8 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Würzburg
The old Franconian episcopal city and university town of Würzburg lies in a beautiful location in a basin in the Main valley. High above the River Main, dominating the scene, stands the medieval Fortress Marienberg, built on the site of a former Bronze Age fort. Although intense bombing and fighting during WWII left much of the old town destroyed, it has since been painstakingly rebuilt and today offers numerous fine examples of medieval and more contemporary architecture. It's also a vibrant cultural center and boasts numerous events, festivals, and historical tourist attractions.
See also: Where to Stay in Würzburg
1 The Würzburg Residenz
In the spacious Residenzplatz in Würzburg is the Residenz, the splendid palace of the Prince-Bishops and one of the finest secular Baroque buildings in Germany. Built between 1719-44, its most notable features are its spectacular monumental staircase hall with its huge fresco by Tiepolo; the White Hall, with its Rococo stucco work; the sumptuously decorated Imperial Hall; the Hall of Mirrors; and the beautiful Court Church. In the south wing is the Martin von Wagner Museum with a superb collection of antiquities, a fine picture gallery, and print cabinet. Admission includes a guided tour of the main rooms.
Address: Residenzplatz 2, 97070 Würzburg
2 The Hofgarten - Würzburg Court Gardens
The Hofgarten, in the grounds of the Würzburg Residenz, is a spectacular French-style garden laid out between 1703 and 1774. Widely considered the best-preserved Rococo garden in Germany, its centerpiece is a large artificial lake with fountains and an elaborate sculpture crowned by Pegasus. The garden also boasts many other Baroque sculptures, including ornamental vases and allegorical figures. Of particular interest is the cultivation of varieties of topiary fruit trees common to the garden in the 18th century.
Address: Residenzplatz 2, 97070 Würzburg
3 The Marienberg Fortress and Princes' Building
High above the banks of the River Main in Würzburg rises the Marienberg Fortress. Crowned by the massive fort that was once the seat of the Prince-Bishops from the mid 13th century until the construction of the Residenz, the hill was once the location of a Bronze Age hill fort. Highlights include the spectacular Bibra Apartment with its collections of fine furniture, tapestries, and artwork; the Princes' Hall with its large tapestry; and the treasury and vestment chamber. Also of interest is the Baroque Armory dating from 1712 and home to the Mainfränkisches Museum with its superb collections of Franconian paintings and sculptures. Afterwards, be sure to visit the large Princes' Garden dating from the early 18th century, which offers spectacular views over the old city.
Address: Festung Marienberg, Nr. 240, 97082 Würzburg
4 Würzburg Cathedral
To the west of the Residenz is Würzburg Cathedral (Würzburger Dom), a lovely 11th-century edifice notable for its beautifully restored interior. Highlights include a number of fine bishops' tombs, including those of Rudolf von Scherenberg and Lorenz von Bibra, and the Schönborn Chapel by Bathasar Neumann dating from 1721-36. Dedicated to St. Kilian, Würzburg Cathedral is Germany's fourth largest Romanesque church, and is home to numerous works of art, including the baptismal font from 1279, a spectacular modern seven-armed candelabra, and a crypt with stained glass.
Address: Domstraße 43, 97070 Würzburg
Another iconic church building in Würzburg is the Neumünsterkirche, most notable for its 11th-century Romanesque east end and the Baroque west end, built in 1719. Under the dome are a figure of the Virgin and a crucifix, both by Riemenschneider, and in the west crypt is the sarcophagus of the Irish monk St. Kilian, the apostle of the Franks, who was murdered here in 689 AD along with his companions. In the former cloister, the Lusamgärtlein, is a memorial stone commemorating Walther von der Vogelweide, Germany's greatest medieval poet, who died in Würzburg in 1230.
Address: Domerpfarrgasse 10, 97070 Würzburg
6 St. Mary's Chapel
In Würzburg's Marktplatz, St. Mary's Chapel - the Marienkapelle - was built between 1377-1479 and remains the finest Late Gothic building in the city. This picturesque old building is notable for its magnificent doorways, and is also home to the Tomb of Balthasar Neumann, as well as a statue of Konrad von Schaumberg, who died in 1499. Adjoining St. Mary's Chapel is the famous Haus zum Falken (House of the Falcon), which boasts the city's finest Rococo facade.
Address: Marienplatz 7, 97070 Würzburg
7 The Old Main Bridge
Würzburg's Old Main Bridge, the Alte Mainbrücke, is a magnificent structure lined with Baroque statues of saints. It leads from the old city to the districts on the left bank of the River Main. From the bridge, visitors can see the Alter Krahnen, the Old Cranes installed in 1773 to help unload ships. Highlights of the city's left bank, below the Marienberg Fortress, are the 11th-century parish church of St. Burkard, and the Burkarder Tor, a wonderful old city gate built in 1680 that marks the entrance to a pedestrian- and bike-only tunnel connecting two old neighborhoods.
8 Kappele Würzburg
Upstream from Fortress Marienberg is Kappele Würzburg, a picturesque pilgrimage chapel built by Balthasar Neumann in a Russian Orthodox style between 1747-50. Highlights of the building, set amidst a lovely wooded area high above the River Main, are its many frescoes by Matthias Günther, as well as its beautiful views, particularly in the evening. From the banks of the Main, a steep and shady stepped lane with Stations of the Cross leads up to the chapel.
Address: Spittelbergweg 21, 97082 Würzburg
Where to Stay in Würzburg for Sightseeing
We recommend these great hotels in Würzburg near the city's top attractions:
- Schlosshotel Steinburg: hilltop luxury, bucolic setting, beautiful views, mix of modern and medieval-themed decor, indoor pool and steam room.
- Hotel Gruener Baum: mid-range pricing, fantastic location, wonderful staff, traditional breakfast, secure garage.
- Mercure Hotel Wuerzburg am Mainufer: affordable rates, contemporary style, spacious bathroom.
- Ibis Wuerzburg City: budget hotel, sleek design, comfortable beds, multilingual staff.