Würzburg

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Würzburg or Wuerzburg (and sometimes misspelled as Wurzburg) is in Franconia, in northern Bavaria,Germany.

Würzburg, Residenz from the fortress Marienberg.
River "Main" at Würzburg with fortress Marienberg on the hill.
Würzburg Residence and Garden

Understand[edit]

Founded in the 10th century, Würzburg served as the home of powerful prince-bishops for many centuries. It is renowned for the Residence, regarded as one of the finest palaces in Europe and a high point of Baroque art (also UNESCO cultural world heritage!). Würzburg is also home to one of the oldest churches in Germany, built in the 8th century on top of a former pagan shrine. One of its most famous structures, Festung Marienberg, is a fortress which now surrounds the church.

Würzburg was the center of the kingdom known as Franconia. In the 19th century, Napoleon merged Franconia with Bavaria, by which the city is ruled to this day.

Würzburg experienced heavy demolition during a 20-minute bombing raid in 1945 which destroyed some 80% of its city buildings. Much of the city has since been rebuilt, though not as painstakingly true to its original architecture as some other historic German communities. Anyone eager to visit this town to study its historic architectural structures should be prepared to see its restored buildings placed next to several post-war modernistic houses. Würzburg has been home to a large US military installment since post-World War II reconstruction. As a result, many of the locals are familiar with American customs. However, as of 2006, the military base is scheduled to close which will cause the city to lose most of its American presence.

Today Würzburg is a beautiful, historic, and lively city that is often overlooked by foreign visitors.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Würzburg is not served by an airport. However, if you fly into Frankfurt, Nuremberg or Munich, the Deutsche Bahn can get you anywhere that's worth going. Get on an ICE train, which will take you an hour until you reach the Wuerzburger Hauptbahnhof, from Munich you will drive about 3 hours.

By train[edit]

Würzburg can be reached directly from most any train in western Germany. To get there from Berlin will require a change. This will usually occur in Göttingen.

By car[edit]

Würzburg has an excellent connection to the German "Autobahn" (highway)-system. A3 (highway 3) from Cologne via Frankfurt and Nuremberg to Austria passes the city as well as A7 (highway 7) from Hannover via Göttingen to Ulm. In addition there is A81 to Stuttgart

Get around[edit]

Würzburg has a good public transport system with trams and buses. Public transportation maps and timetables can be found from VVM-Info.

See[edit]

Staircase in Residence
  • Würzburger Residence is one of the finest Palaces in Europe and is famed for its magnificent staircase. It is regarded as one of the finest pieces of Baroque art in the world as such it has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The building was designed by Balthasar Neuman, and the Fresco above the Staircase was painted by Tiepolo, it is reputed to be the largest in the world. The palace has 300 rooms, spread over 3 wings. There is also a Chapel decorated by Tiepolo which is free to enter and well worth a visit

Entrance is €6.50, 9am - 6 pm Summer 10am-4.30pm winter

  • Würzburger Residence gardens are situated behind the Palace and are free to enter

There are several old, beauiful churches in town to visit and marvel at, cafes, shops and eating establishments to spend time in as well as taking in a guided tour of the city.

  • Festung Marienberg. Enjoy the beautiful view over the city and the Main from the fortress' walls which are open freely to the public. The castle's pay-admission museum is a somewhat confusing experience to foreign visitors and could be avoided as it is almost entirely in German. No English language guiding is available. Also note that most of the Marienberg's once very rare collections and interior were destroyed in a fire during the war. Today's interior and the present collections are a sad replacement.

Do[edit]

The Marienkapelle in Würzburg as seen from the south-west

Wine fairs[edit]

  • Würzburger Weindorf ("Wine Village"), on Market Square, the biggest of all, end of May.
  • Hofgarten Weinfest, in the Court Gardens of the Residence Palace, in July.
  • Weinfest am Stein, in a winery in the vineyards. With live music, crowded, in July.
  • Weinparade, on Market Square, end of August.

Nearly every winegrowing village in Lower Franconia has its own wine fair, so you can visit at least one if you visit Würzburg in summer or fall months.

Other festivals[edit]

Africa Festival, one of the biggest festivals about African culture. Mostly about May or June.

Buy[edit]

Wine[edit]

Germany may be world renowned for its beer, but its wine is its hidden treasure. Franconian wine is among the best in the country and Wuerzburg has been growing grapes since its first contact with the Romans. Be sure to pick up a memory that will last by picking up a bottle of wine. Franconian wine is often sold in special bottles named "Bocksbeutel". Normally having 3/4 litres there also exist smaller ones with 3/8 litres. These bottles look small and fat. If you do not know much about wine, buy it directly from the winegrowers or from small shops which sell only wine. They do know...

Eat[edit]

There are some great restaurants in Würzburg, catering for all spectrums. At the highest end is the Schloss Steinburg. Situated a few kilometres north west from the centre of town, it is perched above a vineyard overlooking the river Main, the town, and with great views across to the Marienberg. Prices are naturally at the high end, but for fabulous food, great views, and an unforgettable ambiance - this is the place.

Great restaurants in the town centre include the Altemainmuehle, the Burgerspital, the Juliuspital and Stachel. All serve excellent food in rustic settings with by no means unreasonable prices. Service is great and you can be guaranteed a great meal.

It musn't be forgetten that Würzburg is a student town, so local establishments cater accordingly. These tend to be situated in the southern sector of the town on Sanderstrasse. Recommended are Unicafe (on the corner of Neubaukirche and Sanderstrasse), Cafe Muck and Cafe Kult( both Sanderstrasse). Here you can expect a good honest meal at very reasonable prices in a friendly atmosphere.

Takeaways include Tigris, Pinar as well as other Indian and Chinese establishments. Best Doner in town is at the West end of the AlteMainbrucke, it is called MC' Doner. Fresh pitas regularly.

Only decent Mexican food is at Joe's.

Drink[edit]

The local brewery, Würzburger Hofbraeu, brews excellent wheat beer (Weissbier), which carries the name of a 1600s bishop of Würzburg, Julius Echter. Basically this beer is served for you in almost all the local bars, if you order a hefe.

Würzburg resides in the middle of Franconian wineland and Frankenwein is served in many places. You can recognize the peculiar shaped bottle, Bocksbeutel, easily.

Sleep[edit]

Go next[edit]

Würzburg is the start of Germany's famed Romantic Road. From here you can travel down to Rothenburg and the Bavarian Alps.

  • Bamberg is less than an hour away and is included on the UNESCO World Heritage List
  • Veitshöchheim: Take a boat ride[1] on the river Main to this small picturesque town that also has a Schloss with a Ricoco garden. (The dock in Würzburg is beside the street Kranenkai, literally "crane dock" as there is an old crane on the boat dock.) The town is also accessible by rail.
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