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‘No stag parties allowed’: Bavarian bars crack down on wild partiers

Fed up with dealing with loud, intoxicated groups of people, more than a dozen bar owners in Regensburg have started denying entry to bachelor and bachelorette parties.

'No stag parties allowed': Bavarian bars crack down on wild partiers
Bar owner Martin Stein showing off his ‘no stag parties allowed’ sticker. Photo: DPA

It’s a common sight at the weekend across the country to see people celebrating their Junggesellenabschied – bachelor party or stag night – in the typical German fashion of wearing costumes and selling things like condoms along the way of bar-hopping.

While some may find the tradition entertaining, others argue that the rambunctious party-goers are frightening away customers at bars, hotels and cafes in spite of the revenue they bring in.

“Every euro spent seems to correspond to three euros of destroyed furniture,” said Martin Stein, the owner of a Regensburg cocktail bar.

That's why Stein started an initiative to ban stag parties at bars around the city, with more than a dozen establishments already joining in. Their motto: bachelor and bachelorette parties must stay outside.

READ ALSO: The ten German wedding traditions you should know about

“Over the years, this one last rebellion against marriage has become an Olympics of embarrassment, aggression and destructiveness,” Stein wrote on his Facebook page.

His initiative includes stickers with a red cross sign over a depiction of a group chugging beers.

Regensburg is a particularly popular destination for such parties, much to the dismay of the city’s residents. Numerous websites even provide tips on where to party in the run-up to one’s big wedding day, which isn’t surprising given that Regenburg’s Old Town is UNESCO-designated.

But the issue also isn’t exclusive to Regensburg. Stag parties are being turned away in several other cities, including Munich, Düsseldorf, Bayreuth and Bamberg.

“The groups consume a lot, but they also create too many problems,” said a spokesman for the Hotel and Restaurant Association in Munich.

SEE ALSO: Drunken British stag party kicked off plane in Berlin

According to ethnologist Andrea Graf, costumed, drunken stag parties have been going strong for about 20 years now and therefore are not a new concept.

What is new, Graf said, is how the stag party continues to evolve, entailing now city trips, hikes or even spa getaways.

Stein and his colleagues are determined to draw a line in the sand.

“Residents hold us as restaurateurs responsible for the noise that plagues them, the vandalism on the streets falls back on us,” he said.

Therefore, he added that it is their pleasure to “be able to dispense with this special form of clientele.”

By Ute Wessels

For members

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Germany’s Scheffelbrücke: Everything you need to know about the ‘world’s most expensive bridge’

Germany's Scheffelbrücke might not seem like much to look at, but by some accounts it is the most expensive bridge in the world. Here’s what you need to know.

Germany's Scheffelbrücke: Everything you need to know about the ‘world’s most expensive bridge’
The Scheffelbrücke in Baden-Württemburg isn't known for its astounding beauty or engineering prowess - but it is known for its price tag. Photo: Heinz Seehagel, Creative Commons.

If you’re travelling near the Swiss border, you might come across the Scheffelbrücke – a quiet, two-lane bridge over the Radolfzeller Aach in Baden-Württemburg. 

By bridge standards, the 20-metre concrete construction seems relatively unremarkable – until you take a look at the engraved sign on the side which quotes the price tag. 

A sign on the bridge references the incredible price of the bridge: 1,520,940,901,926,024 Deutschmarks. 

That’s 1,500 trillion marks. 

Why is the Scheffelbrücke Germany’s most expensive bridge – and why is it so drab?

While Germany has the money and the landscape to have some expensive bridges, that over the Aach hardly rivals the Golden Gate, London Bridge or Sydney Harbour for elegance or ingenuity. 

The bridge, completed in 1923, takes the name of Joseph Victor von Scheffel, a German writer who will forever be associated with the glorified concrete slab. 

While one might suspect pork barrelling or crafty accounting as a reason for the astonishing cost – or perhaps a trick to reel in the tourists to the otherwise unassuming village of Singen – the cost is in fact real.

The high price is a consequence of the out of control post-World War One inflation which hit Germany, where money almost completely lost its value. 

A sign for the bridge reveals its extortionate building costs. Photo: Heinz Seehagel, Creative Commons.

Local authorities, wanting to boost the economy, signed off on the bridge as an infrastructure project. 

As a consequence, some local workers presumably became millionaires as a consequence – although there was perhaps little meaning to the idea of being a millionaire when a billion would only buy you a concrete bridge. 

Fortunately, Germany was able to bring inflation under control and wheelbarrows full of money were no longer required to purchase basic things.

And almost a century later, when not taking wacky inflation into account, Germany’s ‘most expensive bridge in the world’ no longer has that title. 

That goes to the Oakland Bay Bridge in San Francisco (no, not the Golden Gate but the other one), which cost 6.3 billion US dollars – or roughly 5.2 billion euro  – to build. 

The Oakland Bay Bridge however goes for eight kilometres and possesses some of the aesthetic qualities which one would expect from the most expensive bridge in the world. 

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