Mike and Lynn Kirchhoff and I spent a few days in Germany as a follow-up to the recent ribbon cutting of the RAIL.ONE facility in Clinton. The head office of RAIL.ONE is in Neumarkt, a Bavarian town of about 40,000 situated on the rail line between Nuremburg and Regensburg.
It is first mentioned in a document in 1135 and is situated in a valley surrounded by high hills with some dramatic views. Its current City Hall was built in 1430 and bombed in WWII, then rebuilt in 1957 and rehabilitated in 1999. It straddles Market Street and is situated adjacent to St. Johannes church, a gothic hall church built between 1404 and 1434. Market Street, as is the case in most of downtown, has a streetscape of three and four story mostly historic buildings, even though the bombing of WWII severely damaged all of them.
Its downtown is bustling, in no small measure because of the downtown living possibilities and the healthy retail infrastructure there sustained by people who live within walking distance. We did not see any vacant storefronts anywhere we went. In addition we visited the auto museum devoted to the Maybach auto containing 10 percent of all the Maybach autos that still exist. Mike Kirchhoff will write more about this later.
Other meetings were with the Regional Chamber of Commerce in Regensburg and Rotary in Nurnberg, cities that are World Heritage Sites with wonderful medieval city centers. Regensburg, which began as a Roman garrison in 179 AD, was once a Free Imperial City that hosted sessions of the Imperial Diet and from 1663 to 1806 was the seat of a Permanent Diet, and now has a population of 129,000. It has the oldest stone bridge (12th century) over the Danube as well as the oldest sausage kitchen in Germany nearby.
It has the beautiful gothic cathedral, St. Peters, that dates to 1260 and several other historic churches in the immediate area including the Basilika St. Emmeram adjacent to the Thurn and Taxis Palace. Johannes Kepler (1571–1630) lived and worked there, in Austria and Prague, which lead to his laws of planetary motion. He was buried in Regensburg.