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Restoration and Development

Since the early 1960´s Regensburg´s historical buildings have been undergoing restoration. It continues to be an important process in protecting the World Heritage Site.

Blick von der Steinernen Brücke auf die Beschlächte (C) Stadt Regensburg Peter FerstlDonauansicht Stadt am Fluss © Stadt Regensburg Peter Ferstl

The "Old Town of Regensburg with Stadtamhof" was left largely unscathed by the destruction of World War II. In 1945 Regensburg was one of the few German medieval cities still standing, and so it´s protection became ever so more important. In the years immediately after the war two main issues arose over protecting the ensemble of historic buildings in the city.

1. It was deemed important to keep the core of the city attractive to business.

2. It was equally important to improve the living conditions of residents.

While most cities in Germany would create new urban plans and construct modern buildings on war ravished landscapes, Regensburg was obliged to restore its centuries-old residential quarters, so as to protect a unique example of German heritage.

In the Beginning...

Even though the task of restorin Regensburg was of national importance in the 1950´s, there were two issues that were at odds with one another. On the one side was the creation of a livable modern core with a conducive business environment. On the other side was the protection of historic buildings. In 1956/1957, the Academy of German Rural and Urban Planners formed a commitee for the State  of Bavaria which drew up guidelines for the protection of historic buildings. The guidelines clearly stressed the importance of protecting the exterior walls of historic buildings, as well as the building´s proportions. The guidelines would eventually impact all future planning. Moreover, they called for al responsible approach to interior modifications.

It was not until 1971 that laws were passed in order to provide aid for maintenance of the historic buildings of cities. in 1973 the Bavarian State Law for the Protection of Historic Sites was passed. These legal instruments greatly improved the ability to restore and protect historic cities. Today, historic buildings are especially well protected and maintained as a consequence of these legally entrenched statues. Since 1974 priority has been given to conderving individual historic buildings, as well as their maintenance, in compliance with the law.

General Objectives

It's not just about conserving Regensburg's historic ensemble. More importantly, it´s about residents and visitors being able to live and interact withing a functioning city. As a result the city council set a number of objectives for restoring the old town.

  • Our uppermost goal is to conserve the historic old town in its macro-structural and microstructural essence.
  • We must conserve the land use structure of the old town.
  • Existing residential use has priority over any other re-designation land use. The micro-structural element of individual ownership must continue to thrive.  
  • We must ensure that shops and small businesses, whether services or trades, can flourish.

Almost half of all the buildings within the ‘Regensburg Old Town and Stadtamhof’ ensemble have already been renovated.  This process has primarily taken place in the western part of the old town.  More recently, though, conservation efforts have taken place in Stadtamhof, and the north end of Ostengasse—the Donaumarkt.  Future efforts are anticipated in the northern and eastern parts of the old town.

Aside from the individual efforts that have helped conserve the city’s appearance, the municipal government has been developing concepts to protect and conserve the city’s overall image.  The following planning measures are currently being addressed:

  • the renovation of  public buildings

  • the development of a corridor between the old town and the main train station

  • the conceptualization of a "River City" plan for the area between the iron bridge and the old slaughterhouse

  • the restoration of the 850-year-old Stone Bridge

  • the conceptualization of a city lighting plan that encompasses the old town

  • the consultation of a professional committee about facade and building colour changes

  • the creation of an advisory board that examines any significant plan that affects the ensemble area