Germany: Touring the Würzburg Residenz
Travel Date : 14th July 2013
Location: Würzburg, Bavaria State (German: Bayern)
Würzburg is a city in the region of Franconia, Northern Bavaria, Germany. Located on the Main River, it is the capital of the Regierungsbezirk Lower Franconia. We had planned to do the romantic road tour after our 1.5 months stay in Bavaria. In the end, we decided to drive to the famous palace in Würzburg as it is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. From there, we would continue with Rothenburg.
What is Romantic Road Tour?
Our German friends had not heard of the ‘Romantic Road’ tour. When I mentioned we were going to Würzburg and going to other towns from there, they had a blank expression on their face. It seemed the names might be different in German or pronounced differently so they couldn’t understand my English. The ‘Romantic Road tour’ is also a tourist thing so most of the locals didn’t seem to know.
Here’s more info on this useful site: Romantic Road Germany. Basically, it starts with a tour from Würzburg in North Bavaria and goes vertical down to reach South Bavaria ending with the Neuschwanstein Castle in Füssen. These are historical towns belonging to the middle ages which one would pass through when self-driving or taking a coach tour.
We were not planning to visit every town and just wanted to do this route, booking hotels in Würzburg, Rothenburg and Augsburg:
Würzburg —Rothenburg ob der Tauber— Dinkelsbühl— Nördlingen—Augsburg.
From researching the site, these places were more interesting to us. However, it takes around two to three days to finish this.
At the last minute, we took a look and decided we absolutely HAVE to visit Prague. Hence, it was a scramble to change our itinerary and we ended up only with one day to spend for this route after coming back from Prague. Finally, we had to do Würzburg —Rothenburg ob der Tauber in one day!
Getting To Würzburg
We left Prague early in our rented car, intending to stay in Würzburg for the night.
The trip was quite smooth with the GPS but Vin still took about 4 hours to drive to it. We didn’t expect there would be road-works which caused a huge traffic jam. We were stuck in slow traffic for hours! Thus, it was quite late, around 4.10pm when we arrived at Würzburg and checked into the hotel.
We quickly settled down and drove to the Würzburg Residenz to do a self-tour. We had only 1 hour before closing time!
The Residenz is one of the most important Baroque palaces built for Prince-Bishops, the rulers of Ancient Germany. It started in 1720 and took sixty years to finish. Part of the buildings were destroyed during World War II but managed to be restored to its current state with reconstruction.
We stood outside and admired the majestic structure for a while. You know how your heart pounds when you see something so great? That’s the feeling I had. The architecture was really beautiful with all those details on the pillar walls and so huge! As we had limited time, we walked quickly to the door and entered the Residenz.
Touring Würzburg Residenz Interior
We were not allowed to take photographs of the place though, disappointingly. However, we enjoyed our walk up the stairway and going into the different rooms. Dar love the Baroque Staircase the most. This was how it looks like.
Each room was decorated differently, with different accessories and colours. I was very interested in the woven tapestries and marvelled at the detailed artwork on each cloth.
Every hall was also a feast for the eyes. Look at the pictures on the Official Bavarian Palace Department Website. Dar was obediently following us and looking at the architectures too and fortunately, he felt the solemness and didn’t create too much disturbance or want to run in the hallway. We warned him about it before we started up the stairs.
At the end of the tour, we bought a postcard from their souvenir shops to remember the room I liked the most. Intricate golden with a nice designed flooring.
We reached a section on their ‘restoration’ with photographs but time was up for us. The place was huge so we only managed to tour the most important sections.
Emerging from the Palace, we had some fun taking pictures in front of the Residenz and the Fountain. Vin did his usual jump shots with Dar again and we asked Dar to do his individual ones. “Jump-shots” was a routine we started in our Europe Trip to deviate from posed pictures and allow us to look back at our memories with a smile. Those pictures still made me smile now more than the boring posed ones.
Try a fun, action shot next time you are overseas! There’s really a difference!
