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The Romantic Road - Wurzburg, Germany

Updated on January 27, 2014
Festung Marienburg or Marienburg Fortress overlooking the city of Wurzburg, Germany, and the Alte Mainebruke or the old Maine River Bridge spanning the river.
Festung Marienburg or Marienburg Fortress overlooking the city of Wurzburg, Germany, and the Alte Mainebruke or the old Maine River Bridge spanning the river. | Source
Map of the Romantic Road in western Germany - approximately several hundred kilometers long.
Map of the Romantic Road in western Germany - approximately several hundred kilometers long. | Source
Wurzburg Kappele (chapel) on the hillside overlooking the city.
Wurzburg Kappele (chapel) on the hillside overlooking the city. | Source


After viewing the Mespelbrunn Castle at the quaint town of Mespelbrunn, Germany, just get on the A3 autobahn and drive south about an hour and you arrive at Wurzburg, Germany, the first city going south on the Romantic Road.If you are like me and haven't had enough of fairytales, castles, and damsels in distress, then you want to explore the Romantic Road in Germany. It is full of castles, majestic cathedrals, old bridges, walled towns, and beer and wine gardens. It is the quintestinal Germany that we have all read about in the fairytales of our youth.

I was fortunate enough to live and work in Wurzburg, which lies along the Mainz River in the region of Franconia in northern Bavaria, between Frankfurt and Nuremburg. It is a city of approximately 200,000 people, and 30,000 of those are students at the University of Wurzburg, so today Wurzburg is a thriving university city.

The fortress castle pictured above sits on the hill overlooking the city and you can reach the castle by passing over the Alte Mainebruke or the Old Bridge, built 1473-1543. Lining the bridge on either side are stone statues of saints and famous people of Wurzburg. The citizens of Wurzburg would gather in the fortress for protection and safety during the times of war or attack, in medieval times. So the castle is an important symbol for the city of Wurzburg. But, what is found inside the castle is the real treasure. And, that is the wood carvings and sculptures of Wurzburg's finest artist from medieval times, Tilman Riemenschneider. He lived during the 1400's in Wurzburg, and most of the wood carvings, statues, carved altars etc. that are found in the city are by him. His attention to detail is exquisite and each statue looks ready to come to life and shake your hand, they are so well carved. He carved in dark cherry and mahogany woods from the forests of Germany. The inside of the fortress is a museum to the art from the different eras of Wurzburg's past and glory, but I find the Riemenschneider carvings to be the best. Don't miss this!

Outside and the next hill over from the fortress you will see the Kappele, the baroque-roccoco chapel built by Balthasar Newmann. It has a beautiful 24 karat gold altar, and art and paintings from the baroque-rococco era. It is gorgeous to sit in to think and /or meditate and listen to the beautful bells that ring at noon, early evening, and nighttime

The Residenz - The Palace Residence

The Residenz - the Palace Residence of the Prince-Bishop of Wurzburg.   Today, these gardens are the home of the Mozartfest which is presented every early June in the city.
The Residenz - the Palace Residence of the Prince-Bishop of Wurzburg. Today, these gardens are the home of the Mozartfest which is presented every early June in the city. | Source

The Residenz was the magnificent palace residence, in the baroque-roccoco style, for the Prince-Bishop of Wurzburg. The Catholic bishops created a duchy with its center in Wurzburg. That is the reason why Wurzburg was ruled by a prince-bishop. It was built between the years of 1720 and 1744, and had Julius Echter von Mespelbrunn lived a little later, he would have resided in this grand palace during his rule in Wurzburg. The Hofkirche, the church interior, has altars painted by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. The Treppenhaus has the largest fresco in the world which adorns the staircase and is also by Tiepolo. There are several paintings by Titan and other Italian artists from the baroque-roccoco period in the palace. Don't miss this either - it takes about a day to tour this and the gardens, but it is another beautiful way to spend a day in Germany. It you are here in early June, the Residenz presents a special treat. For one week, every evening, the Mozartfest is presented in the gardens. The music of Mozart, Hayden, Beethovan and other German composers is presented by the Wurzburg Orchestra. You can buy one of two tickets, either to sit on chairs set up in the garden or bring a blanket and lay on the garden grounds to listen. (This was always my choice) If it is raining, which it does do a lot in Germany, they move the fest inside the Residenz, so either way, the atmosphere is wonderful.

