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Würzburg
Fortress Marienberg with Old Main Bridge in the front
Fortress Marienberg with Old Main Bridge in the front
Coat of arms of Würzburg
Würzburg is located in Germany
Würzburg
Coordinates 49°47′0″N 09°56′0″E / 49.783333°N 9.933333°E / 49.783333; 9.933333
Administration
Country Germany
State Bavaria
Admin. region Lower Franconia
District Urban district
Mayor Georg Rosenthal (SPD)
Basic statistics
Area 87.63 km2 (33.83 sq mi)
Elevation 177 m  (581 ft)
Population 134,440  (30 June 2008)
 - Density 1,534 /km2 (3,974 /sq mi)
Other information
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Licence plate
Postal codes 97018–97084
Area code 0931
Cathedral and city hall.

Würzburg (German pronunciation: [ˈvʏɐ̯tsbʊɐ̯k]) is a city in the region of Franconia which lies in the northern tip of Bavaria, Germany. Located on the Main River, it is the capital of the Regierungsbezirk Lower Franconia. The regional dialect is Franconian.

Würzburg is approximately 120 kilometres (75 mi) from either Frankfurt or Nuremberg by road. The city of Würzburg is not included in the district of Würzburg, but is its administrative seat. Its population is 131,320 as of December 31, 2006.

Contents

History

Würzburg Residence

By 1000 BC a Celtic fortification stood on the site of the present Fortress Marienberg. It was Christianized in 686 by Irish missionaries Kilian, Colman and Totnan. The city is first mentioned as Vurteburch in 704. The first diocese was founded by Saint Boniface in 742. He appointed the first bishop of Würzburg, Saint Burkhard. The bishops eventually created a duchy with its center in the city, which extended in the 12th century to Eastern Franconia. The city was the seat of several Imperial diets, including the one of 1180, in which Henry the Lion was banned from the Empire and his duchy was handed over to Otto of Wittelsbach.

The first church on the site of the present Würzburg Cathedral was built as early as 788, and consecrated that same year by Charlemagne; the current building was constructed from 1040 to 1225 in Romanesque style. The University of Würzburg was founded in 1402 and re-founded in 1582.

The citizens of the city revolted several times against the prince-bishop, until definitively defeated in 1400. Later, Würzburg was a center of the German Peasants' War; the castle was besieged unsuccessfully. Notable prince-bishops include Julius Echter von Mespelbrunn (1573–1617) and members of the Schönborn family, who commissioned a great number of the monuments of today's city. In 1631, Swedish King Gustavus Adolphus invaded the town and destroyed the castle.

In 1720, the foundations of the Würzburg Residence were laid. The city passed to the Electorate of Bavaria in 1803, but two years later, in the course of the Napoleonic Wars, it became the seat of the Electorate of Würzburg, the later Grand Duchy of Würzburg. In 1814, the town became part of the Kingdom of Bavaria and a new bishopric was created seven years later, as the former one had been secularized in 1803.

Massacres of Jews took place in 1147 and 1298 and expulsions throughout the Middle Ages. In the period of Nazi rule, almost the whole Jewish and Gypsy population of the city was wiped out.

During World War II, on March 16, 1945, about 90% of the city was destroyed by some 225 Lancaster bombers in 17 minutes by a British air raid. Most of the city's churches, cathedrals, and other monuments did not survive, while the city center, dating from medieval times, was totally destroyed in a firestorm in which some 5,000 people perished. During the next 20 years, the buildings of historical importance were painstakingly and accurately replicated. The citizens who rebuilt the city immediately after the end of the war were mostly women (Trümmerfrauen = rubblewomen), since men were either dead or taken prisoners of war. Relatively, Würzburg was destroyed more completely than was Dresden in a firebombing the previous month.

After the war, Würzburg was host to the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Division, 1st Infantry Division, U.S. Army Hospital and various other U.S. military units that maintained a presence in Germany. The U.S. units were withdrawn from Würzburg in 2008, bringing an end to over 60 years of U.S. military presence in Würzburg that had been greatly beneficial to the local economy.

Town structure

Würzburg from the Fortress Marienberg

Würzburg is divided into 13 municipals which are additionally structured 25 boroughs. In the following overview, the boroughs and their numbers are allocated to the 13 municipals.

