Bavarian Danube - Regensburg, Passau and Neuburg

Prices from £2,180


27 Jun 2018 - 4 Jul 2018
Duration: 7 nights
Ref: 18DANU
With: Dr Ulrike Ziegler


Prices from £2,180
Single Supplement: £290
Deposit: £200

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On its way through Bavaria the Danube runs through narrow rocky gorges, densely forested landscapes, past spectacular monuments and busy market towns. At the river’s northernmost point lies the great Imperial Free City and Episcopal centre of Regensburg, a rich trading hub to which the river brought goods from the Balkans and the Orient. The old town is brimming with artistic and architectural highlights, from Roman remains to the Gothic cathedral surmounted by 19th-century neo-Gothic spires, but it is the virtually intact mediaeval townscape, listed as UNESCO World Heritage, which makes Regensburg so memorable.

The region’s other towns may be less well-known but are just as attractive: Passau is the capital of one of the oldest and largest dioceses of the Holy Roman Empire, Straubing harbours a precious Roman hoard, Landshut’s town palace of the Dukes of Bavaria gives a taste of Renaissance Italy north of the Alps, while Neuburg represents a fascinating Mannerist attempt to build an ideal city. The surrounding countryside invites exploration of an unspoilt landscape of cliffs, rivers and forests, which inspired Albrecht Altdorfer and the painters of the Danube School in the early 16th century to ‘invent’ landscape painting. Travelling by coach and by boat we will discover this less well-known, yet culturally rich part of Bavaria.


Dr Ulrike Ziegler studied art history and archaeology at the University of Regensburg and King’s College Aberdeen specialising in medieval art and architecture. Her PhD focused on art exhibitions and cultural politics of post-war Germany. She has taught at university and is now lecturing for various cultural institutions. She has organised and led many study trips in Germany and Austria. In addition to tour lecturing, Ulrike is developing Art Pursuit Abroad’s German programme.

DAY 1:

Morning flight at c. 9am with BA from London Heathrow to Munich. By private coach to the well-preserved Gothic town of Landshut on the Isar, once second residence of the Dukes of Bavaria. Perched above the town, Trausnitz Castle contains a stunning late-Romanesque chapel which is well worth the climb. From there continue to Regensburg for an introductory walk past the surviving Roman city gate to the mediaeval bridge across the Danube.

DAY 2:

Explore the unspoilt mediaeval centre of Regensburg on foot: the morning focuses on the Episcopal city, embodied by the Gothic cathedral embellished with beautiful sculpture and stained glass windows, while the afternoon is dedicated to the history and monuments of the Imperial Free City, such as the town hall, seat of the Perpetual Imperial Diet, and the wealthy burghers’ houses along the river and around several handsome market squares.

DAY 3:

In the morning the coach will take us from Regensburg to Kelheim overlooked by the Befreiungshalle, an enormous round temple built by King Ludwig I of Bavaria to commemorate the victories over Napoleon during the Wars of Liberation. Continue to the Benedictine monastery of Weltenburg, situated at one of the river’s most beautiful spots. Visit the Baroque church dedicated to St George, built and decorated by Cosmas Damian Asam in the early 18th century. After lunch take the boat through the Donau gorge to Kelheim and from there back to Regensburg.

DAY 4:

Excursion to the market town of Straubing, where the Gaubödenmuseum houses a stunning Roman treasure. The town’s main church of St Jakob is a splendid example of a Late Gothic hall church, while the basilica of St Peter is a Romanesque building virtually untouched by later interventions. In the afternoon return to Regensburg via the Neoclassical temple of the Walhalla, Ludwig I’s second great contribution to the landscape of the Bavarian Danube.

