Sunday, April 17, 2016

Würzburg, Bavaria - 2 April 2016

The spectacular Marienburg Fortress in Würzburg, Germany
We drove to Bavaria on the Saturday of General Conference to visit Würzburg. The first session of General Conference isn't until 6pm here. We admit that we did not stay up from 10pm to midnight to watch the afternoon session or from 2-4am for the general priesthood session. The internet is a real miracle because it allowed us to watch those two sessions of conference on Sunday morning.

The northern and western part of the German state of Bavaria (Bayern in German) is actually part of the historic territory of the Franks or Franconia. Frankfurt has its name because of the Franks. Würzburg is a lovely city with ancient history. The Marienburg Fortress is a prominent landmark, and the view across the river to the rest of the city is breathtaking. Pictures from the fortress follow.

As usual, Elder and Sister Newman and the two of us met the Jarrards and the Snapps (who replaced Elder and Sister Stevens as records capture specialists for FamilySearch) at the Residenz - the former home of the prince-bishop of Würzburg which was also considered an imperial residence. It was destroyed during a 20 second raid by the British late in the war. They fire-bombed the city and 90% of it burned to the ground. That is sad given the destruction of the historical landmarks, but fortunately much of the artwork, chandeliers and furniture had been moved to storage and were preserved. A massive restoration work was undertaken after the war, but only 17 of the 400+ rooms in the palace were restored. It's still impressive. And the entryway where we started the tour was formerly open for carriages and Napoleon's was so massive that the little general got stuck in the doorway.

First a Few Outside Pictures of the Residenz

Actually, we couldn't take pictures inside except surreptitiously. It's like that in a lot of museums here. Or, you have to pay an extra couple of Euros to take pictures.
Enormous gray building is the palace - took this from across the river at Marienburg Fortress
Snapps and Newmans with us in front of the palace. The Jarrards were our photographers. The fountain behind us actually survived the bombing

A sculpture

A writer

A philosopher

The light wasn't good for the front of the statue which is facing west

South side from the formal French garden

Too much clipping required. If you look carefully, you will notice that there is a statue at the base of the tree trunk

Not sure what this represents, but it is a popular spot for wedding photos.
Italian Gardens to the east

And a little child shall lead them
There were multiple wedding parties. Great place for pictures.
The part of the palace that is prominent in the center of the east wall contains the imperial throne room.

The roses were just coming up. We want to come back when they are bloom.

Lots of arches and walkways

The trees along this walkway have been "trained" to form an arch

There were a few freshly planted spring flowers.
Great view of a domed church from the garden wall.
Ornate gate to the garden

We liked the statuary along the garden wall

Ornate gate on the north end of the Italian garden

A Few Interior Shots and a Video of the Baroque Chapel

Ceiling of the grand staircase and entryway. The ceiling survived the war because an American lieutenant was an art historian and directed the construction of a temporary roof to protect the frescos during the winter of 1945.
Chapel is contained entirely within the palace walls.

Lunch at the Residenz

It was a beautiful day as the sun broke through. We stayed at the Residenz and had a nice lunch at the restaurant on the property. We sat outside on a patio overlooking the French garden. We got pictures of our friends except for our dear friends the Jarrards. They were sitting by us at the table and a picture was more challenging.
Elder and Sister Snapp (Illinois)

Elder and Sister Mumm (Idaho)

Elder and Sister Newman (Utah)
Marienburg Fortress

Starting about 1000 AD, the Celts built a fortification on the site. So, the fortress is ancient. The current structure (reconstructed after the bombing of World War II) was built in the 16th to the 18th centuries. It saw a lot of action over the centuries. The prominence of the site means that the view from there is spectacular.

Fortress on a mountaintop

One entrance to the fortress

A gate in the outer wall of the fortress

Tunnel opening

Interior wall of fortress and dry moat

Looking over the wall across a small valley

View of the inner keep from a corner
We want to visit this church on the hillside across from the fortress
Long view from the fortress wall

Residenz is the large gray building in the upper center right

City of churches

Close up of Residenz

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