Würzburg Innenstadt, Foto: pixabay Falkenhaus, Marienkapelle, Foto: FrankenTourismus Lusamgärtchen, Foto: Andreas Bestle Weinhaus zum Stachel, Foto: CTW Würzburg, Kranen, Foto: pixabay Juliusspital, Foto: Andreas- Bestle Würzburg, Marktplatz, Foto: pixabay Rathaus Grafeneckart, Foto: Dietmar Denger Dom, Kreuzgang, Foto: CTW Residenz, Hofgarten, Foto: FrankenTourismus, FWL
Tour

Magnificent architecture and charitable wine in Würzburg

Food highlight
Fine wine
For Adults
Program & Tours
City Trip
Culturally Important

Attention culture lovers and connoisseurs! This city walk takes you past the architectural and historical highlights of the Franconian wine capital of Würzburg.

Start
Würzburg
Duration
2 h
Distance
4 km
Key facts of the tour
Würzburg is surrounded by vineyards and dominated by the Marienberg fortress. In this pretty Franconian university town, you will inevitably stumble across an important building or an invitation to savour culinary delights every few steps.

The former prince-bishop's residence has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1981. Balthasar Neumann created this "castle above all castles", whose famous staircase with the world's largest ceiling fresco adorned the last 50 DM note.

This barrier-free tour selects some of Würzburg's many architectural and historical highlights for you and also reveals how you can enjoy Franconian wine at the city's major wineries and do some good at the same time.
A city tour for connoisseurs and culture lovers

Start and end station

Start station
Würzburg Hauptbahnhof
5 tour steps
4 km / 2 Stunden
End station
Würzburg Hauptbahnhof

Our tip: Please make sure to check your train connection and the expected capacity before you start your journey.

Schedule

Tour starts on Würzburg Hauptbahnhof

Direction

Beautiful Würzburg greets you as soon as you arrive at the main railway station with its pretty green spaces and the Kilian Fountain. Kilian, the Apostle of Franconia, is turned towards the city in blessing. You follow his blessing and cross the Röntgenring. The wide pedestrian zone of Kaiserstraße begins straight ahead. After 300 metres, turn right at Barbarossaplatz into Juliuspromenade. Another 100 metres further on, you slip through the archway on the right and reach the impressive inner courtyard of the Julius Hospital.

Juliusspital

Prince-Bishop Julius Echter founded the hospital in 1576 for "the poor, indigent and poor people, including old, sick, ailing and abandoned people".

After the rather plain street frontage, the imposing baroque complex in the inner courtyard comes as a surprise. The princely building from 1699 was designed by Antonio Petrini, who is known for combining Italian Baroque with German Renaissance and introducing Franconian Baroque. The rococo pharmacy in the eastern wing has been preserved in its original form and is still part of the hospital operations. In the passageway to the garden, the 16th century relief depicts the foundation's tasks. The garden pavilion was used as an anatomical institute until 1854. The fountain in the garden depicts the four Franconian rivers Main, Sinn, Saale and Tauber.

The 250 metre long wine cellar of the winery is located under the prince's building. Prince-Bishop Julius Echter endowed the charitable foundation with vineyards, woodland and farmland when it was founded. To this day, the proceeds from the vineyard help to finance the social tasks. The hospital's wines and Franconian cuisine specialities are served in the Juliusspital Weinstuben right next door.

Juliuspromenade 19
97070
Würzburg

Phone: 0931 3930
Juliusspital, Foto: Andreas- Bestle

Direction

Continue along Juliuspromenade and turn left into Schönbornstraße at the next opportunity. Pass the monastery church of the Augustinian order and turn right onto the market square.

Marketplace

Strictly speaking, the market square consists of the smaller Upper Market and the larger Lower Market.
At the Häckerbrunnen fountain on the Upper Market - Häcker is the Franconian term for winegrower - the lavishly decorated rococo façade of the Falkenhaus catches the eye. Originally home to the cathedral priest, it became an inn in 1629. At that time there were no street names, the building was called "Haus zum Falken". In 1751, the innkeeper Meißner had it decorated with magnificent stucco by Upper Bavarian plasterers. She had two reasons: Firstly, the eye-catching façade advertised her inn from then on. Secondly, the landlady was granted a tax exemption for seven years because, according to a fire protection decree issued by the prince-bishop, all houses clad in the Baroque style were to be subsidised for tax purposes. Today it houses the tourist information centre and the town library.

In the Middle Ages, the Jewish community settled around a swamp on the Unterer Markt. After a pogrom in 1339, during which the Jewish quarter was burnt down, the townspeople built the Chapel of St Mary in 1377 in place of the synagogue as atonement. Inside are numerous tombs of Franconian knights and wealthy citizens. A memorial plaque indicates the burial place of the famous baroque architect Balthasar Neumann. The portal figures of Adam and Eve were created by the famous sculptor Tilman Riemenschneider.