Relaxing Fun in Würzburg Court Gardens
Prince Bishop of Würzburg, Adam Friedrich von Seinsheim (reigned 1755-1779) employed a garden artist to work on the gardens, creating three sections, the East Garden, the South Garden and the nursery grounds.
We entered the Gardens via the Garden Gates. Here’s the detailed Court Gardens Map, courtesy of the Bavarian Palace Department.
As we walked towards the South Garden, I was exclaiming, “Wow! Everything’s so neat and colourful!” The walking path was stony white and so clean. There was no stray grass, everything was so green and the trees were planted in neat rows at almost equal distance. A few trees expertly cut into a cone shape, made the place look like a ‘wonderland’.
After the respectful visit to the palace where we were walking tenderly in a silent serious way, just walking in here lifted our spirits. Suddenly, it’s like we could just run around the whole place laughing. Although we didn’t…as there were other tourists and locals around, enjoying the ‘peace’.
Dar couldn’t contain his happiness though as he loves wide open spaces and kept running and laughing down the path, smelling the flowers along the way. I had to tell him to be mindful of others and keep his noise level down but as the place was huge, I was more relaxed with him. Vin acted funnily under a cone shape tree and pretended to support it. There were so many funny things we did in the garden.
At the East Garden, which was a circular structure right in front of the back of the Würzburg Residenz, Dar wanted us to chase him and we did. Apology to the German Officials for disturbing the solemness of the place. We love the gardens too much.
The Würzburg Residence with its Court Gardens and Residence Square was inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1981 and built in its entirety, with short interruptions, almost within a single generation. The Counts of Schönborn had a passion for building, and influenced the planning of it, providing financial, political and widespread connections to achieve the building of it.
However, what we are seeing now is actually a “reconstructed and restored” version because it was almost completely burnt out in an air raid during World War II (Read this if interested ). Only the central building with the Vestibule, Garden Hall, Staircase, White Hall and Imperial Hall survived the inferno, their roofs destroyed. (Source: Wikipedia)
Residenz Museum : 7.50 Euro (Children and young people under 18 are admitted free of charge)
Opening Hours:April-October: 9 am-6 pm (last entry: 5.30 pm)
:November-March: 10 am-4.30 pm (last entry: 4 pm)open daily except for certain public holidays.
Court Gardens are opened until 8pm latest and is free of charge.
Our hotel, Hotel Zum Winzermännle, is located in a restricted ‘no-driving’ area with City Tram as the main transport. We were confused when we entered the area at first because the GPS kept screaming “Restricted Zone! Restricted Zone!” which made us panic. From our driving experiences and looking at the tram tracks on the stony road, we knew we were not supposed to drive in. How are we to get in then when the hotel is inside?
We headed on gingerly and soon we spotted the hotel building in front of a clock tower and was more relaxed. Before you go to a hotel, it’s good to check the ‘appearance’ of the hotel online, together with the images of the surrounding structures. This helped us many times when we were searching for a hotel in a foreign city.
Checking with the owner, we were allowed to park by the road in front of the hotel since we were there only for a night. We would save on the parking fee which was 8 Euro for 24 hours in their own carpark.
The area our hotel was in, had many historical structures and the tram was nice too. Alas, we didn’t have the time to explore them and could only visit the Würzburg Residenz. Due to the last-minute change and unable to cancel our hotel booking, we had to come back here to stay for the night even though we headed to Rothenburg after exploring the Court Gardens.
Location : Hotel Zum Winzermännle
Choice due to: Good Reviews
Costs: Large Double Room ; 105 Euro/ Night
The room was large with a separate room for placing our luggage and even a seating area. The bathroom and toilet were separate, with the shower room being very small. Even with my petite size, I found it small. I wonder how do the Westerners manage? The beds were comfy enough and we squeezed with Dar for one night.
Breakfast was the usual fare, toast, ham, sausages and fruits. The variety was lesser than the usual ones we had in other hotels. There were no eggs. The lady owner said she could boil some for us. After waiting for a long while and asking her again, she told me she forgot! Could we wait some more? We were rushing to get to Legoland so we were already frustrated at the loss of time. Nevertheless, we didn’t get into an argument and left quickly without.