Published: July 14th 2012July 14th 2012
The weather forecast on 20 June wasn’t very promising. We saw the thick clouds gathering around the Messe Tower when we walked to Hotel Atrium in the morning.
After the breakfast, we walked to the central station to take ICE train for Würzburg. After leaving Frankfurt, the ICE train was driving through the lush countryside calling at Aschaffenburg. The view from the window was getting brighter as the train was approaching the destination.
The sun was shining and it was quite warm in Würzburg. I took off my waterproof coat. We couldn’t find the tourist information centre around the station. We were going to buy the Bayren Pass which would allow us to ride public transports and get deductions on museums. However, I could find the street along the tram leading to the town centre from the station, and the colourful façade of the buildings with bustling shops would tell me that the Old Town was not far away from us. So, we decided to follow the street along the tram line. There were a number of shops and cafes including H&M shops on the way to Marktplatz. Having popped in the tourist information centre,
we found the Japanese tourist map, as well as English one. As it was the lunch time, we decided to have our lunch. We bought the German snack, i.e. Bratwurst, hot dog with mustard was not as sharp or hot as she had expected.
After the lunch, we walked to Alte Mainbrüke and Festung Marienberg. There were a lot of tourists around the bridge, taking photos with the castle and statue. There were two routes leading to the castle. We took the shorter route with steeper steps. It wasn’t his favourite route, but my father managed to climb the step route to the castle site. The weather turned out much better on 20 June. It was pretty warm on the viewpoint of Marienberg Castle. We overlooked the old town filled with Baroque style buildings with orange roofs, and saw the Würzburg Residence building on the back of the old town.
As we had planned going to the Residenz at 3 o’clock, we decided not to look round the castle, but walked on the outer course of the castle. My mother sketched the façade of the
entrance building of Marienberg Castle. Mark followed the same route back to the town centre.
Unfortunately, Dom St Killian has closed for restoration on 20 June. We entered Neumünster, which was built for St Killian who died a martyr in the 11th
century and his disciples. All of the church’s furniture, e.g. altarpieces, St Mary chapel, pipe organ, motifs and paintings, etc looked very polished and well-maintained. There were multi-lingual information sheets including Japanese. Sadly, English one was sold out.
I saw the temperature, i.e. 29 degree displayed on the electronic board, whilst strolling through the town. We had ice cream to keep ourselves cool. The façade of Neumünster was like the altarpiece in the church. We found “Eilles Chocolaiter”, i.e. the specialist chocolate shop near the Neumünster. Various types of chocolates including Mozart chocolates were displayed on the window.
Afterwards, we headed to Residenz. Würzburg Residence is one of the best Baroque buildings in Germany and it was added to the Unesco Heritage site in 1981.
We couldn’t find the
entrance door for the Residence Museum at first and walked through the back garden. Roses were blooming and they looked beautiful with parterre, consisting of lawn, pool, flowerbeds, pergolas, etc in a symmetrical design.
We finally found the entrance door (subtly signed as “Einsgang”), which was the centre of golden façade building. We bought 14 day Bayern Palace Cards for partners, which was €40 each couple. The cards allowed Chihiro & Mark and my parents to visit palaces and gardens in Bavaria next 14 days.
As we heard in the Chikyu no Arukikata of Germany, English speaking guided tour was due to start at 3 o’clock. We waited a bit at the garden salon after leaving our hand baggage in the locker.
As instructed, we gathered at the entrance hall at 3 o’clock. We hard that gentleman saying, “Ladies & Gentlemen.” Then the guided tour was started. We were invited to walk on the grand staircase and shown the magnificent fresco ceiling and very elegant staircase embellished with marble statues and ornaments on the banisters. The guide said that the paintings on each corner represent the landscapes of four continents which
were painted as the artists had imagined in the 18th
century. “ Various people including real people like Balthasar Neuemann (who was the chief architect for the Würzburg Residence), mythological characters and beasts were used in fresco paintings and a series of scenes were painted in a 3D style, thus the grand staircase looked very dramatic and dynamic.
Next, we were shown the White Hall, which was lavishly and intricately decorated by Antonio Bossi and invited to the Imperial Hall, which has been the heart of Würzburg Residence and has been home to a number of important events and ceremonies by electors and ecclesiastical rulers for over 300 years. The guide pointed at magnificent pieces of artworks, e.g. paintings of the wedding of Emperor Friedrich I, Barbarossa and Beatrix of Burgandy, Imperial Diet of Wurzburg in 1168, and the ceiling fresco of the sun god, “Apollo conducting Beatrix of Burgundy to Genius Imperil.”
The guide opened the door for the Southern Imperial Apartments and showed us and the fellow tourists the Antechamber, Audience Room, and bedrooms. As the name suggested, these rooms were designed for the Emperors to stay. These rooms were decorated and furnished with big tapestries, lavishly decorated pieces of furniture, and very intricate gilded carvings and crystal chandeliers. We could even find the artworks on the hidden corners of the doors, corners of ceilings, and edges of mirrors.
The guide finally opened the key for the Mirror Hall. Quite a few fellow showed an astonishment of the room, which was not only decorated by gold and mirrors, but we could also find exotic ceiling frescos, superb portraits painted in the oval shaped mirrors and vases placed in an orderly manner, which made the room even more lavish.
The guided tour was finished at the Mirror Hall, and we were instructed to go through the gallery, servants’ rooms, and corridor to the museum shop. We were shown a series of exhibition how the rococo style decorative artworks by gilded carvings restored after the severe damaged by the air-raids of the World War II and how they had been maintained.