Really a World-Class Province?

Würzburg is a city in the German state of Bavaria. It is famous for its baroque and rococo buildings, especially the Würzburg Residence from the 18th century, with magnificent rooms, a large fresco by the Venetian artist Tiepolo and a richly decorated staircase. With its numerous wine taverns, wine cellars and wineries as well as the characteristic Bocksbeutel, Würzburg is the heart of the Franconian wine region.

With about 127,000 inhabitants, Würzburg am Main is the sixth largest city in Bavaria. The city is the seat of the government of Lower Franconia and the district administration office of Würzburg, an important school and university location as well as the seat of the Catholic diocese of the same name.

In the year 704 Würzburg was mentioned for the first time as “Castellum Virteburch”. Already in the Middle Ages the city was an important economic, spiritual and sovereign centre. Until the Industrial Revolution in the middle of the 19th century, its supra-regional importance remained high. The result was an impressive cityscape. During the Second World War, Würzburg was badly damaged. Important individual monuments were reconstructed externally during reconstruction, but only a few urban ensembles and squares. The Würzburg Residenz with its Residenzplatz and Hofgarten, which was also badly damaged during the war and subsequently restored, was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1981. With the Julius Maximilian University, which follows the tradition of the Hohen Schule zu Würzburg founded in 1402 and is thus the oldest university in Bavaria, the city is one of the classic German university cities.

The Marienberg fortress is also worth seeing. It is only a stone’s throw away from the city centre on the left bank of the Main. Due to its rich historical past and its imposing appearance, it is one of the most impressive architectural monuments from ancient times. The history of the mountain fortress can be traced through three millennia. Already around 1000 B.C. there was a Celtic refuge on the site of today’s building. The inner core of the later castle complex is the Marienkirche, consecrated in 706, the earliest sacred building east of the Rhine. The castle was founded in 1201 (the keep dates from this period) and was the residence of the Würzburg prince bishops from 1253 to 1719.