Eight questions for...

Hans Schaidinger, mayor of the city of Regensburg

When I visit the World Heritage Site of Regensburg, what should I definitely not miss?

I'll tell you the perfect strategy, to make sure you don't miss anything - begin your visit in the World Heritage visitor's center in the Salzstadel salt storage. That will give you a good first impression and lots of information on Regensburg and its history. It's the ideal place to figure out what you want to see. The core area of the World Heritage Site can be easily explored on foot.

What do you particularly like here?

My office is in the old town hall, very close to the Reichsaal, where the Perpetual Diet of Regensburg convened from 1663 until 1803. So for me the combination of the old town hall and the Reichssaal has a special attraction.

Do you have an insider tip?

If you amble along the narrow labyrinthine alleys you should take a look upwards: this can open up some unexpected views. You can see the cathedral spires reaching up or watch how clouds drift past the high Dynasty Towers of the patrician families. These towers earned Regensburg its epithet as Italy's northernmost town.

What impressed you most during your first visit here?

The town's diversity and liveliness - the interlocking innovation and tradition. The World Heritage Site Regensburg is not a museum, but an inspiring, modern, but at the same time historically unique town.

Which time of the year is the most attractive here?

Lovers of Italy would immediately say - in the summer. The street cafés are packed, there are concerts and so much life takes place outdoors. But for me Regensburg in winter, with its picturesque Christmas markets, also has a special attraction. Spring and fall are best suited to those who prefer a little less hustle and bustle.

What else should I see here?

If you want to look at Regensburg from a higher vantage point, I can recommend a detour to the Winzerer Höhen, north of the Danube. You can walk through the greenery there and look down at the picturesque scenery of the town.

Visiting World Heritage Sites means working up an appetite. What regional specialty should I try?

There has been a historical Wurstkuchl sausage eatery right next to the Stone Bridge in Regensburg for over 500 years. You can get Regensburger Bratwürste sausages with homemade mustard there.

And which World Heritage Site would you like to see one day?

I have already visited a fair number of World Heritage Sites and I'd love to visit them all again. Because every single one is interesting. I plan to visit the Beemster Polder in the Netherlands next.

Hans Schaidinger

has spent most of his life in Regensburg.

After completing his university studies in economics he joined the city's administration in 1978. He went into industry in the 1990s, before becoming mayor of the World Heritage town in 1996. He has since been re-elected twice.