01 Altstadt

  • Dom (01)
  • Neumünster (02)
  • Peter (03)
  • Innere Pleich (04)
  • Haug (05)
  • Äußere Pleich (06)
  • Rennweg (09)
  • Mainviertel (17)

02 Zellerau

  • Zellerau (18)

03 Dürrbachtal

  • Dürrbachau (07)
  • Unterdürrbach (22)
  • Oberdürrbach (23)

04 Grombühl

  • Grombühl (08)

05 Lindleinsmühle

  • Lindleinsmühle (19)

06 Frauenland

  • Mönchberg (10)
  • Frauenland (11)
  • Keesburg (12)

07 Sanderau

  • Sanderau (13)

08 Heidingsfeld

  • Heidingsfeld (14)

09 Heuchelhof

  • Heuchelhof (20)

10 Steinbachtal

  • Steinbachtal (15)
  • Nikolausberg (16)

11 Versbach

  • Versbach (24)

12 Lengfeld

  • Lengfeld (25)

13 Rottenbauer

  • Rottenbauer (21)

Main sights

Residenz (front view).

Notable artists that lived in Würzburg include poet Walther von der Vogelweide (12th and 13th cent.), philosopher Albertus Magnus and painter Mathias Grünewald. Two artists who made a lasting impression were sculptor Tilman Riemenschneider (1460–1531), who was also mayor and participated in the Peasants' War, and Balthasar Neumann (1687–1753), Baroque architect and builder of the Würzburg Residence, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its interior was decorated by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo and his son, Domenico.

Many of the city's "100 churches" survived intact with styles ranging from Romanesque (Würzburg Cathedral), Gothic (Marienkapelle), Renaissance (Neubaukirche), Baroque (Stift Haug Kirche) to modern (St Andreas).

Würzburg hosts the Mainfranken Museum, with artifacts from prehistory until modern times, a Museum of the cathedral, galleries for ancient and modern art, and the "Kulturspeicher" from 2002. Notable festivals include the Afrika Festival in May, the Mozartfest, in June/July and the Kiliani Volksfest in mid July.

  • Würzburg Residenz: The vast complex on the eastern edge of the town was commissioned by two prince-bishops, the brothers Johann Philipp Franz and Friedrich Karl von Schönborn. Its construction between 1720 and 1744 was supervised by several architects, including Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt and Maximilian von Welsch. Although much of it destroyed during WWII, it has been completely rebuilt as it was before the war. However, it is associated mainly with the name of Balthasar Neumann, the creator of its famous Baroque staircase. Its main sights are:
    • Hofkirche: The church interior is richly decorated with paintings, sculptures and stucco ornaments. The altars were painted by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo.
    • Treppenhaus: The largest fresco in the world adorns the vault of the staircase by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. For many years the staircase appeared on a Deutschmark bill.
    • Kaisersaal: The centerpiece of the palace, emperor's chamber which testifies the close relationship between Würzburg and the Holy Roman Empire.
Fortress Marienberg
  • The Fortress Marienberg is the castle on a hill across the Old Main Bridge, overlooking the whole town area as well as the surrounding hills.
  • Würzburg's Old Main Bridge (Alte Mainbrücke) was built 1473–1543 to replace the destroyed Romanesque bridge from 1133. It was adorned from 1730 on in two phases with well-known statues of saints and famous persons. A similar impressive bridge is the Charles Bridge in Prague.
  • Among Würzburg's many notable churches are the Käppele, a small Baroque/Rococo chapel by Balthasar Neumann on a hill opposite to the fortress and the Dom (Würzburg Cathedral). The Baroque Schönborn Chapel, a side-chapel of the cathedral has interior decoration made of (artificial) human bones and skulls. Also in the cathedral are two of Tilman Riemenschneider's most famous works, the tomb stones of Rudolf II von Scherenberg (1466–1495) and Lorenz von Bibra (1495–1519). Look for replicas of the statues of Adam and Eve by Riemenschneider at the entrance to the Marienkapelle (on the market square). The Neumünster is a Romanesque minster church with a Baroque façade and dome. Among the Baroque churches in the inner city are Stift Haug, St. Michael, St. Stephan and St. Peter.
  • The Julius Spital is a Baroque hospital with a courtyard and a church built by the prince bishop Julius Echter. Its medieval wine cellar, together with those of the Würzburg Residence and the Bürgerspital are one place to taste the Frankenwein. With an area under cultivation of 1.68 square kilometres, the Julius Spital is the second largest winery in Germany.
  • The Haus zum Falken next to the Marienkapelle, with its splendid facade, is an achievement of the Würzburg rococo period and accommodates a tourist office.
  • The Stift Haug was built in the years 1670–1691 and was the first Baroque church in Franconia. It is the most important building of the Italian architect Antonio Petrini.

Gallery

University of Würzburg

new university

Commerce and business

Würzburg is mainly known as an administrative center. Its largest employers are the Julius-Maximilians-University which is one of the oldest universities in Germany, first founded in 1402 and the municipality. The largest private employer is world market leader Koenig & Bauer, a maker of printing machines. Würzburg is also the capital of the German wine region Franconia which is famous for its mineralic dry white wines especially from the Silvaner grape. Würzburger brewery is also a popular pilsner beer worldwide.

