I had no idea that Würzburg was a tourist destination till today. Now I know that it is, and it’s worth it. If you haven’t visited yet, put it on the list. It’s a lovely city.
But we had our own personal Tour Guide, our friend Gina: knowledgeable, informative and fun.
Today, I can’t show you the Residenz, the extraordinary project of two 18th century prince-bishops. Photos not allowed.
I’ll tell you instead the shameful story of how Würzurg was all but destroyed at the very end of World War II. By us. In March 1945, Würzburg was one of the cities identified as a target of the Baedeker Raids – designed to decimate culturally significant communities. Twenty minutes of bombing on 16 March destroyed 80% of the town’s buildings and killed 5000 citizens in an attack that can only be described as a vindictive act of vandalism.
That Würzburg in general and the Residenz in particular has rescued and restored its rich heritage owes much to an American soldier, John Skilton, who worked indefatigably with both Germans and not-very-enthusiastic Allies to protect what remained of the Residenz.
I shan’t give you a conducted tour now. That may come later. Here are a few pictures: of the Marienburg Fortress above the town
looking over towards the Market Square…
….. and from the gardens of the Residenz.