One fact to note here is that most of the people living in Bavaria are of the Catholic religion, which was a surprise to me. I had always associated Germany with Protestantism with the history of Martin Luther nailing his thesis to the door of the cathedral in Weims. My great-grandfather+ was a Lutheran minister who immigrated to America from Germany, obviously greatly influenced by Martin Luther, so I always considered Germany a Protestant country. When I lived in Wurzburg I was surprised by the Catholic history and background of the city and all of Bavaria.

Dom - The Cathedral of Wurzburg
Dom - The Cathedral of Wurzburg | Source

The Dom or the cathedral of Wurzburg was built as early as 788 AD and consecrated by Charlemagne. The present building, built over the orginial cathedral, was constructed from 1040-1225 in the Romanesque style. Tilman Riemenschneider built and carved the famous tombstones of Rudolf II von Scherenberg (1466-1495) and Lorenz von Bibra (1495-1519) that lie in the cathedral. On some Sundays, I would attend mass at the cathedral and have to pinch myself that I was sitting in this majestic cathedral while I valiently tried to learn and practice the German language during mass.

The Dom is situated in downtown Wurzburg, so once downtown you don't want to miss the Marktplatz, the main square and hub (no pun intended) of the city. Here is where the produce, fruit, meat and fish market opens every morning by 8 a.m. The German ladies come with their baskets to purchase the day's food for their meals. Even today, the German households have smaller refrigerators that we do here in the U.S., and mostly shop daily for food. The Marktplatz is surrounded by stores, cafes, pastry and bread shops, and is the central meeting place for the citizens of Wurzburg. Off the Marktplaz is the shopping district where there are the department stores. jewelry stores, shoe stores etc.

And just when you have had your fill of medieval history, art, and culture there is the thoroughly modern Kulturspeichernachs, the cultural center of Wurzburg. Here is a modern museum of art and several theaters that host the Wurzburg Opera and city orchestra. The opera and orchestra are not to be missed. They are marvelous.

Kulturspeichernachs - the cultural center in Wurzburg, Germany.
Kulturspeichernachs - the cultural center in Wurzburg, Germany.

And did I mention the beer and wine gardens? I think I did. These are found all over Wurzburg and along the Romantic Road. Wurzburg has its own beer company, Wurzburgerhof, and sells it all over Franconia. I'm not much of a beer drinker, but the beer is very good. It is a ligher, golden beer rather than a dark beer. German beers are much heavier than American beers and therefore I rarely drink them. What I enjoyed when I lived in Wurzburg was Frankenwein, which is the wine produced in and around Wurzburg in Franconia. In fact, if you look closely at the hill on which the Festung Marienburg sits, the slopes coming down from the castle are indeed a vineyard, full of grape vines. That Germany was only a land of beer, is another assumption I had to leave behind. Franconia is a wonderful wine making region of Germany and competes with the Mosel and Rhine valleys of Germany.

So, you can imagine on Friday nights, we American teachers visited the wine and beer gardens of Wurzburg after a long, hard week of teaching, and learned a lot about the German culture, too. And, yes, I did attend the Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany the year I lived there, but that is another story and another hub.

Wurzburg is just a beautiful city beginning the Romantic Road south to the town of Fussen in southern Bavaria. I will be sharing with you my favorite cities and towns on the Romantic Road and the activities, art, history and culture in the "land of fairytales," Germany.


