Valhalla, only about 12 kilometers down the Danube from Regensburg, was created in the early 19th century to honor German historical figures, artists and heroes.
Kevin and Sarah were both in town in early June. We took a cruise boat to the Valhalla site.
Sarah, approaching Valhalla.
This chapel along the Danube was begun under Frederick Barbarossa, the Holy Roman emperor who launched the Third Crusade from Regensburg in the 12th century.
Castle ruins and chapel in Donaustauf, between Regensburg and Valhalla.
Valhalla is a national memorial to Germans who contributed to history. It includes Charlemagne, Goethe, Schiller, Dürer, Einstein, and lots of others you would expect. It also includes Austrians like Mozart, Flemish painters Van Dyck and Memling, and Dutch William of Orange, as well as Swiss and Swedish figures, and even Catherine the Great of Russia, who had German ancestry.
Sophie Scholl, the Munich university student who was executed for printing anti-Nazi leaflets, was added to Valhalla in 2003.
Ludwig I, king of Bavaria, erected Valhalla in 1803. The view over the Danube valley is spectacular.
I find it ironic that this monument to German historical figures is named Valhalla, which is Norse, but the architecture is Doric Greek. Indeed, there is an odd ambivalence among Germans about Greek and Roman civilizations. On the one hand, they admire these southern cultures and cities like Regensburg make much of their Roman past. On the other hand, Valhalla enshrines Odoacer, Theodoric, Alaric, Ermanaric, and Athaulf, whose lives were devoted to overrunning and destroying the Roman empire.
I made a bike trip up the Naab River. This shows Kallmünz castle in the distance, as seen from the bike path.
This chuch building is in Pielenhofen.
Kallmünz, with the castle above. Wassily Kandinsky, the Russian artist, lived here for three months in 1904.
This castle was built in the 13th century.
Onion domes are a popular feature of churches across Bavaria.
The Naab valley, looking north from the Kallmünz castle ruins.