Regensburg’s historic Wurstkuchl:
On any Danube river cruises, you’ll most certainly hear about “Wurstkuchl” in Regensburg, a tavern famous for its bratwurst. Your river boat will stop near the Old Stone Bridge, thought to be the eighth wonder of the world when it was built. As you disembark from your boat, all you have to do is follow your nose to the tavern.
The “Wurstkuchl” in Regensburg is Germany’s oldest bratwurst tavern still in existence. It was established shortly after 1146 and served “slow-simmered meals” to dock workers. Today it is a tourist attraction but still grills bratwurst the traditional charcoal-grill way.
In the olden days
The “Wurstkuchl” building was originally a small building site office attached to the city wall during the construction of the Old Stone Bridge between 1135 and 1146. When the bridge was completed, the office was closed and the small building became the “Garküche auf dem Kranchen“, a kitchen providing cooked meals for crane workers. The kitchen´s customers were mostly dockers and builders hence the name “Kranchen“ as this was a former word for crane.
For centuries in the past, Regensburg was a prosperous city and its port was heavily used for the transhipment of goods all over the world. Therefore there were plenty of dockers in the port area. The hungry workers however mainly came from the building site of the Regensburg cathedral.
The simmered meat in the “Garküche” was later replaced by finer sausages. It’s not known exactly when this happened, but it is believed that towards the end of the 18th century they were introduced by Wolfgang Miezam, the then proprietor. By the beginning of the 19th century the new proprietor, Wolfgang Schricker, started up a new era of the family Schricker which continues to this very day. The present owners are the family Schricker-Meier.
The historical “Wurstkuchl” is now part of the tourist circuit for visitors to Regensburg who come to see the cathedral and the Old Stone Bridge. The dock workers have gone and Wurstkuchl’s customers now come from all other the world.
In spite of a huge breakfast on board our river cruise, some of our travel companions could not resist the bratwurst. I was happy to just watch the ladies doing the grilling.
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