Day 6 – 9/28/12 – Wurzburg

On Friday, we pulled into Wurzburg, the capital city of Franconia, one of the sections of the state of Bavaria, Germany. Wurzburg was another medieval city, this one of note since it was the seat of the mighty prince bishops. One became a prince bishop by first being a bishop, then declaring yourself lord and master of the region (and having the necessary force to back up the claim). Typically, you also had to know the king and be in his good graces. We started our walking tour of the city by visiting the Prince Bishop’s Residenz, which is a German word for massively ornate and over the top palace. The palace was huge, several city blocks. Inside the Residenz, we saw huge ballrooms with beautiful ceiling freezes depicting the four known continents of Africa, Asia, the Americas, and Europe. All the continents but Europe were depicted with naked women on some symbolic animal (elephant-Asia, camel-Africa, alligator-Americas) surrounded by various other figures. Europe, of course, was depicted as populated by fancy dressed aristocrats enjoying the arts. Unfortunately, no photographs were allowed inside the palace. Each room was more ostentatiously decorated than the last, culminating in a room that was decorated entirely with gold edged mirrors and reverse glass paintings. During WWII, Wurzburg was mostly reduced to rubble. (300,000 incendiary bombs were dropped in 17 minutes on March 16, 1945 by the British air force in a raid that was chosen because the weather was good over the city.) The Residenz roof was destroyed, but most of the walls remained standing, even if damaged. After the war, the women of Wurzburg decided that they would rebuild the city and restore the old buildings. They did this because the town’s men were either dead (from the war) or in POW camps. We had a very good tour guide, Gunter, who was available to answer all our questions. After the Residenz, we strolled through the old city, gawking at the dozens of churches and medieval buildings that were restored. This is a photo of the lower marketplace, dominated by a church. The Schnolls, Maags, and Gills decided to visit the local fortress up on a (very tall) hill in the afternoon. It was a museum and vineyard. I am told that Peggy Gill put a curse on Ted Maag for convincing them to climb up to the fortress, but she apparently removed the curse after the visit was over. Note the nearly vertical rows of vines in the vineyard below the fortress. We saw many of these vineyards throughout Bavaria on our trip. Some of the slopes were 45-60 degree inclines. Harvesting the grapes has to been done by hand rather than by machine.


One comment on “Day 6 – 9/28/12 – Wurzburg

  1. Connie Schnoll says:

    Your postings are very enjoyable.  Thanks.  Connie Schnoll   

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