- Places to Explore
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
- German Phrases
Residenz (Residence) Review
The line of Würzburg's prince-bishops lived in this glorious baroque palace after moving down from the hilltop Festung Marienberg. Construction started in 1719 under the brilliant direction of Balthasar Neumann. Most of the interior decoration was entrusted to the Italian stuccoist Antonio Bossi and the Venetian painter Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. It's the spirit of the pleasure-loving prince-bishop Johann Philipp Franz von Schönborn, however, that infuses the Residenz. Now considered one of Europe's most sumptuous palaces, this dazzling structure is a 10-minute walk from the railway station, along pedestrian-only Kaiserstrasse and then Theaterstrasse.
As you enter the building, the largest baroque staircase in the country, the Treppenhaus, greets you. Halfway up, the stairway splits and peels away 180 degrees to the left and to the right. Soaring above on the vaulting is Tiepolo's giant fresco The Four Continents, a gorgeous exercise in blue and pink, with allegorical figures at the corners representing the four continents known at the time (take a careful look at the elephant's trunk). Tiepolo immortalized himself and Balthasar Neumann as two of the figures—they're not too difficult to spot. The fresco, which survived a devastating wartime bombing raid, is being restored bit by bit, so don't be surprised to find a small section covered by scaffolding.
Next, make your way to the Weissersaal (White Room) and then beyond to the grandest of the state rooms, the Kaisersaal (Throne Room). Tiepolo's frescoes show the 12th-century visit of Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, when he came to Würzburg to claim his bride. If you take part in the guided tour, you'll also see private chambers of the various former residents (guided tours in English are given daily at 11 and 3).
Finally, tour the Hofgarten (Court Gardens). The 18th-century formal garden has stately gushing fountains and trim ankle-high shrubs outlining geometric flower beds and gravel walks.
Free Fodor's Newsletter
Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.
Fodor's Trip Planning Ideas
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Go List: Fodor's Top 25 Places to Go in 2013
- Hotel Awards 2012: Fodor's 100 Top Hotels
- Best of Europe: Fodor's Picks the Best Places to Visit in Europe
- Small budget: Book Augusta 3 Nts in May Fr $146+/Nt Expedia
- BEST WESTERN Dasing-Augsburg in May: $97 & Up Expedia
- Small budget: Stay in Augsburg this May Fr $153+/Nt — $153 Expedia
Above is a blog that I hope will be entertaining and helpful to anyone who might be interested in backpacking across the continent. This is specifically for anyone who's Read more
We just returned from a relatively quick eight-day holiday break to Berlin, Dresden and Prague and are trying to get going on a trip report while things are still fresh in mind.
I’ve Read more
I'll be in Munich for 3 days/2 nights at the end of June, with my parents. Read more
· News & Features
The Swiss city of Basel is getting ready to host to the who's who of the art world yet again, with the... Read more
Do you suffer from Vacation Deprivation?... Read more
Steinbeck said it well—no matter how many plans you make, its the destination that scoops you up... Read more