It must be midday, and time for lunch. There’s a queue more than twenty deep for the takeaway- or takeout-counter, as people walk away with a long thin grilled sausage sitting snug in an undersized oval bun. Next to the Döner, I’m also fond of the “Bratwurst”, or grilled pork sausage.
Along the Danube promenade in Regenburg’s Old Town is the historical sausage kitchen, formally “Die Historische Wurstkuchl zu Regensburg”, better known as “Wurstkuchl”. The Wurstkuchl is known as the oldest running grilled-sausage stand in the world, with the presence of a stand serving food to labourers from town and visitors from the river since the 12th-century.
“Six piggies on a bed of hay”
• 6. Schweinsbratwürstl vom Rost mit Sauerkraut, Jacob Dunkel vom Fass
• 6 pork bratwursts with sauerkraut, Jacob “Dunkel” (dark) beer on tap. The sausage, sauerkraut, mustard, and beer are all made locally.
Despite the cool windy late-autumn day, I’m at a table outside, and I’ve a coupon for six sausages on sauerkraut. With generous dollops of sweet mustard, I eagerly wipe the plate clean accompanied by a couple of crusty bread rolls made with caraway seeds, and washed down with dark beer from the Jacob Brewery (in Bodenwöhr, 40 km northeast from Regensburg). Though I could’ve taken a seat inside, it’s entertaining watching my neighbours devour their orders and watching people standing in line with anticipation.
I step inside to watch the grill-action take place and people inside huddled together in a cozy warm environment. Outside on the walls is the popular special “Bratwurstkipferl zum Mitnehmen, € 2,50”, highlighting grilled sausage in a roll for takeaway, and high-water (flood) marks.
At the south end of the Steinerne Brücke (Stone Bridge), the Wurstkuchl is adjacent to the Salzstadel which presently houses the UNESCO World Heritage Visitor Centre (Besucherzentrum Welterbe). Given the limited total seating, it’s cheaper to get a sausage-in-a-bun for takeaway/takeout than to sit and order at the benches inside or outside.
High-water marks (Danube)
Two small plaques on the outside wall indicate record-breaking flood levels in 1893 (February 16) and 2013 (June 4). Modern records indicate the Danube reached depths exceeding 6.8 metres (22 feet) at the nearby Eiserne Brücke (Iron Bridge) in 2013. Additional signs inside show other recorded flood levels. A picture on the Mittelbayerische Zeitung shows flood waters being held back at Wurstkuchl.