Franconia

Trip Start Sep 16, 2009
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Trip End Aug 18, 2010


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Flag of Germany  , Bavaria,
Sunday, July 25, 2010

Since I only have 3 more weeks left in Germany I decided to take a few day trips to some close cities.  I got up early on Sunday to take the train 3 hours northwest of Regensburg to Würzburg!
 There were only a few things I really wanted to see and the city was relatively small so I could walk everywhere.

I found my way through the center of town, to the Rathaus (town hall) and to the Alte Mainbrücke, bridge over the Main river.  I quickly noticed that in a relatively small area there were a lot of churches.  But somehow I wasn't surprised since every town in Germany has at least 6 churches of various architecture.  The Alte Mainbrücke is very similar to the Charles bridge in Prague!  I headed first across the river to the major fortress on top of the hill overlooking the city called Festung Marienburg.  The view from the top was amazing!!  The region is known for its wine and there were vineyards on the hills surrounding the city.  I did not take a tour of the fortress because I wanted to catch the English tour in the Residenz palace in the inner city.  

I walked back through the city, stopped at the Dom St. Kilian (cathedral) to check it out and then walked to the Residenz.  It was the residence of the prince-bishops of Würzburg, which was very independent of the surrounding countries.  The history was extremely interesting (as usual for Germany!) and it was very sad to learn that 90% of the city was destroyed in under 17 minutes during one of the bombing raids of WWII.  So much was lost except in the Residenz.  For some crazy reason they emptied the building of the valuable pieces: furniture, pictures, doors, wall panelling, etc.  The north and south wings completely burnt down but the center of the building miraculously survived. In this area is the grand staircase )Treppenhaus) desigend by Bathasar Neumann, and the ceiling/vault which is the largest fresco in the world by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, built over-top of the grand staircase.  It was incredibly beautiful!!  I wish I could have taken pictures but I probably would have spent over an hour just capturing everything.  The other rooms were equally as beautiful and it is one of my favorite tours, besides the Schönbrunn Schloss in Vienna.  

I quickly toured the gardens behind the Residenz and then headed back into the inner city to check a few more churches.  After getting some ice cream I walked back to the train station and headed home.  It was a great day and I am really glad I went, even if it was by myself.  Next weekend Wendy and I are planning to go to Garmisch-Partenkirchen to go up the Zugspitze.  I gave up on Paris because it was going to be too expensive to travel, stay in a hostel and see everything I wanted to see in such a short amount of time.  I guess I will just have to come back to Europe!
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