Würzburg – Fortress Marienberg and Palace Residence (UNESCO)

Finally, a post about Germany! I’m really ashamed of myself for not writing more about Frankfurt or Germany as a whole. To be honest, I haven’t been out and about to explore much. Whenever I look into possible places to visit, tourist organisations try really hard to sell me the idea of visiting museums A, B and C. Unfortunately, I am not quite a fine art museum goer. However, we’ve been feeling the need to get out of Frankfurt to appreciate Germany more and didn’t want to stay over for the night since it’s a last-minute decision to get on the road. Coincidentally, we both looked up Würzburg and thought it would be interesting.

Since it wasn’t planned well in advance, we bought the weekend ticket and took the regional train instead of the ICE. The journey took twice as long (1hr 50 mins) but it wasn’t too bad. German trains are great. There were two places that we wanted to visit – Marienberg Fortress and the Palace Residence.

Marienberg was home to the prince-bishops for centuries. It took us approximately 20-25 mins to get to the top from the Old Bridge. Despite it being a cold and grey day, the “hike” up was refreshing and we were just glad to have quality time together.

One of the highlights of Würzburg is the Palace Residence, a UNESCO site. It was built in the 1700s and very well-known for its rococo architecture. I am absolutely clueless when it comes to art and architecture so I didn’t know a thing about rococo before visiting this place.

Copyright Craftymemories.wordpress.com - Entrance of Palace Residence
Copyright Craftymemories.wordpress.com – Entrance of Palace Residence

What really shocked me was the interior of the Residence. It was extravagant and yet empty at the same time. Walls and ceilings were covered by fresco and paintings with black canvases. The architectural design was very loud and had a lot going on. I didn’t like the deco at all and thought it was over the top as it was too lavish. I couldn’t imagine anyone living there comfortably despite having all those riches.

I felt like an absolute idiot when I left the Residence. Despite not knowing anything about its history, I was criticising it. There were hardly any guides around to “educate” visitors and signs in the rooms would end with a sentence telling you to get a guidebook for more information. We weren’t allowed to visit a third of the Residence because we didn’t have a guide with us and nobody told us that at the entrance.

The fresco paintings were magnificent and the restoration must have been hardwork but I simply didn’t enjoy the visit. It felt as though a huge historical building has been left there to generate money from visitors with little effort to “educate” them. I’m sure it’s a historically rich place, but I only learned more about it doing my own internet research and not from the experience. It’s a shame, really.

For any of you who want to visit the Residence, do note that photography isn’t allowed. I bought postcards to share with you what the interior looks like. Try not to bring a huge backpack either since they make you lock it away. It’s quite strange because there aren’t anything to steal from the Residence since they only display huge furnitures, tapestry and big wall paintings. Nothing quite fits in your ordinary backpack – trust me, I’ve checked it out.


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