchev was called back to Moscow, where he soon became one of Stalin’s top advisers. When Stalin died in 1953, Khrushchev and Nikolai Bulganin won a power struggle against Stalin’s successor, Georgi Malenkov, and secret police chief Lavrenti Beria. Beria was executed, and Malenkov was forced to resign. Bulganin became premier, but Khrushchev, in charge of the Communist Party, soon became the dominant figure.

Khrushchev’s leadership marked a crucial transition for the Soviet Union. From the beginning, Khrushchev set out to make the Soviet system more effective by curbing Stalin’s worst excesses. In an historic speech to the 20th Party Congress in 1956, he attacked Stalin for his crimes — acknowledging what many people believed, but which no Soviet leader had ever dared mention. What Khrushchev dared not mention was his own complicity in those crimes.

Khrushchev’s advocacy of reforms contributed to a groundswell of independence movements among Soviet satellite nations in Eastern Europe. While promoting change, Khrushchev would not tolerate dissent: he supported sending tanks into Budapest in 1956 to brutally suppress a Hungarian rebellion. The Iron Curtain remained in place.

In relations with the West, Khrushchev’s tenure was marked by a series of high-stakes crises: the U-2 affair, the building of the Berlin Wall, and the Cuban Missile crisis. At the same time, he was the first Soviet leader to advocate “peaceful coexistence” with the West, and to negotiate with the United States on reducing Cold War tensions.

By 1964, his reforms had alienated too many powerful Soviet constituencies. A group of conservatives led by Leonid Brezhnev ousted Khrushchev, and he retired to a dacha in rural Russia, where he died in 1971.

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Bairisch als Sprachbezeichnung bezeichnet den oberdeutschen Dialekt, der in Ober- und Niederbayern, der Oberpfalz, in Österreich (Ausnahme Vorarlberg) und Südtirol heimisch ist. Im heutigen Bayern gibt es daneben noch das Schwäbische, das Ostfränkische, das Rheinfränkische und das Thüringische. Bairisch war einer der Hauptdialekte im späten 8. Jh. Bei den sprachlichen Merkmalen fällt auf, daß die zweite Lautverschiebung im Bairischen besonders konsequent vollzogen worden ist.


Bavarian, as a language designation denotes the upper German dialect, which is spoken native in Upper and Lower Bavaria, the Oberpfalz,  Austria (with the exception of the Vorarlberg) and South Tirol (Northern Italy). In  Bavaria of today, there also exist the dialects of Swabian, East Frankish, Rhine Frankish and Thuringian. Bavarian was one of the main German dialects of the late eighth century.  What is notable, linguistically is that the second sound shift is particularly consistent in Bavarian.

Simply stated, the Bavarian dialect is not spoken exclusively in the German Land/state of Bavaria, where other dialects are also spoken, but also in other countries such as Austria, Slovenia and N Italy. (trans. tcg)

Travels behind the Iron curtain 1978

Do we know what we are doing?

Travels behind the Iron curtain Spring 1978

We made or travel arrangements in East Berlin, they were only too happy to help and take our western money

Actually, I was glad, because it made things a lot easier

After four days in Berlin, we wanted to go to Prague/Prag with a stop in Dresden along the way, about 100 miles/160 km. This would mean crossing into East Germany. We had entered East Germany at the checkpoint alpha on the Hanover Berlin Autobahn and entered West Berlin  at the Wannsee crossing in southwest Berlin, the lesser known Checkpoint Bravo or Drewitz crossing.  We had already used this crossing to visit Potsdam, San Souci and the Cecelienhof home of the infamous Stalin, Truman and Atlee conference in August 1945. As an engineer my father never really understood the intricacies of the communist system. If there was a closer highway exit to where you were it didn’t make sense to use one all the way across town just because it was the only one open to foreigners. The communist system was based on control not convenience. My mother related being surprised that all of the intermediate exits on the autobahn were barricaded.

Soviet War Memorial Treptow, East Berlin

Communism, in practice, was never based on logic despite dialectical materialism. In those days, it was very unusual for people to travel though East Germany on their own outside of Berlin, especially Americans.People were suspicious. Got to Dresden too late to do anything but we did have a nice dinner and stay at a nice hotel.  Zittau is in Upper Lusatia home of the Slavic speaking Sorbs and near the German, Czech Polish tri-point. We couldn’t get rid of our East German marks before we left. We had the same problem after leaving Prag. My dad said you can only use so much food or gas. We cleared East German customs and drove about 100 feet and had to do the whole thing over again. The whole thing took about 3-4 hours. It was really terrible.