Transport

  • Roads

The city is located on the intersection of the Autobahns A 3 and A 7.

  • Rail

The city's main station is at the southern end of the Hanover-Würzburg high-speed rail line and offers frequent InterCityExpress and InterCity connections to cities such as Frankfurt, Nuremberg, Munich, Kassel, Hanover or Hamburg. It also is an important hub in the regional rail network.

Würzburg Main station
Long distance Route
Inter-City-Express
(Linie 25)
  MunichNurembergWürzburgKasselHanoverHamburg
Munich – AugsburgWürzburg – Kassel – Hanover – Hamburg / – Bremen
Inter-City-Express
(Linie 31)
  ViennaLinzPassau – Nuremberg – Würzburg – Frankfurt (Main) – Koblenz – Cologne – WuppertalHagenDortmund
Inter-City-Express
(Linie 41)
  Munich - Nuremberg – WürzburgFrankfurt (Main)CologneDüsseldorfEssen
high-speed rail line Würzburg - Hanover
regional Route
Regional-Express   WürzburgKitzingen - Neustadt (Aisch)Fürth – Nuremberg
Regional-Express   WürzburgAschaffenburgHanau – Frankfurt (Main)
Regional-Express   WürzburgOsterburkenHeilbronnLudwigsburg - Stuttgart
Regional-Express   WürzburgSchweinfurt - Bamberg - LichtenfelsHof/–Bayreuth
Regional-Express   Würzburg – Bamberg – Erlangen – Fürth – Nuremberg
Regional-Express   WürzburgSchweinfurt - Bad Kissingen / - Münnerstadt - Bad Neustadt - Mellrichstadt - Meiningen - Suhl - Arnstadt - Erfurt
Regional train   SchlüchternGemünden (Main)WürzburgSchweinfurt – Bamberg
Regional train   KarlstadtWürzburgSteinachAnsbachTreuchtlingen
Regional train   Würzburg – Kitzingen
Regional train   WürzburgBad MergentheimWeikersheimCrailsheim
  • Trams
Würzburg tram crosses the River Main on the Lion Bridge (Löwenbrücke)

Würzburg has a tram network of 5 lines with a length of 19.7 km.

Line Route Time Stops
1 Grombühl – Sanderau 20 minutes 20
2 Hauptbahnhof (Main station) – Zellerau 14 minutes 11
3 Hauptbahnhof (Main Station) – Heuchelhof 27 minutes 20
4 Sanderau – Zellerau 23 min. 18
5 Grombühl – Rottenbauer 39 minutes 31

The new Line 6 from Hauptbahnhof (Main Station) to Hubland university via Residence will be realized in 2015.

  • Buses

27 bus lines are connecting several parts of the city. 25 bus lines connect the Würzburg district with the city.

  • Port

The Main river flows into the Rhine and is connected to the Danube via the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal. This makes it part of a trans-European waterway connecting the North Sea to the Black Sea.

Points of interest

Notable people

Historic population figures for Würzburg

Year Population
1200 5,000
1787 18,070
1900 84,335
1939 112,997
1950 86,564
1961 126,093
1970 128,547
1987 123,378
2002 131,582
2004 133,539
2006 134,913

Twin towns

Würzburg maintains cultural, economic and educational ties with:

Associated:

Partner:

See also

Literature

  • Congress - Tourismus - Wirtschaft (A municipal enterprise of the City of Würzburg): Würzburg. Visitors' Guide. Würzburg 2007. A leaflet.

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Würzburg or Wuerzburg[1] (and sometimes mis-spelled as Wurzburg) is in Franconia, in northern Bavaria,Germany.

Würzburg (CC 2003 Stephen Salomons)
Würzburg (CC 2003 Stephen Salomons)
Würzburg Residence and Garden (CC 2003 Stephen Salomons)
Würzburg Residence and Garden (CC 2003 Stephen Salomons)
Würzburg Residence (CC 2003 Stephen Salomons)
Würzburg Residence (CC 2003 Stephen Salomons)

Understand

Founded in the 10th century, Würzburg served as the home of powerful prince-bishops for many centuries. It is renowned for the Residence, regarded as one of the finest palaces in Europe and a high point of Baroque art (also UNESCO cultural world heritage!). Würzburg is also home to one of the oldest churches in Germany, built in the 8th century on top of a former pagan shrine. One of its most famous structures, Festung Marienberg, is a fortress which now surrounds the church.

