The Würzburg Residence was described as the “nicest parsonage in Europe” by none other than Napoleon Bonaparte himself. The legendary Frenchman spent several nights in the Residence several times between 1806 and 1811 and even had his own special Imperial Bedroom.
About The Würzburg Residence And Its History
This UNESCO-recognized site is generally regarded as one of Germany’s best Baroque style structures. Several of the most famous architects of the time worked to create this architectural beauty, including Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt and Maximilian von Welsch, as well as the purveyors of French Baroque Robert de Cotte and Germain Boffrand.
The Residence has served as the home for the Prince-Bishops of the 18th century. It is thanks to the Prince Bishops (and brothers) Johann Philipp Franz von Schönborn and Friedrich Carl von Schönborn that the Residence was first commissioned in 1720.
The Residence was finished in 1744 with the funds coming from a considerable amount of money that Johann Philipp won in a court case.
The Residence suffered from a series of bishops eager to expand, followed by another who had no interest whatsoever in construction. This trend of stop and go construction continued for almost eighty years, until the palace was finally completed in 1779.
While the Würzburg Residence survived the tumultuous 19th century, the 20th century was not as kind to this Lower Franconian gem. With the onslaught of the Second World War, the Residence suffered immensely. An air raid in the last days of the war in 1945 left this once-proud masterpiece as a smoldering ruin with only its vestibule still intact.
Decades of careful reconstruction, from 1945 until 1987 have returned its former splendor to Würzburg, much to the delight of its citizens and tourists.
Würzburg Residence Highlights And Features
One of the not-to-miss features of the Residence is its ornate and lavish staircase. It was designed by the then-unknown Balthasar Neumann, who used an unsupported vault to house his masterpiece. The famous frescoes on the ceiling were some of the largest ever painted. These were completed by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo of Venice.
The Court Garden
The Court Garden was built within the fortified city, so you can see elements of defense as well as art and beauty here. Within the high walls, there are delicate neoclassical sculptures, English garden-style meadows, fruit trees, numerous flowerbeds and terraced gardens.
Imperial and White Hall
The highlight of these halls is surely its remarkable stucco work. You can see incredibly intricate stucco that tells a story of German history. The marriage of Barbarossa and Beatrix can be seen here, as well as the appointment of the Würzburg bishop by Frederick II. These amazing artworks were also done by the Venetian painter Giovanni Battista Tiepolo.
Würzburg Residence Location And Opening Hours
GPS users can easily reach the Residence with their high-tech devices by punching in the street address Residenzplatz 2. The closest autobahns are the A3, A7 and A81. The Bundestraße roads B8, B13, B27 and B19 run just alongside the Residence.
If you want to use public transport, getting here is a breeze. If you arrive by train, it’s a twenty-minute walk from the Hauptbahnhof (Main Station) to the Residence.
From the Juliuspromenade, take bus 9 (from April to October only) directly to “Residenz.” In the off-season, bus 6 or 16 from Juliuspromenade and buses 12, 14, 20, and 28 from the main bus station can take you to “Mainfranken-Theater.” Additionally, trams 1, 3 and 5 run to the “Dom.”
Würzburg Residence Opening Hours
Würzburg Residence is open from 9:00 a.m to 6:00 p.m from April to October. From November to March, the times are 10:00 a.m to 4:30 p.m.
The Residence is closed on New Years, Christmas and Shrove Tuesday.
Würzburg Residence Website: http://www.residenz-wuerzburg.de