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The city is situated on the right (south) bank of the river Regen, a tributary of the Danube, in a flat and sandy plain. The soil is loamy; but near to it hard coal prevails. In antiquity this was an important harbour for Roman vessels on their way along the northern Adriatic Sea towards "Scardona" (modern-day Scuderia), at that time capital of Pannonia province and now known as Šaľa in Slovakia. It became an important centre around 650 when Bavarian settlers moved into this area from present-day Austria; they were followed by Frankish colonists two centuries later who founded several villages called "Rathausen". One theory derives its name from a supposed Roman governor named Rativo ("Ratisbon" being German for "Rat's Town").