When I had arrived to the city of Wurzburg in Germany, it was to only visit the Wurzburg Residence, and I was in complete awe of the grandeur of this palace. I have a special passion for European art and architecture, so it was not an eccentric move for me to take a side trip to visit this UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was a worth while travel-nerd-girl stop, while hopping trains through Germany for five weeks.
Wurzburg Residenz is one of the most significant baroque palaces in Europe. It was the former home to the Wurzburg prince bishops, Johann Philipp Franz von Schönborn, and successor Friedrich Carl von Schönborn, as well as the the two following Würzburg prince-bishops. This grand palace took a lifetime of 60 years to finish, the exterior was built from 1720 to 1744, while the interior was completed in 1780.
I found the architectural mastery, the majestic staircase, and the interior space of each room all solidified the aesthetic perfection of its day. The palace is a beautiful expression of classic German Baroque with an influence of French château architecture, as well as the imperial baroque style of Vienna. It was magnificent!
The creative design of the palace’s interior was stunning. It took three generations of artisans and artists from across Europe to create a powerful yet an independent variation of the rococo fashion. The main highlights were the Imperial Hall ceiling, and staircase frescoes created by Venetian Giovanni Battista Tiepeolo, which were finished from 1751 to 1753.
World War II – At the end of touring Wurzburg Residenz, I found myself at an exhibit that shared photos and information of the major damage during WWII. I was in complete shock when I saw photos of Wurzburg Palace, and its devastation.
On March 16, 1945 only a few weeks prior to the end of the war, an air raid demolished 90% of Wurzburg, as well as setting the Residenz on fire. Wurzburg Residenz was almost burnt down, and the original wall paneling and furnishings had been destroyed. Thankfully all was not a loss as the core of the palace, Garden Hall, vestibule, White Hall, staircase, and Imperial Hall with Tiepolo’s Frescos remained.
The reconstruction of Wurzburg Residenz had cost 20 million Euros, and was a miraculous feat, considering the artistry taken to recreate the rooms and furnishings.
Court Garden – A Palace is not complete without a Court Garden and Wurzburg Residenz possesses a majestic one. The charming garden, with its meticulous gardens was initially landscaped during the 1770s by Johann Prokop Mayer, who was a Bohemian-born gardener. Mayer had filled the three garden sections with a multitude of topiary fruit trees, hedges, trellises, potted plants, and pergola walks. It was beautiful, and such a peaceful garden to stroll through after touring the palace.
My side step visit to Wurzburg Residence was well worth the trip, and I highly recommend visiting for those with an interest in history, architecture, and UNESCO sites. I would also highly suggest the visit to those who love anything beautiful and majestic.
UNESCO – Wurzburg Residenz with the Court Gardens and Residence Square was inscribed 1981 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, stating it as an Outstanding Universal Value.
For tourist information, please visit the official site of Wurzburg Residenz
The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page…– Saint Augustine
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