We didn’t get to do much sightseeing in Dresden but stayed at the Dresdner Hof, a very nice Hotel and ate at a very nice restaurant on the opposite side of the Elbe, the best in town. My mother desperately wanted to visit the porcelain factory at Meissen, but we were told emphatically that  it was not posible. The next morning we walked around the center of town much evidence of war. Then we had to leave. My mom and dad fell in love with the city and have visited three times including the rebuilt Frauenkirche.

1968 Prague spring Russian tanks

Frauenkirche Dresden restored and ruins

So much for the socialist brotherhood. The 60th anniversary of the great October socialist revolution. It was only 75 miles to Prag and it still took all day to get there. Prag is a beautiful medieval city with a cathedral, castle and even an ancient Jewish cemetery, also the home of Franz Kafka. It was a center of the Protestant reformation. This was, of course, before the split of the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993. Czech was known for its Olympic athletes, fine porcelain and crystal. We visited some of the fine taverns in downtown Prag such as U supa and sampled the fine draft beer and wine.

It was the time of the ice hockey world championship, Eishockey Weltmeistershaft and very hard to get a room. We let fath out of the car and after an hour he came back with a room. Some people saw the L on our car and were convinced we had driven from Lebanon. They had never heard of Luxembourg. That’s where my parents had picked up the car just outside of Trier. Another point my mother remembered was breakfast at the Park Inn Hotel. A four star hotel. It’s still there. Not far from downtown on the Vlatava. The base of the old Stalin monument which was removed shortly after his death.Apparently some of the ice hockey players were staying at the same hotel. They were huge from the eastern bloc . . . And one athlete ate as much as the three of us. St. Vitus is the  name of my dormitory in Regensburg.  The main cathedral in Prague is also named after St Vitus. Originally from Sicily, St. Vitus is revered as a saint in Germany and Latvia among other places, especially Nuremberg and Bavaria. He is one of he Vierzehnheiligen or holy helpers.

English: A view of the interior of St. Vitus C...

English: A view of the interior of St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague, Czech Republic. Nederlands: Het interieur van de kathedraal van de heilige Vitus in Praag, Tsjechië. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Our room at the Park Hotel, a big fancy place on the other side of the river. I think it is still there. The base of the Stalin statue was still there but the statue has been removed. We checked into our rooms and turned in our passports. This turned out to be a big mistake. As Dad pointed out 35 years later, we were soon asked to change to a different room. When you turn in your passport they put it in the slot for your room. When we changed rooms they forgot to move our passports. When we went to check out they said they couldn’t find our passports. So there we were behind the Iron Curtain without our passports. I had forgotten about this but Dad said he won’t forget it as long as he lives. We also visited the famous Karlsteyn castle outside of Prague.

Drove from Tabor in southern Bohemia; this was all behind the iron curtain to Vienna. We crossed the border to Austria at Nova Bystrice and Haugschlag in the Waldviertel in Austria, somehow missing Czeske Krumlow and Budevice (Budweis.)

Prague Stalin

Prague Stalin

It was a gray, humiliating and time consuming experience including a minimal currency exchange unlike the instant border crossings we were used to. It’s difficult to grasp what this actually means. It was the same for the Soviet Union. See yes there is more

There was often intense pressure from friends and family not to go at all and support the communist system. Border crossings definitely interfere with sightseeing and other things even in Hungary and Bulgaria.

I was a boy when the Red Army invaded the CSSR in the spring of 1968, but I remember vividly talking to my father about it. Many of the custodians,. At my school there were refugees from the 1956 Hungarian uprising. back then we called them janitors a reference to the Roman god of the household Janus more at January They knew when they left it was forever. They would never be allowed to return to Hungary.


Meissen cup and saucer



Prague tavern U supa

Czech author Franz Kafka

There is more to come . . . .

More travels behind the Iron curtain and Munich to Istanbul on the Istanbul Express

Return Athens to Regensburg January 1978

The only member of the Warsaw pact I missed was Romania. I have not been there to this day. Albania was closed and impossible to visit plus it was cold, winter and I had run out of time. JAS Bond again. Yugoslavia, including Skopje, not safe to go there. Loved Belgrade Orthodox Christmas Sofia, Plovdiv and Istanbul. My neighbor in Cincinnati said “I’ve never heard of Bulgaria and you’ve been there.”

The Visa scam you had to buy a visa and make a mandatory exchange of currency which had to be spent. Just try doing that in this wasteland of consumer goods. After working all day people stand in line to buy something without even knowing what it is. You also had to book your room in advance and always at a higher price than residents.

