On the banks of the famous River Main lays the enchanting city Würzburg, which has a lot of well-preserved historical architectural sights. If you are a Baroque lover, then this city is the best destination for you. Besides the marvelous churches and cathedrals designed in this style, you will also find here one of the most thrilling Baroque palaces in Europe, the Würzburg Residence. Even Napoleon himself described it as the “nicest parsonage in Europe”. So how can we miss it? Let’s take a journey to this true masterpiece.
Dive into the history of the Würzburg Residence
In 1744, architect Johann Balthasar Neumann presented to the world the mesmerizing Würzburg Residence. The palace has served as the residence for prince-archbishops of Würzburg, and was famous for its beauty all around Europe. So it is not surprising that it’s Germany’s third entry in UNESCO’s list of World Heritage sights. In 2010, a commemorative gold coin worth 100 EUR (approximately 110 USD) was issued in honour of this event.
The Würzburg Residence was built between 1720 and 1744. As its construction took a rather long time, more than one architect was involved in the process. At various stages, architects such as Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt, Robert de Cotte, Maximilian von Welsch and Germain Boffrand were involved.
The development of the project and the supervision of all construction works were done by Johann Balthasar Neumann, who was also known as the Baroque master.
Admire the impressive interiors of the Würzburg Residence
The quirky, prone-to-excesses, majestic and magnificent Baroque style became the main theme of the Würzburg Residence. I am not talking only about its exterior, but also its interior as well. Once inside, you are drawn to climb to the second floor using probably one of the most impressive staircases you’ve ever seen. The impression of richness and beauty is given not only by the design of the staircase itself, but also by the fresco above it, which is actually the largest ceiling fresco in the world. It was painted by none other than the Italian painter Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. On the second floor we’ll begin our journey through the magnificent rooms of the palace, starting with the White Hall, where you’ll admire the stunning white stucco tracery by Antonio Bossi. Next, your path lies in the Imperial Hall - one of the most luxurious rooms of the Residence. Marble, frescoes, stucco, all of them were designed to impress and amaze, and I think they achieved their goal. Among the stunning interiors which simply dazzle with their decorations is the Mirror Cabinet. Its restoration costs about 5 million marks. The interior is embellished with sumptuous decorations and almost entirely covered in mirrors.
So if you’re eager to discover all this beauty you can visit it anytime you wish, as it is open daily. From April till October it is open from 9 am till 6 pm (last entry: 5.30 pm), and from November till March you can visit it from 10 am till 4.30 pm (last entry: 4 pm). The regular ticket costs 7.50 EUR (approximately 8.32 USD). The reduced ticket costs 6.50 EUR (approximately 7.21 USD). The reduced ticket is for those over 65 years old.
Take a walk in the serene atmosphere of the Court Garden!
The Court Garden deserves a mention as well, as without which the whole ensemble would lose its charm. The fact is that it’s not just a simple park. It is a masterpiece of landscape art.
The person who led all the works for the creation of this park, a true master of his craft, was the Austrian naturalist and botanist Johann Meyer. The graceful terraces, colorful flowerbeds, cozy arbors, stairs, sculptures, and beautiful arches were built under his supervision. At that time, Johann Meyer was very famous and an in-demand specialist.
The invitation of Johann Mayer stemmed from Bishop Adam Friedrich Graf von Seinsheim, whose dream was to create a beautiful park in the Baroque style. The park is divided into several parts, but all together they are harmoniously combined into a single unit.
Visit the Court Garden for free!
The best part when visiting this stunning place, is that at the end of your excursion through the luxurious interiors of the Residence, you can relax in the peaceful and serene atmosphere of the Court Garden. Moreover, the admission to the Court Garden is free. It is is open daily until dusk (8 pm at the latest). Also, here you can find the Court Chapel, and it’s also free to enter. This small but very sophisticated 18th-century religious building will lure you to another century. So don’t miss the chance to visit this amazing beauty!
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