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Wurzburg, Germany

 

The Marienberg Fortress (Festung)    Wurzburg's Outstanding Buildings

 

 

 

  

Best Places to Visit on the Romantic Road Germany

The Festung Marienberg

 The Fortress Marienberg (The Fortress) above Wurzburg

When you are finished exploring the Residenz, walk down the Hofstrasse to the Dom Saint Kilian.  Tour the Cathedral, exit to the west and proceed down Domstrasse, past the Altes Rathous to the Marienbrücke, a scenic bridge that crosses  the River Main. 

The bridge has a number of statues, including St. Kilian and features marvelous views the town and the Festung Marienburg.  The hike up the hill to the Festung may be more than you want to undertake, especially if you have just toured the Residenz.

If you want to drive to the Marienberg, you will have to deviate north or south of the

Marienbrücke (pedestrian only) to find access (the Ludwigsbrücke is probably your best bet).

Today, the Fortress Marienberg (the Festung), rising above the River Main on a prominent hill, is a museum and park.  The hill's use as a fortress may date back to an early Celtic settlement-fortification, which fell into disuse.  In the 8th century, a small fort and a church were built on the hill, followed by a major fortification at the start of the 13th century. 

                    View of the Residenz from the Altes Mainbrucke

The Marienberg proved no challenge to the invading Swedes during the Thirty Years War and the building was subsequently reconstructed as a combination palace-fort (Baroque style) for the Prince-Bishops of Wurzburg in the early 17th century.  It was during this reconstruction that the large casements (Kassematte) were added.  The Marienberg remained the official palace of the Prince-Bishops until the completion of the Residenz.    

 

Details fo the fortifications of the FestungBe sure to see the impressive, four-story Maschikuli Tower and Casemate, as well as the lovely Princes’ Garden. Once you have taken the measure of the Fortresses' might and stature, be sure to see the Princes’ Building Museum (Fürstenbaumeusuem).  It includes the Princes’ Hall, the Bibra Apartment and a section on the history of the town.  The images of the damage resulting from World War II are bracing, as the destruction of the town was near total.

A second museum, the Main-Franconian museum, includes an interesting collection of Franconian art and one of the largest displays of work by the master sculptor and woodcarver Tilman Riemenscheneider. 

If you visit the Fortress, you should take a few minutes to head over to the Kappele (mid -18th Century), known as the Pilgrimage Church.  The Stations of the Cross wind up the hill to the Baroque church and its interior is ornate.  Its architect was Balthasar Neumann, to whom the Residenz is attributed.       

Official Website for the Festung Marienberg, can be found here.

Notes on Wurzburg's collection of interesting churches

The towring Dom St. Kilian in Wurzburg

The Dom St. Kilian, the fourth largest Romanesque church in Germany, was left a shell after World War II.  There are some especially poignant photographs in the crypt/museum underneath the Dom that point out the extent of the destruction. One image shows the church with only the main altar area and sidewalls standing, filled with parishioners at a service shortly after the bombing in 1945.  The rebuilding of the cathedral was completed in 1967. Today, the reconstructed church is beautiful and includes treasure by Tilman Riemanschneider and the Schönbornkapelle (Schönborn Chapel) burial site of the Prince-Bishops of Wurzburg.  It is another of the works of Balthasar Neumann. 

 


The Baroque facade of the NeumunsterkircheThe Neumunster-kirche, a  Romanesque cathedral, dates from the 11th century and includes ornate towers and an impressive baroque façade.  The church was erected at the site the grave of St Kilian and his companions who were martyred in Wurzburg in the late 7th century. 
The Marienkapelle next to the Markt in Wurzburg

The Marienkapelle is a late 14th century Gothic church next to the Markt.     It is known for the sandstone sculptures of Tilman Riemanschneider adorning the entrances, although the originals are now in the Main-Franconian Museum in the Marienberg Fortress. 

By the way, the Markt (Markplatz) is an active market that is fun to tour, just to see what's for sale that day.   In addition, it is ringed with several cafes, where you can have a snack and refuel for the remainder of your exploration.   To the south, the Domstrasse, also, provides numerous, pleasant places to eat, or you may prefer to take advantage of the view from one of the cafes near the river.

Click here to - Return to Wurzburg and the Residenz (the first of our two Wurzburg Pages)

Or select one of these towns on the Romantic Road

Augsburg
Dinkelsbuhl
Neuschwanstein Castle
Ottobeuren
Rothenburg ob der Tauber

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Statue of St. Colonatus on the Old Main Bridge

 

 

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Wurzburg is compact and made for walking.  Touring the Residenz, the town and, then, the  Festung may be a little too aggressive for  some. So, prioritize your targets ahead of time.

 

The Farmers Market at the Markt.

 

 

Love in the gardens of the Wurzbugr  Residenz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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