DAY 5:

By coach to Neuburg, capital of the Protestant Wittelsbach Duchy of Pfalz-Neuburg, descended from the Electors on the Rhine. Its mix of Renaissance, Mannerist and Baroque styles has no counterpart elsewhere in Bavaria. The palace towering above the Danube has a spectacular enfilade of grottoes and a small, but exquisite, Flemish Baroque gallery. The court chapel was the first custom-built Protestant church in Bavaria. After lunch return to Regensburg via the village of Rohr, to admire the superb ‘theatrum sacrum’ of the Assumption by Egid Quirin Asam of the early 1720s.

DAY 6:

A second day in Regensburg will take us to the abbey and palace of St Emmeram, the former a mixture of Romanesque architecture and Baroque decoration, the latter the extraordinary residence of the princes of Thurn and Taxis, for centuries in charge of the Imperial postal system. After a visit to the Gothic Dominican friary and the Romanesque Schottenkirche with a fabulous historiated portal, free afternoon and independent dinner.

DAY 7:

All-day coach excursion to Passau, according to the 19th-century ‘globetrotter’ Alexander von Humboldt, ‘one of the seven most beautiful cities in the world’, a view also subscribed to by Napoleon. Situated at the confluence of three rivers, the Danube, the Inn and the Ilz, it was an important trade centre, especially for salt, and became the largest prince-bishopric in the Holy Roman Empire, dominated by an enormous cathedral housing the world’s largest church organ.

DAY 8:

Return to Landshut to visit the recently restored Gothic parish church of St Martin whose belfry is the tallest brick structure in the world. A short walk will take us to the Stadtresidenz, an elegant Italianate Renaissance palace which came to replace the mediaeval castle seen on the first day. After lunch continue to Munich for a late-afternoon flight with BA to London Heathrow, scheduled to land at c. 5.30pm.

Please note that at this stage the programme is still provisional. Although we aim at the greatest degree of accuracy from the outset, some details, especially the order of visits, may be subject to change.


Specific fitness requirements for this Study Tour:

This tour involves a lot of walking on cobbled pavements and sometimes on uneven ground. Museum and site visits require prolonged periods of standing without the possibility of a rest. With the exception of the excursion to Passau, coach journey times are no longer than one hour at a time.

Please note that all our Study Tours involve a significant amount of standing and walking, often across uneven ground, over cobbled streets, or up and down steps and inclines. While we do not have an upper age limit for participants, we require you to have a level of fitness which does not spoil other participents' enjoyment of the holiday and you should be able to walk at a reasonable pace and / or stand for at least thirty minutes without aid or requiring a rest.

If you are in any doubt as to whether a particular tour is suitable for you, please ring us to check before placing your booking.


Twin/double share: £2180 per person
Double room for sole use supplement: £290
Price of the tour without flights: £2060 per person
Deposit: £200 per person


  • Scheduled flights with BA between London Heathrow and Munich
  • Transfers and excursions in Germany by private coach
  • Seven nights B&B in a comfortable four-star hotel of contemporary chic in the heart of Regensburg’s historic centre ( — quiet roof terrace, while the breakfast room doubles up as a bar / café during the day
  • Three dinners and one lunch
  • Accommodation and meals as described below
  • Guided visits to sights and museums listed in the programme
  • Services of the lecturer and tour manager
  • Detailed programme and study notes
  • All entrance fees, taxes, and gratuities for coach drivers and waiters
  • Small group between 12 and 22 participants


  • Three dinners and five lunches
  • Transport between home and London Heathrow
  • Travel insurance. We strongly advise you to be covered by adequate travel insurance

Hotel Goliath****

This 4-star hotel offers tastefully elegant accommodation, centrally located in Regensburg UNESCO-listed city centre, next to the historic Regensburger Dom cathedral, the Medieval Steinerne Brücke bridge and the Danube river.


  • Flat screen cable TV
  • Air conditioning
  • Telephone
  • Mini bar
  • Safe
  • Hairdryer


This hotel’s restaurant features a Mediterranean roof terrace, on which you can enjoy your breakfast. There is a lobby bar and a coffee shop. A sauna, gym and spa.