Regensburg

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Regensburg is a city in south-east Germany, situated at the confluence of the Danube, Naab and Regen rivers. With over 140,000 inhabitants, Regensburg is the fourth-largest city in the State of Bavaria after Munich, Nuremberg and Augsburg. The city is the political, economic and cultural centre of Eastern Bavaria and the capital of the Bavarian administrative region Upper Palatinate.

The medieval centre of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a testimony of the city's status as cultural centre of southern Germany in the Middle Ages. In 2014, Regensburg was among the top sights and travel attractions in Germany.[1] Generally known in English as Ratisbon until well into the twentieth century, the city is known as Ratisbonne in French and as Ratisbona in Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.

Geography

Topography

Regensburg is situated on the northernmost part of the Danube river at the geological crossroads of four distinct landscapes:

  • to the north and northeast lies the Bavarian Forest (Bayerischer Wald) with granite and gneiss mountains, wide forests and its national park
  • to the east and south-east is the fertile Danube plain (Gäuboden) which are highly cultivated loess plains
  • the south is dominated by the tertiary hill country (Tertiär-Hügelland), a continuation of Alpine foothills
  • to the West is Franconian Jura (Fränkische Jura)

Climate

The climate in Regensburg is categorized in the Köppen climate classification as Dfb (humid continental). The average temperature of 8.5 °C is slightly above the German average (7.8 °C), the average precipitation of 636 mm per year below the German average (approximately 700 mm). With a total of 1670 sunshine hours per year, Regensburg is roughly 120 hours above German average.[2]

The warmest month of the year, on average, is July. The coolest month of the year, on average, is January.


Culture

Theaters

The Regensburg Theater at the Bismarckplatz is 200 years old and is the most important theater of the city. Operas, operettas, musicals and ballets are shown. In summer, open-air performances are carried out as well. With the theater at the Bismarckplatz as the oldest and largest one, the Regensburg theater has four other stages with programmes that complement each other:[3] in the Neuhaussaal of the theater at the Bismarckplatz, concerts by the Philharmonic Orchestra Regensburg take place. The Velodrom Theater presents musicals and plays. In the Haidplatz Theater mainly literary and modern plays are performed, whereas the Turmtheater at the Goliathplatz shows modern plays as well, but also cabarets, musicals and plays for children.

Events

Twice a year takes place the Regensburg Dult, the city's Volksfest, which is Bavaria's fourth largest. The Bürgerfest (citizen celebration) in the Old Town is every two years, attracting over 100,000 visitors. Every second weekend in July, knights and other medieval people come together at the Regensburg Spectaculum, a medieval market, on the Stone Bridge. Every December, there are several Christmas markets all over the city.

Nightlife

With over 500 bars, restaurants, clubs and other locations merely in the inner city, Regensburg provides a rich and diverse nightlife due to its young population.

Demographics

Population

In 2013, Regensburg had 140,276 inhabitants, making it the fourth largest city in Bavaria. Over the last hundred years, the city has experienced a strong increase in population, surpassing 100,000 inhabitants in 1945 due to Germans who were ethnically cleansed from eastern parts of the Third Reich, especially from the Sudetenland. Today, Regensburg is one of fastest growing cities in Germany and is supposed to reach 150,000 inhabitants in the near future.


Politics

Government

The Lord Mayor and the City Council are elected for a period of six years. Both elections take place at the same time. The City Council is composed of 51 members and includes the Lord Mayor, two deputy mayors, five counsellors and the other council members.

Boroughs

Regensburg is subdivided into 18 boroughs (Stadtbezirke). Each borough contains a number of localities (Ortsteile), which can have historic roots in older municipalities that became urbanized and incorporated into the city.


Infrastructure

Transport

Regensburg Hauptbahnhof (central station) is connected to lines to Munich, Nuremberg, Passau, Hof, Ingolstadt and Ulm. The city lies also on two motorways, the A3 from Cologne and Frankfurt to Vienna, and the A93 from Holledau to Hof.

The local transport is provided by a bus network run by the RVV (Regensburger Verkehrsverbund).

Energy

Regensburg's energy is mainly supplied by the German company E.ON, one of the world's largest electric utility service providers. Its subsidiary Bayernwerk runs the local hydropower station in the Danube River. In 2012, about 9,1% of the total electricity consumption was generated by renewable energy sources, about 5,1% of the total heat consumption were generated by renewables.[4] Both figures show, that Regensburg is behind other Bavarian cities in this context. Therefore, the municipal government presented an energy plan in 2014, which should enhance the transformation towards renewable energy sources over the next decade.

Health

Regensburg hosts one of the most modern university hospitals in Europe, the Universitätsklinikum Regensburg. Aside, there are several other renowned hospitals such as the Krankenhaus Barmherzige Brüder and the St. Josef-Krankenhaus. In the Bezirksklinikum, mental diseases are treated. With 19,4 hospital beds per 1000 residents, Regensburg owns the fourth highest density of beds per residents in Germany.[5] Concerning medical doctors per residents, Regensburg obtains the third place in Germany (339 per 100,000 residents).[6]

The city's BioPark, representing Bavaria's second largest biotech cluster, hosts numerous research institutions and biotech companies.

Education

Universities and academia

Regensburg is known for its institutions of higher education. The biggest of those is the University of Regensburg. Founded in 1962, it is one of Germany's youngest institutions and ranked among the Top 400 universities worldwide. Among the prominent thinkers associated with the institution are Pope Benedict XVI, Udo Steiner and Wolfgang Wiegard. The campus is situated in one area together with the Regensburg University of Applied Sciences.

Since 1874 there has been a College of Catholic Music, the Hochschule für Katholische Kirchenmusik und Musikpädagogik Regensburg.

Research

In addtition to the research centres and institutes of the universities, there are several research institutions situated in the city of Regensburg. Among them are the Institute for East and Southeast European Studies (IOS), the Regensburg Centre for Interventional Immunology (RCI), the Fraunhofer Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine (ITEM) and the BioPark, the Bavarian biotech cluster.

Schools

Regensburg is home to 18 elementary schools. There are several institutions of secondary education, both public and private, representing all levels of the German school system. There are eight Gymnasiums in Regensburg, five Realschule, six Hauptschule and four vocational schools (the so-called Berufsschule). In addition, there are several folk high schools with different specialisations. Aside, there is the Swiss International School which is offering families an international educational infrastructure.[7]

Notes

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