Würzburg – European River Cruise
After a night of rumbling through seven locks, an 8:15 a.m. didn’t please me. It would have helped if they had espresso coffee to give me a shot, but no such luck. This was one of the negatives of the cruise – no espresso machine on board. By this stage of the trip, we had got to know most of the crew quite well – they were a swell bunch of people – and they kindly plied us with the strongest coffee the kitchen knew to make … still pretty weak though.
Wurzburg is an enchanting town that lies on the banks of the river Main and a popular destination on the river cruise. Like Dresden, Wurzburg suffered massive destruction during WWII but has managed to rebuild itself to become an important commercial, historical and cultural centre for Lower Franconia. Its main university is one of the oldest in Germany and hence its attraction for students. In fact, students make up some 20% of Würzburg’s population of 130,000. One of the first bits of interesting trivia you’ll pick up is that Wurzburg University is where W.C. Rontgen discovered x-ray. I’m sure everyone’s had some x-rays taken at some stage in their lives so thank you Mr. Rontgen.
A visit to the impressive Residenz is a must as is the Fortress Marienberg. The Residenz is one of the most beautiful baroque palaces and a UNESCO World Heritage site, but unfortunately you are not allowed to take photos inside the building.
The Residenz has the world’s biggest unsupported ceiling fresco, painted by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. Our guide’s explanation of Tiepolo’s representations of the four continents was fascinating. I wish we had more time to absorb his interesting portrayal of the continents as ladies: Lady Asia, Lady Africa, Lady America and Lady Europe. Alas not, and we were yanked away to visit the Imperial Hall.
For more information on our Würzburg visit, check out Day 6 of our trip.