Marktplatz
97070
Würzburg

Würzburg, Marktplatz, Foto: pixabay

Direction

From the Marienkapelle, go straight ahead into Marktgasse and after 50 metres turn left into Gressengasse. There you will pass Würzburg's oldest inn, the "Stachel". This is where the rebels met during the Peasants' War in 1525 under the leadership of Götz von Berlichingen and Florian Geyer. To symbolise their meeting, they hung the morning star - in Franconian: sting - out of the window.

Continue straight ahead along Langgasse to the town hall and the Vierröhrenbrunnen fountain.

Grafeneckart town hall with four-tube fountain

Today's town hall is made up of buildings from different eras. The so-called Red Building was built in the Renaissance. However, the oldest part is the Grafeneckart. Its origins go back to a family tower from around 1180. The building was given its name in the 12th century by a castle mayor who lived here.

The town has used this building as its town hall for over 700 years. In the middle of the 15th century, the tower was built to a height of 55 metres and the clock was installed. A tower keeper lived in the tower, keeping watch for fires and ringing the storm bell in the event of an alarm. The most important and oldest room is the Wenceslas Hall. King Wenceslas, the King of Bohemia, had promised the people of Würzburg their long-awaited imperial freedom, but revoked this shortly afterwards.

On the ground floor of the town hall, a memorial room with a model of the destroyed city of Würzburg commemorates 16 March 1945, when more than 80 percent of Würzburg's old town was reduced to rubble within 20 minutes. Around 5000 people died.

A lime tree once stood in front of the Grafeneckart, under which the council held court. When it fell over in the 16th century, its image was quickly painted on the façade to indicate that court was being held in the town hall.

The lime tree was replaced by the four-tube fountain. It was the first functioning fountain with running water in the town. Previously, the water, which was usually not very healthy, had been drawn from wells. Balthasar Neumann had the pipes laid in the city as part of his construction work on the residence. The fountain in its present form was built in 1766 and features figurative depictions of the four cardinal virtues of wisdom, justice, temperance and valour, which would have been a welcome sight for the city fathers in the town hall.

Beim Grafeneckart 1
97070
Würzburg

Rathaus Grafeneckart, Foto: Dietmar Denger

Direction

Walk a few steps from the town hall in the direction of the Main. The ramp at the Fontana ice cream parlour will take you to the Old Main Bridge. Here you can enjoy a bridge pint and the view of the river and many of the city's sights, and not just on warm summer evenings. First and foremost, of course, the Marienberg Fortress, which towers a hundred metres above the city.

From the old Marienbrücke bridge, head towards the cathedral. Around 300 metres long, Domstraße was a market square in the Middle Ages and is now a busy shopping street.

The Sternplatz square is halfway along the street on the right. The "Sternbäck" is a reminder of the centuries-old tradition of bakeries, a special type of wine bar in Würzburg. In the past, bakeries did not serve food, but usually Franconian wine from their own vineyards, so guests were allowed to bring their own food. Nowadays, most bakeries have a menu.
Opposite the Sternplatz square is one of the old craftsmen's alleyways. After 50 metres on the right across Schmalzmarkt, you will see the baroque façade of the Neumünster straight ahead. A small, inconspicuous grey door leads into the crypt of the church to the modern tomb shrine of the three Franconian apostles Kilian, Kolonat and Totnan, the destination of the pilgrimage to St. Kilian, which is still important in Franconia today.

A few steps down to the right and you are at the cathedral forecourt, from where you reach Kiliansplatz through the passage between the cathedral and the Museum am Dom. Access to the cathedral on the right is barrier-free.

St Kilian's Cathedral

The fourth largest Romanesque church in Germany is dedicated to the patron saint of the diocese, the Franconian martyr Kilian. Today's building is the third church on this site and was built between 1040 and 1075 under Bishops Bruno and Adalbero.

The mighty interior surprises with its interesting mixture of art and architectural styles from Romanesque to modern. The funerary monuments of the Würzburg prince-bishops, especially the sculptures of Rudolph von Scherenberg and Lorenz von Bibra by Tilman Riemenschneider, are worthy of note.

The Romanesque baptismal font stands out in the centre of the nave of the church, while the mighty Klais organ with its 87 stops and 6,652 pipes is located in the large gallery on the west side of the nave. The valuable cathedral pulpit with the four evangelists at its base was designed by Michael Kern in the Renaissance style at the beginning of the 17th century. The entrance to the Schönborn family's burial chapel, designed by Balthasar Neumann, is located in the left transept.

Domstraße 40
97070
Würzburg

Monday: 09:30am - 05:30pm
Tuesday: 09:30am - 05:30pm
Wednesday: 09:30am - 05:30pm
Thursday: 09:30am - 05:30pm
Friday: 09:30am - 05:30pm
Saturday: 09:30am - 05:30pm
Dom, Kreuzgang, Foto: CTW
Dom, Kiliansplatz, Foto: FWL, Lizenz: FrankenTourismus

Direction

It is only a few steps from the cathedral to the rear of the Neumünster. In its Lusamgärtchen, a memorial stone commemorates the minstrel Walther von der Vogelweide, who is believed to have been buried here in 1230.

