Würzburg: The Beginning of Something Romantic

I jinxed it, and it’s raining like cats and dogs again today. So instead of going up to the castle we’re staying home and going through some photos Leona and I took two days ago in Würzburg.

Würzburger Residenz (Würzburg Residence Palace)
Würzburger Residenz (Würzburg Residence Palace)

I did some Weihnachtsmarkt reviews last year but I didn’t include the one in Würzburg because I hadn’t got the time and well, I was lazy. But I haven’t forgotten how beautiful that little town was. As the first stop of the famous “Romantic Road” of Bavaria, Würzburg has got everything that makes for a popular tourist destination: a river (the Main), an old bridge (Alter Mainbrücke) and a castle (in this case, it’s a fortress as well as a Baroque palace).

Weihnachtsmarkt Würzburg

Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas market), Würzburg in December, 2012
Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas market), Würzburg in December, 2012

It’s a bit far from here – about three hours by local train – but the Baden-Württemberg ticket still covers it because it’s in the VRN area, so students with a semester ticket can go there for “free”.

The historic town center isn’t very big so one day is probably enough to see all the main sights, including the old bridge, Residence Palace and Garden, Dom, as well as the Marienberg Fortress. There are guided tours at the palace and the fortress but I didn’t have the chance to join either during my two short visits.

Altstadt from the old bridge.
Altstadt from the old bridge

Through my biased eyes Würzburg doesn’t feel as romantic as Heidelberg or Verona, but I have to admit the city exudes a sophisticated elegance that belongs to the Baroque era.

Stadtbücherei Würzburg
Stadtbücherei Würzburg

In fact, the Residence Palace called Würzburger Residenz, finished in 1744, along with the Court Garden (Hofgarten) and Residenzplatz (the square where the palace stands), have been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Napoleon had once famously called it the “schönsten Pfarrhof Europas” (the nicest/most beautiful parsonage in Europe).

Würzburg Schlossgarten
Hofgarten (Palace Garden) in winter
Würzburg Schloss und Schlossgarten
Würzburger Residenz (Palace) and Hofgarten

On the side entrance of the palace you can find the Court Chapel (Hofkirche), which is free of charge and worth a visit even though photography isn’t allowed inside.

Würzburger Residenz (front)
Würzburger Residenz am Residenzplatz (front entrance on Residenzplatz)

While you’re there, be sure to check out Würzburg’s other historical buildings:

Würzburger Dom is the city's biggest cathedral
Würzburger Dom is the city’s biggest cathedral
Inside the Cathedral
Inside the Cathedral
The Neumünster is a romanesque cathedral dating back to the 11th century
The Neumünster is a romanesque cathedral dating back to the 11th century
The Rathaus was built in 1180
The Rathaus was built in 1180
Fluss (River) Neckar
The River Main
The Neckar when it was "normal".
The River Main when it was clear
Hiking up the hill
Hiking uphill

Another must-see here is the Festung (Fortress) Marienberg, which is on the other side of the river Main. When I last visited in December, there was no public transport to the fortress due to road constructions and it took me about 30 minutes to reach the fortress gate.

Marienberg Fortress
Festung Marienberg (Marienberg Fortress)
Festung Marienberg (Marienberg Fortress) and the Alter Mainbrücke (Old Main Bridge) in the evening
Festung Marienberg (Marienberg Fortress) and the Alter Mainbrücke (Old Main Bridge) in the evening

Once up there, you’ll be rewarded by the impressive view of the Altstadt (old town):

View of Würzburg from Festung Marienberg
View of Würzburg from Festung Marienberg
A friendly warning
A friendly warning

The fortress’s church was first built in the 8th century and later extended to become a castle starting from the year 1200. Today it houses the Mainfränkisches Museum and the Princes’ Garden.

Festungskirche (Fortress Church)
The fortress's courtyard
The fortress’s courtyard
Marienberg Fortress
Marienberg Fortress up close

[UPDATE] It got sunny again in the afternoon and we finally went up to Schloss Heidelberg! Schloss Heidelberg

[UPDATE 2] I visited Würzburg again with Natalie on Jun 16 – I’ve posted more photos in another gallery if you want to see more of this enchanting little town!

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