Submit a Comment
  • suzettenaples profile imageAUTHOR

    Suzette Walker 

    3 years ago from Taos, NM

    StayPos: I visited Germany last in the spring of 2010. Too bad our paths did not cross. I have been to Karlsruhe also. I speak a little German also. I love castles and Germany is full of them, so was elated to be able to visit so many of them. I will always remember and treasure my time living in Wurzburg. So much fun!

  • StayPos profile image


    3 years ago from Florida, USA


    Yes, "Family" thanks again for the great hub!

    I was last in Germany, for the fall of 2010 (Karlsruhe & Heidelberg) and plan on going back next year if possible! It's definitely, a home away from home.

    I need to brush up on my German though, but as you know English is spoken to some degree all over the country.

    In regards to Wurzburg and Heidelberg, the castles are terrific sites and wonderful experiences for anyone who has the chance to visit!

    All the Best

  • suzettenaples profile imageAUTHOR

    Suzette Walker 

    3 years ago from Taos, NM

    Stay Pos: You were born in Wurzburg! How lucky can you get! LOL! I loved living there and it will always be my favorite German city. I have visited Heidelberg several times and that is a beautify city with lots of great history and culture. I am so glad you had the experience of living in Germany also and I am sure you treasure your experiences there as I do. I taught English for the DODDS right outside of Leighton Barracks in Wurzburg. I loved that experience and have treasured it all my life. So glad you stopped by and let me know your a a fellow DOD dependent. It is quite a large family of friends.

  • suzettenaples profile imageAUTHOR

    Suzette Walker 

    3 years ago from Taos, NM

    rebecca: Thank you for taking my tour. LOL! This will always be my favorite German city as I loved living there. I have been back to visit several times and it never loses its charm. Yes, the Oktoberest was a real experience!

  • suzettenaples profile imageAUTHOR

    Suzette Walker 

    3 years ago from Taos, NM

    Jodah: This was a labor of love. Of course, this is my favorite German city and I loved living there. I have been back a few times to visit and I always feel at home there. I am so pleased you enjoyed reading this.

  • suzettenaples profile imageAUTHOR

    Suzette Walker 

    3 years ago from Taos, NM

    Thelma: So you know Wurzburg too? Of course, it is my favorite city in all of Germany because I lived there. But, they I am prejudiced. LOL! Thanks so much for stopping by to read this and I am glad you enjoyed it.

  • suzettenaples profile imageAUTHOR

    Suzette Walker 

    3 years ago from Taos, NM

    Sunshine: Thanks so much for reading this and I am glad you enjoyed it. I have enjoyed your daughter, Michelle's, visit to Europe and other places. I have followed her journey on FB and I love the photos and her blog. So wonderful of her to share her journey's with us.

  • StayPos profile image


    4 years ago from Florida, USA

    Awesome Suzette! Thanks so much for sharing about Wuzburg Germany and why it's such a unique and special place :-) I too, like you have great memories of living in Germany, only as a military dependent.

    I spent my early teenage years in Heidelberg and I was born in Wurzburg! As you suggest, its a great get away destination and anyone with the opportunity should definitely go!

    All the Best,

  • rebeccamealey profile image

    Rebecca Mealey 

    4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

    Thanks for the armchair journey. Great photos. And I'll bet your Oktoberfest trip was something!

  • Jodah profile image

    John Hansen 

    4 years ago from Queensland Australia

    Wonderful in depth hub Suzette. Great information and photos.

  • Thelma Alberts profile image

    Thelma Alberts 

    4 years ago from Germany and Philippines

    Ah! You reminded me of my last visit in Würzburg as my best friend lives nearby. Würzburg is indeed a beautiful place to visit and it is loaded with history. I would love to go there again when I´ll visit my friend next time. Thanks for sharing. Happy weekend!