At the Lusamgärtchen exit, turn right along Martinstraße and Hofstraße, past the Schönborn Chapel and the stately Domherrenhöfe and straight ahead to Residenzplatz with the Franconia Fountain. At the top is the figure of Franconia, the patron saint of Franconia. At her feet you will see statues of three artists whose fates are closely linked to Würzburg: the minstrel Walther von der Vogelweide, the sculptor Tilman Riemenschneider and the painter Matthias Grünewald.

But perhaps you only have eyes for what is probably Würzburg's most famous gem: the Residenz, which you should definitely visit from the inside.

Würzburg Residence

The Residenz is "the most uniform and extraordinary of all Baroque palaces". With this justification, it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1981. The Würzburg Residence is the work of the famous architect and prince-bishop's chief building director Balthasar Neumann. From the middle of the 18th century until secularisation, the expropriation of church property at the beginning of the 19th century, the residence was the seat of the Würzburg prince-bishops.

The history of this magnificent building begins at the beginning of the 18th century. At that time, Prince-Bishop Johann Philipp Franz von Schönborn won an embezzlement case and received 600,000 guilders. This money was to be used to build a palace. It was the age of absolutism, in which the ruler had to demonstrate his power and wealth through the size of his residence.

Prince-Bishop von Schönborn commissions the hitherto unknown architect Balthasar Neumann with the plans. The foundation stone is laid in 1720. The shell of the building is completed in 1744. Renowned European artists are engaged to design the interior. These included the Venetian Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, who created the largest continuous ceiling fresco in the world in the stairwell. Also the plasterer Antonio Bossi, famous for his work in the White Hall of the Residence. The building work ends in 1778 after almost 60 years of construction.

In the end, the Würzburg Residence is 168 metres long, 92 metres deep and has 360 rooms, of which around 40 can be visited today. Beneath the Residenz are the mighty baroque vaults of the Staatlicher Hofkeller, one of Würzburg's three large wine estates. The Hofkeller dates back to a deed of gift from 1128. This makes it the oldest documented winery in Germany.

Magnificent wrought-iron gates between the south wing of the Residence and the Envoy Building lead into the Court Garden. Its southern section is strictly symmetrical in the French Baroque style. Cone-shaped yew trees frame the fountain. Balthasar Neumann already had the idea of incorporating the Baroque city wall into the garden design. This is done in the eastern garden, which is designed in the style of Italian Baroque gardens, where terraces halfway up the wall invite visitors to take a stroll. The night music of the Mozart Festival in June is particularly atmospheric against this backdrop.

Residenzplatz 2
97070
Würzburg

Phone: 0931 35517-0
Email Address: sgvwuerzburg@bsv.bayern.de
01.04. - 31.10.
Monday: 09:00am - 06:00pm
Tuesday: 09:00am - 06:00pm
Wednesday: 09:00am - 06:00pm
Thursday: 09:00am - 06:00pm
Friday: 09:00am - 06:00pm
Saturday: 09:00am - 06:00pm
Sunday: 09:00am - 06:00pm
01.11. - 31.03.
Monday: 10:00am - 04:30pm
Tuesday: 10:00am - 04:30pm
Wednesday: 10:00am - 04:30pm
Thursday: 10:00am - 04:30pm
Friday: 10:00am - 04:30pm
Saturday: 10:00am - 04:30pm
Sunday: 10:00am - 04:30pm
Residenz, Hofgarten, Foto: FrankenTourismus, FWL
Residenz, Hofgarten, Foto: FrankenTourismus, FWL

Tour ends on Würzburg Hauptbahnhof

Direction

If you haven't already done so, why not take the opportunity to try the famous Franconian wine? Goethe once wrote: "No other wine will taste good to me, and I'm weary when my usual favourite potion fails me."

The vinotheque in the Rosenbachpalais on the north side of Residenzplatz serves the wines of the Staatlicher Hofkeller. Incidentally, it has never been privately owned, but has been in the hands of the respective state without interruption. Today, the Free State of Bavaria is the owner of the Hofkeller.

From there, the tour continues to the Bürgerspital zum Hl. Geist. This foundation of Würzburg citizens from 1316 owns the third large Würzburg winery. The proceeds from the renowned winery help to finance retirement homes and a geriatric clinic. This means that you can enjoy a visit to the wine house under the carillon and do good at the same time.

Theaterstraße takes you back to Barbarossaplatz. Here you turn back into Kaiserstraße, which takes you directly to the main railway station.

Tour map

Start/Ende

Würzburg Hauptbahnhof

Bahnhofplatz 4

97070 Würzburg

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