Würzburg Residence

Würzburg, Germany

The sumptuous Würzburg Residence was built and decorated in the 18th century by an international corps of architects, painters, sculptors, and stucco workers under the patronage of two successive Prince-Bishops, Johann Philipp Franz and Friedrich Karl von Schönborn.

The Residence was essentially constructed between 1720 and 1744, decorated on the interior from 1740 to 1770 and landscaped with magnificent gardens from 1765 to 1780. It testifies to the ostentation of the two Prince-Bishops, and as such illustrates the historical situation of one of the most brilliant courts of Europe during the 18th century. The most renowned architects of the period - the Viennese, Lukas von Hildebrandt, and the Parisians Robert de Cotte and Germain Boffrand - drew up the plans. They were supervised by the official architect of the Prince Bishop, Balthasar Neumann, who was assisted by Maximilian von Welsch, the architect of the Elector of Mainz. Sculptors and stucco-workers came from Italy, Flanders, and Munich. The Venetian painter Giovanni Battista Tiepolo frescoed the staircase and the walls of the Imperial Hall.

As a result of a devastating air raid on March 16, 1945, the residence was almost completely burnt out and only the central building with the Vestibule, Garden Hall, Staircase, White Hall and Imperial Hall survived the inferno, their roofs destroyed. From the attic the fire ate down through wooden ceilings and floors, and all the furnishings and wall panelling which had not been stored elsewhere were devoured by the flames. Much of the furnishing and large sections of the wall panelling of the period rooms had been removed in time and thus escaped destruction. Neumann's stone vaults withstood the collapse of the burning attic. However, because the roofs had gone, further damage was incurred in the ensuing period due to dampness. In the Court Chapel, for example, most of the ceiling frescoes by Rudolph Byss succumbed to the subsequent consequences of the fire, in spite of the intact vault, and had to be laboriously reconstructed.

From 1945 to 1987, the building and its interiors were reconstructed to their current state. The residence gives consummate testimony to the imposing courtly and cultural life of the feudalistic era of the 18th century, but at the same time its varied use today is an example of modern utilisation and preservation as a monument of ahistorical structure.

The Würzburg Residence with its Court Gardens and Residence Square was inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1981.



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Founded: 1720-1780
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Germany
Historical period: Thirty Years War & Rise of Prussia (Germany)


4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Florian Feigl (13 months ago)
A beautiful place to walk through and let the mind rest. Numerous bird species can be found here as well as groomed gardening and a fountain.
George Chalhoub (13 months ago)
Beautiful residence/castle, gigantic, with impressive architecture. I recommend the English too which costs only 9€.
Akira Rikitsu (15 months ago)
It is very beautiful residence in Würzburg. We can not take a picture for inside of residence. However there are many amazing displays. Especially I would like to recommend to see a painting on the ceiling. It is most beautiful around the Germany. The garden is also beautiful and you can visit freely and take a picture.
Roger Vino (2 years ago)
On the 10th day of our Viking Grand European Tour, we stopped at this grand location. This is part of tour package so we didn’t have to pay the entrance fee. The Residence is grand on the outside as well as on the inside. It’s just a little bit disappointing not to be able to take pictures inside but to see it with my own eyes is great. Upon completing the inside tour, you can also visit the courtyard garden and enjoy the flowers, shrubs and trees that complement the grandeur of this tourist attraction. By the way, the place is also wheelchair accessible via an elevator if you want to go to the main attraction inside the building.
Alex Spa (2 years ago)
Beautiful palace, with amazing architecture, but I feel a bit dissapointed as they sell full price tickets on closing times..almost everything was closed when we went there at 16 pm, the church, the garden, at least they should give a warning when you by the tickets. Otherwise, a fantastic place.
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