  • Sunshine625 profile image

    Linda Bilyeu 

    4 years ago from Orlando, FL

    Thank you for the sightseeing tour! What a beautiful part of the world! :)

  • suzettenaples profile imageAUTHOR

    Suzette Walker 

    6 years ago from Taos, NM

    Thank you so much for taking the tour! Glad you enjoyed it. This is one of my favorite cities in Germany. I lived and worked here back in the '80's and it was a wonderful experience. Thanks for stopping by to visit!

  • snowdrops profile image


    6 years ago from The Second Star to the Right

    Suzette, thank you for the Wuzburg Germany tour. I love it so much.

  • suzettenaples profile imageAUTHOR

    Suzette Walker 

    7 years ago from Taos, NM

    Thank you for reading and commenting on this hub. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. For me, the Romantic Road is just the most charming part of Germany and I'm so glad I visited many of its cities and castles.

  • bwhite062007 profile image

    Brianna W 

    7 years ago from East Coast

    This is a well-written and interesting hub. Loved it. I would love to travel to Germany and take a trip along the Romantic Road! I epescially would love the beer and wine gardens. It is quite true that the beer in Germany is much heavier. I honeslty didn't think I would like it until I just recently went to Octoberfest. Great hub! Voted up.

  • suzettenaples profile imageAUTHOR

    Suzette Walker 

    7 years ago from Taos, NM

    I'm so happy you liked this. Both Germany and England are beautiful and have beautiful countrysides. I have so enjoyed your hubs on England and your poetry. You are a very talented writer! Thanks for the vote up!

  • Movie Master profile image

    Movie Master 

    7 years ago from United Kingdom

    Hi suzette, I have been fortunate to visit quite a few places in Germany and have visited some wonderful old and quaint towns and buildings. I have never been to Wurzburg though and really enjoyed reading this, it looks and sounds fabulous, thank you for sharing. Voting up.

  • suzettenaples profile imageAUTHOR

    Suzette Walker 

    7 years ago from Taos, NM

    Hyphen: Yes, by all means tag along and see Germany. It is just so beautiful. I really do miss it sometimes, but it is so far away from family and friends. Glad you enjoyed this!

    Hi Nell: Thank you for reading this. I know Europe has old, permanent, places that I just love. That's why I love England so much. The history, culture, and art is unbelieveable. When I toured London, we did get to see the Magna Carta and Chaucer's Cantebury Tales. I was so awed, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. You have so much right in your back yard. Thanks for reading and commenting!

    Epi: You're a hoot! lol Thank you for your support and putting it on your Facebook page and a big THANK YOU for telling me you did so. I greatly appreciate it! I will check out hello hello. I've already read some by Pardise7 and they are terrific. Thank you!

    Oh, I have toured Russia, but in the 80's it was still the Soviet Union and it is quite different today, so I don't know if I'll ever do a hub on it. My info would be so outdated.

  • epigramman profile image


    7 years ago

    ....I momentarily got distracted by the thought of dating one of your Russian beauties - lol - but I quickly got back on track in order to post this most beautiful hub to my Facebook page with a direct link back here so more people can see this world class effort and presentation by you ......please check out HELLO HELLO and PARADISE 7 ...they both have great hubs which you will enjoy ..... lake erie ontario canada 11:59pm

  • Nell Rose profile image

    Nell Rose 

    7 years ago from England

    Hi, Wow! they are amazing buildings! I love all things old especially castles, I believe I saw the palace on tv recently if it is the same one, which I think it is, and inside is amazing, so much of Europe has amazing ancient buildings, I always seem to forget that when booking a vacation, I recently watched a tv program about Italy, Wow! every single place took my breath away, especially the fountains, and the old yellow brick churches, great stuff! rated up! cheers nell

  • Hyphenbird profile image

    Brenda Barnes 

    7 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

    Germany is truly an amazing place. A friend goes every year or so. Perhaps I can get her to let me tag along next time. These photographs are amazing and I am an unrepentant romantic so I really loved this Hub.


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