OLD STONE BRIDGE - GATE TOWER  .  Regensburg, Germany 6" x 8" x 4.5" tall





The Old Stone Bridge at Regensburg, Germany, is a 12th century bridge across the Danube linking the Old Town with Stadtamhof.  For more than 800 years, it was the city's only bridge across the river.  It stands as a marvelous tribute to the master medieval engineers who built it. 

The bridge originally had three towers, of which the South Tower - a Gate Tower to the Old City, survives.  It dates to around 1300.  The clock was added in 1648.  Next to the tower are the 16th century Amberg Salt Store and the later 17th century Regensburg Salt Store.  Beside the larger salt store, is the small "Sausage Kitchen", the oldest restaurant in the world.  A version of this restaurant was in existence in the 12th century when the bridge was originally built.  Like the name implies, they only sell sausages.

The bridge was built in only 11 years.  It has served as a model for other stone bridges in Europe - the Elbe bridge in Dresden, London Bridge, and Charles Bridge in Prague.  Today, this stretch of the river is used only by recreational shipping.  Larger craft bypass it to the north by means of the Regensburg-Danube Canal.  The bridge is closed to vehicles and is only used by pedestrians and bicycles. 

The Old Stone Bridge is as much a symbol of the city of Regensburg as is the beautiful Cathedral.  Today the city looks very much like it did in earlier centuries - thanks to being largely untouched during World War II.