It’s not unusual to bump into royalty walking around Regensburg, since the town is home to one of Germany’s wealthiest and most distinguished aristocratic clans. In 1812, the monastic holdings of St. Emmeram’s Abbey, founded in the 8th century, were granted to the princes of Thum und Taxis, who had made a fortune establishing Europe’s first postal system. The family has since converted their property into a 500-room palace so extravagant that, according to current doyenne Gloria, Princess von Thurn und Taxis, it “makes Buckingham Palace look like a hut.” The presence of this former international party girl, once known as Princess TNT, is part of the allure of a visit to the palace (by guided tour only, some in English). The staterooms, rococo staircase, conservatory, chapels and former cloisters, even a royal bedroom or two are certainly grand. Things seem more sedate at the palace now, compared to the days when the princess threw multi-day, celebrity-studded bashes. The vast courtyard is still the setting for a lively Christmas market and summertime concerts.