Less than an hour drive away from Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Würzburg is just that much closer to the Frankfurt airport where we ended our European trip. It’s an historic city with plenty of sights to pack in the last 2 days, and a terrific end it was!
Hotel Alter Kranen, 2 nights in a comfortable standard double room with a river view, breakfast included
I was happy, I had my river view – and pleasant surprise! – the road outside was quiet at night. And the WIFI was excellent. Perfect place for our last 2 nights in Germany and Europe.
We were out of the pretty, perfect, walled tourist village of Rothenburg and into a real city where regular people worked, played, and went about their business, along with all the tourists of course. There’s a University here so there’s a young population which made a lively first impression.
The sights we tourists want to see are all in easy walking distance from the Alte Mainbruecke (Old Main Bridge) and our hotel.
The Marienburg Fortress
The Fortress and the Residenz are the two top sights in Würzburg and both of these were on our 14-Day Bavarian Castles pass, which was about the only thing we really knew about Würzburg. We dropped off the luggage, parked the car, and headed across the Old Main Bridge for a tour of the Fortress and a whole lot of fascinating history.
Tip: Go to visit the Fortress first, it’s the first place the Prince-Bishops lived. The Residenz palace was built when the Fortress became too uncomfortable and un-stylish for the court. And they could afford it, there’s a reason the title was “Prince-Bishop” – a Bishop who was also a Prince, invested with imperial ruling power.
We had time before the English language Fortress tour to see the interesting museum for about an hour. The Fortress tour takes you several places you can’t get to on your own – behind the iron gates of the small chapel in the courtyard for an up close look at the interesting relic display; inside the wellhouse for a look down into the incredibly deep well in the courtyard; and finally, into a section of the tunnels that run for miles and miles underneath the Fortress. Who doesn’t like THAT in a fort?
Self-guided Walking Tour
Würzburg has a terrific Visitor’s Map and Guide to the historic sites. Back from the fortress, the hot day now threatened rain so we retrieved our umbrellas from our convenient hotel just in time. We managed to see a couple of churches on the map the first day, and several more the next day. Würzburg was bombed and burned and 90% destroyed in WWII, and the interiors of what were once lavish baroque churches a stark reminder.
The Würzburg Residence is on UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage list. It’s immense, it’s baroque, it was bombed and burned in the devastating fire of 1945 when 90% of Würzburg was destroyed. Amazingly, some rooms survived due to the stone vaulting of the ceilings.
Tip: You can tour some of the rooms on your own, but you’ll see the BEST rooms only on a guided tour.
Our last night in Würzburg and our last night in Germany and Europe for awhile, it’s the thing to do in Würzburg – get some wine from one of the wine windows and hang out on the old bridge.
We really enjoyed our brief stay in Würzburg, and ending it on the bridge with a glass of white Sylvaner was a terrific finish to a great 2 month trip.
Travel: Drive from Würzburg to Avis rental car return at Frankfurt Airport – 1.5 hours