Munich Monday--Würtzburg

8:47:00 AM Brooke Neal 0 Comments

We travel to Frankfurt about once every 6 months and from the autobahn you can see this great castle on the hillside with a  town filling the valley below.  I've been tempted to stop every time  and we finally were able to get there two weeks ago.

Over 1300 years old, Würtzburg has a medieval castle, the oldest university in Bavaria, a Baroque palace and a bridge that feels Prague-ish.  Having sustained significant bombing during the end of World War 2, its layered history is complex, and only 2.5 hours north of Munich it makes for an ideal day trip.
In an attempt to break the will of the people, Würtzburg was heavily bombed by the British during the closing stages of World War 2.  After 17 minutes, 90% of the city lay in ruins.  It was suggested to not even bother rebuilding the city, but alas, over the next 20 years the city was rebuilt, special attention being paid to restore historically significant buildings.   A temporary memorial has been erected in a small room in the Rathaus featuring photographs from the time period.  A sincere letter from the mayor recognizes the role Germany played while also lamenting the loss of so much civilian life--an estimated 5000 innocent lives were lost during the air raid and accompanying fire storm.


These markings note flood levels over the years. Mind you, the river is about one block from this point.
Situated on the river Main, there are delightful pathways on either side of the river, perfect for a stroll on a sunny day or better yet, sit at one of the many river side cafes and enjoy a dessert and people watching.
The Old Main Bridge reminds me of a smaller version of the St. Charles Bridge in Prague with statues lining either side.

The city center is filled with shopping and restaurants.  During the month of June the city is hosting the Mozart Music Festival. Visitors will find classical music being played at various sites throughout the city.  We ran into small group of musicians in a secluded courtyard playing a more dignified version of Bohemian Rhapsody. If you weren't familiar with the tune, you never would have guessed they were playing a rock ballad.
The Neumünster Church

The Residenz is absolutely beautiful!  Similar to buildings of this time period it boasts grand staircases, gold leafed detailing, mirrored halls and all the ornate, frilly that comes with Baroque styling.  It too suffered damage during the war when a fire broke out in the attic eating through the wood framework and leaving the structure almost completely roof-less.  However, during the American occupation it was quickly realized that a building of this significance needed immediate attention.  A temporary roof was built to prevent further damage from the elements and over the ensuing years the Residenz was reconstructed.  Luckily, anything that could be removed and stored else where (before the bombing) was, thus preserving the artifacts we see there today.
TIP:  There is a massive parking lot in front of the Residenz. You have to pay, but it is convenient to the rest of town so it's not a bad place to park for the day.

A wedding was taking place inside the chapel so we weren't allowed entrance and I couldn't convince my family to wait 30 minutes so we could see the birds set free when the bride and groom came out.


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