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The University in Würzburg was founded in 1575 by Julius Echter, who was the Prince-Bishop of Würzburg from 1573 to 1617. At first the university had only two faculties, namely theology and philosophy. Then in 1587 the first professor of law was hired, and in 1589 the first professor of medicine.
Echter intended this to be very much a Catholic university. Students were required to attend services at the university church. They were not allowed to go to pubs, discuss theological questions at mealtimes or borrow large amounts of money.
The Faculty of Law is still located in this "Old University" building, Domschulstraße 16, which was built in 1582.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
The Music University (Hochschule für Musik) was founded in 1797 as the Collegium musicum academicum. It changed its name several times, and was given the status of a university in 1973.
At present they have 80 full-time and 140 part-time teachers in six departments covering all aspects of musical theory and practice.
Students and professors often give concerts which are open to the public. Admission to these concerts is often free, and never more than 10 euros. Click on the link below for their current program.
Updated Oct 30, 2005
This neogothic Lutheran church is located at Hofstallstraße 5, across the street from the Music University.
The church was first built from 1892 to 1895. After wartime destruction it was rebuilt in 1956/57, reusing parts of the steeple. You can recognize it from a distance, for instance from up on the Marienberg Fortress, because of its distinctive pencil-shaped twin towers.
Updated Jul 31, 2005
Another distinctive feature of this church is the Sculpture of "The Coming of the Lord", by Helmut Amman, which is suspended from the ceiling above the altar.
This church is the home of the Würzburg Bach Choir, which performs here regularly, for instance during the annual "Bach Days" in November.
Updated Jul 31, 2005
The gothic church was built in the suburb beyond the river at the foot of Marienberg for the convent of the Teutonic Order. Due to its position on a steep slope it needed huge substructions. There is even a tunnel-like passage underneath, otherwise it would have blocked off a side street. The high nave and choir look most impressive when approaching from the old bridge along Zeller Straße.
The adjacent baroque buildings used to be the seat of the convent. The ownership of the Teutonic Order ended in the early 19th century. Nowadays the church is owned and used by a protestant parish community. The church is open daily from 10.00-17.00 (unless there are services taking place).
The interior consists of a single nave, light and colourful due to the large modern stained glass windows. It contains several notable art works from medieval to neogothic and modern. Keep your eyes open for the details, for example the sculpted brackets on the walls that carry the structure of the vaults. There are fancy flower masks, a dragon, a cat and mouse, and two scary devils.
The sculptures on the altar, however, may look as if they date from Riemenschneider's period but they are in fact late 19th century "neo".
Written Apr 3, 2011
An off the beaten path tip about the Residenz? Well, Residenz is the most visited attraction in Würzburg but I assume that hardly anyone notices this museum, which is located in the right side wing. It is the art gallery of the university which shows ancient art, paintings and drawings from the middle ages to the 20th century. It is mostly based upon a private collection and named after the donator. The museum has a close relationship with the university institute of art history.
The museum has a nice collection, although you won't find big famous masterpieces. Many works are by regional artists. It is worth seing, although I would not classify it as one of the ultimate top sights in town. It is worth a look if you have some spare time.
Opening hours are a bit weird. Paintings Tues - Sat 10.00-13.30, Ancient Art Tues - Sat 13.30-17.00, on Sundays only one of the two is open, they alternate. Graphics Tues and Thurs 16.00-18.00
Written Apr 4, 2011
The Toscana Hall is the only remnant of that very brief period in the history of Würzburg when the country was ruled by Grandduke Ferdinand of Toscana from 1806 - 1814. Thus the name! Ferdinand had a series of rooms in the southern wing refurbished as his living quarters. All the others are lost. The hall was also hit by World War II bombs but has been reconstructed from photographies after the war. So what we see today is a 1960s replica.
Anyway, the small hall is very beautiful. The walls are painted with ornamental frescoes in Pompeii style which was so popular in the times of neoclassicism. It is used by the university for lectures, hence usually not open to visitors. However, between lectures there may be an opportunity to peep in. The hall is off the corridor of Martin-von-Wagner-Museum on the first floor. If you are there to visit the museum and see the door open, don't miss the chance.
Updated Apr 5, 2011
This church is an interesting example how to deal with a war ruin. The original church, the second protestant parish church in catholic Würzburg, was a neogothic building from the 1890s, somehow standard with a cross-shaped ground plan and a single steeple. This church was destroyed almost entirely in the air raid of March 1945. Only the bottom of the steeple remained.
Those few members of the community who survived the war and stayed among the ruins that had been Würzburg's old town first found themselves a room somewhere to assemble and hold their services. After the war, however, the parish grew quickly and soon counted more than 9,000 members. A larger church was needed. So what to do?
Rebuilding the old church was not an option. The torso of the steeple was to remain, though.
Architect Reinhard Riemerschmidt designed a new nave in 1950s style that was to be attached to the old steeple stump. The steeple received slender spires on both sides. The church is located one block behind the Residenz. Executing the modern plan in such close vicinity required courage, if not audacity. The new facade with its two peaks has become a striking element in the skyline of the city; you will for sure spot it in your photos, for example in the views from Marienberg or Käppele.
At first the spires reminded me of the fangs of a giant animal. However, after a closer look at the building, to me it now resembles a gesture with both arms outstretched to heaven.
The interior has been shaped like a tent. Thin concrete frames carry the ceiling. The walls are made from two different kinds of stone in horizontal stripes.
The church owns some interesting art works, among them the huge image of Christ Resurrected above the altar, the figures of Christ and the Apostles that were made immediately after the war already for the first small church room, and the stained glass windows of the baptismal chapel in the corner next to the choir.
I visited during Lent and was amazed to see that this protestant community uses a lenten cloth, a black veil that hides the image of Christ above the altar.
The church is open to visitors daily from 10.00 - 17.00 except during services.
Written Apr 5, 2011
...........there's a little courtyard or square, with some interesting sculptures .
You'd have to go there to get to the Museum am Dom, but I bet most people don't bother to look around.
In the evening, it's a quiet and pretty place to sit and ponder awhile.
Rather like the man in the photo. Bound hand and foot (by earthly restraints?) but gazing up to Heaven past the spires of the Dom.
Facing the Dom, take the alleyway to your left.
Written Jul 21, 2009
I've put this here, because I suspect most visitors to Wurzburg simply don't get to do it.
I didn't either, sadly.....I had every intention of walkiong the 5km through the vineyards, but the planned day was simply too hot for me to do so.
Starting behind the station (about 10 minutes walk) is a marked set of paths leading you through the various vineyards and up onto the hills (with consequent superb views over the river and city). There are information boards posted at various points, and places to have a rest/drink.
The tourist information office has leaflets (in German) or you can print your own from this link:
If that does not work, look for 'wein and weinland' on the official Wurzburg tourist info site linked below.
Written Jul 21, 2009
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