Personally I was always uncomfortable if I saw a sign, book or newspaper I couldn’t read. Indeed all alphabets including the Latin and Greek date back to the Phoenicians. That’s when I started my lifelong love of languages

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Blogging on Germany: REGENSBURG, BONN, BERLIN the 70’s

The remains of the East Tower of Porta Praetor...

The remains of the East Tower of Porta Praetoria from Ancient Roman times (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Brandenberg Gate Berlin


English: Coat of arms of Regensburg

English: Coat of arms of Regensburg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Carter was President and making a mess of things. He didn’t figure it out until his buddy Brezhnev double crossed him by invading Afghanistan. The Brezhnev doctrine stated that it was the duty of all socialist nations to aid brother socialist nations facing reforms or threats to  communist rule. Strobe Talbot said in Time magazine, it was a war the Afghans could never win. Jack Matlock, whom Katie and I would meet our senior year at Vanderbilt at the impact symposium had a different idea. He would also become ambassador to the Soviet Union. We also met a funny man from Texas who said he had run the CIA and been US ambassador to China–George HW Bush.

Carter ended up pulling us out of the 1980 Moscow Olympics. I guess the Pashtu’s aren’t the Hungarians and Afghanistan isn’t a flat country you can just run over with tanks in a few hours. Obama I hope you are listening. The Germans were alienated and thinking of deploying their own nuclear missiles and neutron bomb. Daily propaganda broadcasts came from over the Iron curtain from Czechoslovakia and Radio Luxembourg (Pirate Radio). America did its part with Radio free Europe.

If you’ve been reading my BLOG you know I lived in Germany.

My first time in Germany was in 1975. I took the train from Paris through Belgium and Aachen to Cologne. We took a Rhine cruise from Cologne to Mainz and then went to Heidelberg and Lucerne in Switzerland by bus. We ran into the health teacher and her husband from my high school. We had not arranged it. They were celebrating their wedding anniversary. I have always loved that stretch of the Rhine. I even took my parents and my wife there on separate trips. One of my first paintings was of the Rhine a huge mural which now hangs in my basement. When I was in high school the German club painted another mural on the wall in my classroom.

1977 August Leave for Regensburg. Eight of us left Chicago for Reykjavik and Luxembourg via Icelandic Airlines and then on to Regensburg by train after a few days of sightseeing in Luxembourg. The allied military cemetery is very impressive as is the rock fortress, the rock of the bock.

I learned a very import word in German umsteigen it means change trains that is get off of the train you are on walk to another platform with your luggage and change to a different train.

Lived in Regensburg Germany in Bavaria for a year studying Chemie, Germanistik and Philologie (linguistics) and Arabic because Chinese was offered at the wrong time. I believe in taking advantage of every opportunity as it presents itself. I continue this philosophy to this day. My specialty is starting new things. I’m the one to ask what to do when you don’t know what to do.

During the American occupation of Germany after the second world war there was a feeling that elitist tendencies among universities in Germany had contributed to the rise of Hitler. To counter this the Americans demanded a radical increase in the number of universities; thus in a country that had about a dozen universities before the war there were now to be 20 or so in Bavaria alone.

Thus although Regensburg is one of the five oldest cities in all of Germany its University was started in 1965 with the first lectures held in 1967. Plans for a University at Regensburg had been discussed as early as the 17th century and before. Thus the University of Regensburg now 40 years old I was a student there in 1977 when it was just 10 years old and everything was brand new. There was no MacDonald’s in Regensburg at the time and the A3 Autobahn had not been built and was just in the planning stages.

Regensburg has a town charter dating from 179 ad from Marcus Aurelius. It was originally a Roman garrison on the Danube, Castra Regina in the Roman colony of Rhaetia with its capital in Augsburg. Regensburg did not suffer much bombing damage during the war and is one of the best preserved medieval cities in Germany. Regensburg became a bishopric in the early 8th century.Regensburg was a major city in Germany in Europe by the 10th century. By the 1100’s with the only bridge over the Danube it was making a fortune on salt trade with Kyiv and Venice, until the Mongol invasion put an end to that. The richest woman in Europe Gloria von Thurn und Taxis lives in a castle in Regensburg. The current pope Benedict XVI is from Regensburg. His brother still lives there and was the director of the cathedral choir for many years.

Holy Roman Empire Imperial Diet meets in Regensburg for 150 years.

Protestant Reformation N. Germany the 30 years war was a disaster for Germany

Napoleonic Wars Napoleon is wounded here for the first and only time. He took a bullet in the knee.


He levels half of Regensburg in revenge. That’s the part east of Maximillianstr. dating from 1807 that’s the “new” part of the city. Robert Browning memorialized it in  famous poem.

