Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Viking's Grand European River Cruise: Würzburg, Germany

Viking River Cruise, Day 6:  Rothenburg and Würzburg, Germany (Facebook collage)
(click any collage to enlarge)

Because this was a huge, chock-full day with 2 excursions, one of which was optional and at an added cost (Rothenburg), I am dividing Day 6 into 2 parts.  Part 1, today, is of the included excursion of Würzburg, which happened in the afternoon following our return from Rothenburg.

Würzburg has so many wonderful landmarks, but the one chosen for our tour was the Würzburg Residence, completed in 1744.  Though heavily damaged in WWII, it's been in restoration ever since.

From the outside, it's not what I wanted to be the Residence, once you see the other structures I show later.  But you can at least see how HUGE it is.  Too bad we didn't see it from the garden side!

Upon entering, the grand staircase greets you, one of the building's greatest attributes.

AND the ceiling frescoes, painted by a Venetian painter, Giovanni Tiepolo, and his son!
Four continents are represented in the corners of the vault, with frescoes in between.

Other embellishments make this place a huge WOW factor,
but can you imagine living there?  It's a museum!

Can you picture chandeliers like this over your dining table or in your foyer?  

What about a mirror room? Even on the ceiling?
In case you missed something important?

 It's quite something, isn't it!
Home to the Prince-Bishops of Würzburg....

...which is probably why I took great pleasure in this charming lady with the hat!

That was that...and now I know why I'm not a big museum lover.  I can appreciate all the grandeur, yes, but I just don't relate to most of it, if that makes sense.

But go outside, and suddenly I'm architecture!

In this case, it was the Dom St. Kilian/Würzburg Cathedral, from 1040, that just didn't stop...!
With an overall length of 105 meters, it's the fourth largest Romanesque church building in Germany.

In other words, this is part of the same church!
You have no idea how long it took me to figure out that these weren't 2 separate churches!

And did we go inside?  YES, of course.

It, too, was a museum of sorts.
But that's what I feel about most European Roman Catholic churches!

 Nearby was the Collegiate Neumünster church built in 1711.
Even a peek is better than nothing.

The city's outdoor market is looked over by the Marien Chapel from the 14th century.
By now it was late afternoon and we didn't even attempt to see if it was open.
We were on our way back to the ship....

...letting it all sink in...

...impressions, impressions, impressions!

We knew we had to head for the Old Main Bridge to find our boat.
It was built in 1473 to replace the destroyed Romanesque bridge from 1133.
Starting in 1730 the statues were added.

From the bridge we could already see the Fortress Marienberg high up on the hill.  It is Würzburg's prominent landmark and symbol on the Main river and was the home of the prince-bishops for 5 centuries before the Residence was built.  Remember when at the top of this post I said I wished the Residence was here?
It was built in 704 A.D.  (Yes, you heard me.)

The building with the 2 tall spires is the Käppele, a "small" Baroque/Rococo cathedral from 1748.
The caramel-colored church below the fortress is the parish of St. Burkard.
See the close proximity of all 3 landmarks on the river!

 We passed all these fabulous archetectural delights as we walked back from the Old Main Bridge
along the river to our boat.  And there she was:  Home Sweet Home.

Before walking in to prepare for dinner, we saw this narcissistic swan at what could have been our window.
Or did she really see her soulmate and then just give up...and swim away?  poor thing.

Day 6 will be continued with Part 2, which was our optional trip to Rothenburg....


  1. Absolutely stunning photographs of the great trip we all took. Wonderful!!!!

    1. Ohhhh, thank you Lynda, for stopping by to comment. We'll never forget it, will we!

  2. Me and you both on the museum stuff...unless of course it's photography I'm looking at! Is there another word that is beyond stunning? Fantastic captures Ginnie!

    1. I know we're on the same page, Robin, which gives me permission, I think, to say it out loud...if that makes sense. HA! Thanks for coming along for the ride....

  3. Wow! My mind & eyes can barely take it all in! Love the mirror shot of you two and the lady in the hat ... all just stunning! Oh, and the swan, love the swan at the window!

    1. This post took me a long time, Susan, because it was almost too overwhelming. I got so confused about the churches! After awhile they all run together. Thank God for the internet! In the meantime, thank you so much for joining in the ride of our life.

  4. Again, wow, so many things to see, enjoy, love and photograph. It's really nice that the cruise have tours included in the price. Not like the "budget" tours out here.

    1. Not only the tours, Marie, but the beer and wine at lunch and dinner! I'm sure we DID pay for it in the end, because Viking isn't cheap, but we did get 2 for the price of 1, which makes us think we got a good deal in the end, right? :)

      I love that you are joining us on this trip of a lifetime. Maybe one day you and Hubby can do it!

  5. An absolute fabulous result of many many many hours of making choices of what pictures, processing, making collages.
    A wonderful post and to think that this was only half a day......4 hours. I am so glad we can take pictures, so that we don't forget.
    Thank you again, I know I keep repeating myself, but this is a joy to see and remember.

    1. It still amazes me what we saw in the span of 4 hours in Würzburg...and the previous 4 hours in Rothenburg! It was a full, wonderful day. I love that we can see these images again and again to help us remember. Thank you, MLMA.

  6. I have huge golden chandeliers even bigger than that in every room in my house!
    hmmm hmm....

    1. Surely you jest, Sham??? OK, so probably not. :)

    2. OK, you got me, I admit to a teeny weeny bit of exaggeration.
      Marvellous trip you both had.

    3. HA! You'll have to take pictures and show me and let me be the judge. :)

  7. An incredible amount of detail to take in, yes just four hours! My goodness. But you've done it beautiful justice, and I laughed a couple of times! No, I cannot imagine living in such a place as that Residence. Makes me wonder if they had small rooms for daily life, and the rest was for parties!

    Spectacular, top to bottom!

    1. Thank you, dear Sister. When I look back on it now, they never showed us rooms like the kitchen or bedrooms. That would have really added to the tour. I wonder if those rooms are still being restored?

      Thank you for your kind words!

  8. It is always so interesting to see my country through your eyes, Ginnie. I never could "cozy up" with the Residenz either, although I love the grand staircase, and it is sad that I never had time to visit the gardens. That's what I would do today! I love the pictures of the outdoor market. Those grey pottery with the blue patterns is so typical! I still have an old pot of those (just need to find it). And can I have one of those orange slotted spoons please?

    1. I know what you mean, Carola, when you see your own country through someone else's eyes! The thing is, I have totally fallen in love with Europe, as you know by now. The Netherlands and Germany are high on my lift!!!

      Thank you, as always, for stopping by and commenting!

  9. I would love to know the story of the lady with the hat! :) I too was most taken with her. It is hard for me to comprehend living in such a place... .like Ruth said above, there must be smaller, more livable rooms for the family. The 704 AD fortress... oh how I would love to spend a day touring that! It is stunning up there on that hill. Love that curious swan!

    1. You are noticing the exact same things that caught my attention as well, Margaret. Wouldn't it be fun to do a photo hunt together. HA! :) Thank you.