Würzburg was the center of the kingdom known as Franconia. In the 19th century, Napoleon merged Franconia with Bavaria, by which the city is ruled to this day.

Würzburg experienced heavy demolition during a 20-minute bombing raid in 1945 which destroyed some 80% of its city buildings. Much of the city has since been rebuilt, though not as painstakingly true to its original architecture as some other historic german communities. Anyone eager to visit this town to study its historic architectural structures should be prepared to see its restored buildings placed next to several post-war modernistic houses. Würzburg has been home to a large US military installment since post-World War II reconstruction. As a result, many of the locals are familiar with American customs. However, as of 2006, the military base is scheduled to close which will cause the city to lose most of its American presence.

Today Würzburg is a beautiful, historic, and lively city that is often overlooked by foreign visitors.

Get in

By plane

Würzburg is not served by an airport. However, if you fly into Frankfurt, Nuremberg or Munich, the Deutsche Bahn can get you anywhere that's worth going. Get on an ICE train, which will take you an hour until you reach the Wuerzburger Hauptbahnhof, from Munich you will drive about 3 hours.

By train

Würzburg can be reached directly from most any train in western Germany. To get there from Berlin will require a change. This will usually occur in Göttingen.

By car

Würzburg has an excellent connection to the German "Autobahn" (highway)-system. A3 (highway 3) from Cologne via Frankfurt and Nuremberg to Austria passes the city as well as A7 (highway 7) from Hannover via Göttingen to Ulm. In addition there is A81 to Stuttgart

Get around

Würzburg has a good public transport system. It has trams and buses.

Staircase in Residence
Staircase in Residence
  • Würzburger Residence is one of the finest Palaces in Europe and is famed for its magnificent staircase. It is regarded as one of the finest pieces of Baroque art in the world as such it has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The building was designed by Balthasar Neuman, and the Fresco above the Staircase was painted by Tiepolo, it is reputed to be the largest in the world. The palace has 300 rooms, spread over 3 wings. There is also a Chapel decorated by Tiepolo which is free to enter and well worth a visit

Entrance is €5, 9am - 6 pm Summer 10am-4.30pm winter

  • Würzburger Residence gardens are situated behind the Palace and are free to enter

There are several old, beauiful churches in town to visit and marvel at, cafes, shops and eating establishments to spend time in as well as taking in a guided tour of the city.

  • Festung Marienberg. Enjoy the beatiful view over the city and the Main from the fortress' walls which are open freely to the public. The castle's pay-admission museum is a somewhat confusing experience to foreign visitors and could be avoided as it is almost entirely in german. No english language guiding is available. Also note that most of the Marienberg's once very rare collections and interior were destroyed in a fire during the war. Today's interior and the present collections are a sad replacement.

Do

Würzburger Weinfest, one of the bigger wine fairs. But nearly every winegrowing village in Lower Franconia has its own wine fair, so you can visit at least one if you visit Würzburg in summer or fall months.

Africa Festival, one of the biggest festivals about african culture. Mostly about May or June.

Buy

Wine

Germany may be world renowned for its beer, but its wine is its hidden treasure. Franconian wine is amongst the best in the country and Wuerzburg has been growing grapes since its first contact with the Romans. Be sure to pick up a memory that will last by picking up a bottle of wine. Franconian wine is often sold in special bottles named "Bocksbeutel". Normally having 3/4 litres there also exist smaller ones with 3/8 litres. These bottles look small and fat. If you do not know much about wine, buy it directly from the winegrowers or from small shops which sell only wine. They do know...

Eat

If you want to eat cheaply, you should try "Zum Lamm". Best Doner in town is at the West end of the AlteMainbrucke, it is called MC' Doner. Fresh pitas regularly.

Only decent Mexican food is at Joe's, don't waste your time anywhere else.

Drink

The local brewery, Würzburger Hofbraeu, brews excellent wheat beer (Weissbier), which carries the name of a 1600s bishop of Würzburg, Julius Echter. Basically this beer is served for you in almost all the local bars, if you order a hefe.

Würzburg resides in the middle of Franconian wineland and Frankenwein is served in many places. You can recognize the peculiar shaped bottle, Bocksbeutel, easily.

  • Babelfish Hostel, Prymstraße 3 (Next to the railway station), +49(0)9313040430, [2].  edit
  • Jugendherberge, (Below the fortress of Marienberg on the left bank of the river Main), [3].  edit

Get out

Würzburg is the start of Germany's famed Romantic Road. From here you can travel down to Rothenburg and the Bavarian Alps.

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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

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Würzburg

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Proper noun

Würzburg

  1. Würzburg (city in Franconia)

Simple English

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