Bonn is the capital of divided Germany. It is a city on the Rhine. It has a University and is the home of Ludwig von Beethoven. It is not far from Cologne home of the great gothic cathedral and Conrad Adenauer the father of modern Germany.

November Berlin This month our group made a trip to the divided city of Berlin. About 30 of us. Sharon had to stay behind because her father is in the military. Fears of blackmail, kidnapping and the like. Because our director is German we have to cross into East Berlin at Friederichstr. Or Checkpoint alpha. Checkpoint Charlie is for Americans only. I’ll cross back into West Berlin there later that night.

Cafe Moskau, Berlin Ost

Berlin is dived into four zones of occupation since the end of WWII, British, American French and Russian, Since 1949 the French British and American zones have been untied into the free city of West Berlin. The German government has subsidized our trip lest people abandon the citizens of W. Berlin which lies well into the territory of East Germany.

When my parents visit me in the Spring we visit West Berlin and then Drive to Potsdam and Dresden. It takes hours to cross the border into the DDR in our car. We also visited Prague and Vienna on that trip. I was ready this time. Munich, Salzburg (were I spent my 21st birthday), the Black Forest, Stuttgart–the ancestral home of my great-grandmother, Trier and the Rhine and Regensburg of course.

Staying at a German Gasthaus way out on the Heerstrasse. Our director has negotiated to get one bath per day instead of once a week, including breakfast.

BMW Headquarters, Munich

Emperor Charlemagne

Koelner Dom:Gothic Cathedral of the city of Cologne

Amsterdam visiting with Ted D.

Vienna—Fall 1977 didn’t meet Gigi there it was too soon

Wien, Austria visited twice that spring 1978

1978 Easter City of Aachen home of Charlemagne.

April Berlin I liked it so much I took my parents

Nuernberg met my Granparents and took them to Regensburg by train with their friends the Smiths


Vatican City




Black forest tort:Schwarzwaldtorte

Rothenburg ob der Taauber German romantic road








ITALY:Trieste, Verona, Bologna, ARCO Lake Garda, Roma

Nuremberg Chistmas market Christkindlmarkt

1988 ACHEMA Frankfurt a M

1989 Envitech Duisburg/Duesseldorf

1991 ACHEMA Frankfurt a M again

Flew to Berlin via Hamburg from Atlanta then on to FFM by train

1999 Berlin Kiel, Ostseekanal Rostock

autodidact, modern scientist, artist and inventor

A neon sign commemorating Soulard Mardi Gras f...

A neon sign commemorating Soulard Mardi Gras from 2006 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ted Gast, an autodidact, is a modern scientist, artist and inventor , who began working with papermaking in 1998. What began as a method of repurposing used cotton clothing to illustrate the tensions between the old industrial and information age to a new sustainable industry based on an ideal of cradle to cradle methods of production. In his Art, he promotes this theme, by showing the progression from textiles to paper, and including clothing tags, unpulped fibers, as well as half formed paper sheets.   Gast first began working with paper in high school when he made his own chromatography plates from cellulose by hand for a science project. He currently focuses on raising awareness of the lost majesty of the industrial Midwest laid to waste.  He expresses himself with bold colors and a variety of repurposed materials. First exposed to the works of William Morris, Ernest Trova and Dard Hunter, Ted’s work reminds one of the style of the abstract expressionist painters. His work is propelled by a childlike play of shape and color, and often displaying underlying mathematical formulae or element of chemistry.

Ted Gast is an American artist whom some describe as a neo-fauve, but he describes his goals as repurposed industrial waste and sustainability. Gast was born in St. Louis, MO. Always interested in new uses for old materials Gast and a partner recently formed a company to produce high quality post consumer cotton paper from repurposed textiles and rags.

He has been strongly influenced by his German heritage – both sides of his family emigrated from Germany to St Louis, An appreciation for art runs in the family – his great-great grandfather was an immigrant to St. Louis from Trier, Germany and was an ecclesiastical sculptor.

At the age of twenty he spent a year of study in Bavaria at Regensburg studying chemistry, the German language and linguistics. Mr. Gast also studied ancient art and art history. Gast has also visited some the finest Art museums in China, Japan and Thailand; as well as Paris, Vienna, behind the Iron Curtain to Belgrade, Berlin and Budapest. Regensburg has also produced the latest pope, Benedict XVI.  The influence of Bavaria, riparian Regensburg and the Danube are still apparent in Gast’s work, and dovetail with his origins along the Mississippi river. Ted lives with his wife of 27 years in Richmond Heights, MO and has two children.  Ted maitains his studio in a 99 year old former dairy building in the historic Soulard district of St. Louis.