A couple of weeks ago we decided to go to Würzburg for the day. It is a short, and beautiful, drive from Frankfurt. We had fun exploring - this is what we did.
Würzburg is a scenic town on the Main River known for art, architecture, wine, and a university. Our children were interested in a gory story from Würzburg's past regarding three Irish missionaries who got murdered by the wife of a Duke they were trying to convert to Catholocism. The missionaries became Saints, and Wurzburg became a pilgrimage spot and in 724, a bishopric. The prince-bishops were very wealthy and powerful, leading to the creation of the spectacular Residenz.
Würzburg is close to Wertheim Village, the sweet little outlet store area outside of Frankfurt, which has a really wonderful playground and some nice restaurants. It you have some extra time and need to do some shopping, you may be able to combine these trips.
The Residenz is the highlight of a trip to Würzburg. It is a Unesco sight built in the 1700s and one of the most important Baroque palaces in Germany. We visited on a chilly, winter Sunday morning. This was perfect because we were almost the only visitors in the palace, so we could explore it at our own pace and imagine living there. We highly recommend getting Rick Steve's Germany guidebook as it contains a description of each of the rooms accessible by a self-guided tour. We also enjoyed the gardens, which are probably spectacular in summer. It has a huge parking lot, and we left our car there for the day.
This building from 1659 is adjoining the Rathaous, and right near the entrance to the Alte Mainbruke. It has a small room explaining the events that transpired during WWII in Würzburg, leading to 90% of the city being demolished. There is also a scale model of the demolished city and an inspiring copy of a letter from the Würzburg mayor regarding the evils of war. It is worth a visit,
and a moment of silence.
Exploring the City, and Alte Mainbruke
We wandered around Würzburg, and peeked into the large Dom St. Killian, and walked across the very old and scenic bridge across the Main - one of the oldest in Germany. There are fascinating statues of kings and other historic figures on the bridge, which we admired. There are many museums in Würzburg, perhaps we will go back to visit them another day.
If you walk across the bridge, it is possible to walk an additional 40 minutes to Festung Marienberg. We chose to get our car and drive instead. Festung Marienberg is a fortress where the bishop-leaders lived from the 1200s until the 1700s when the Residenz was completed. We did not do the guided tour (which I have heard is very child friendly), but explored a bit on our own. It's a beautiful old castle with gorgeous views.
A Great Lunch Spot
On a day trip to Würzburg, we highly recommend stopping into the cozy Cafe Michel for lunch. The vegetable strudel and other baked goodies were absolutely delicious. It is located in the center of the old town, near the Dom.
We liked Würzburg a lot. It was especially wonderful to explore the Residenz without any crowds. A perfect wintery day trip!