Tuesday

Adventure in Wuerzburg

I went with a friend in Wuerzburg last Jan. 09,'08. That was an adventure because we really don't know this city. "As long as you know how to read", as the sayings goes, you will always find the place and will never get lost. Here are some photos during our adventure in Wuerzburg. Below is also an information about it and a little of it's history. Have fun!!




























































The title of this article contains the character ü. Where it is unavailable or not desired, the name may be represented as Wuerzburg.

Würzburg [ˈvʏɐ̯ʦbʊɐ̯k] is a city in the region of Franconia which lies in the northern tip of Bavaria, Germany. Located on the Main River, it is the capital of the Regierungsbezirk Unterfranken. The regional dialect is Franconian.

Würzburg is approximately 80 minutes train journey from Frankfurt, and almost an hour from Nuremberg. Distances to the nearest cities by motorway: Frankfurt 115 km, Nuremberg 115 km, Stuttgart 150 km, Kassel 215 km.

The city of Würzburg is not included in district of Würzburg, but is its administrative seat. Its population is 131,320 as of December 31, 2006.

History

By 1000 BC a Celtic fortification stood the site of the Fortress Marienberg. It was Christianized in 686 by the Irish missionaries Kilian, Colman and Totnan. The city is first mentioned as Vurteburch in 704. The first diocese was founded by St. Bonifatius in 742. He appointed the first bishop of Würzburg, St. Burkhard. The bishops eventually created a duchy with its center in the city, which extended in the 12th century to Eastern Franconia. The city was the seat of several Imperial diets, including the one of 1180, in which Henry the Lion was banned from the Empire and his duchy was handed over to Otto of Wittelsbach.

The first church at the site of the cathedral was built as early as 788, and consecrated that same year by Charlemagne; the current building was constructed from 1040 to 1225 in Romanesque style. The University of Würzburg was founded in 1402 and re-founded in 1582.

The citizens of the city revolted several times against the bishop-prince, until definitively defeated in 1400. Later, Würzburg was a center of the German Peasants' War; the castle was besieged unsuccessfully. Notable prince-bishops include Julius Echter von Mespelbrunn (1573-1617) and members of the Schönborn family, who commissioned a great number of the monuments of today's city. In 1631, Swedish King Gustavus Adolphus invaded the town and destroyed the castle.

In 1720, the foundations of the Würzburg Residence were laid. In 1814, the town became part of the Bavarian state and a new bishopric was created seven years later, as the former one had been secolarized in 1802. The city had passed to Bavaria in 1803, but two years later, in the course of the Napoleonic Wars, it became the seat of the short-lived Duchy of Würzburg. Würzburg was restored to Bavaria in 1814.

During World War II, on March 16, 1945, about 85% of the city was destroyed by some 225 Lancaster bombers in 17 minutes by a British air raid. Most of the city's churches, cathedrals, and other monuments did not survive, while the city center, dating from medieval times, was totally destroyed in a firestorm in which some 5,000 people perished. During the next 20 years, the buildings of historical importance were painstakingly and accurately replicated. The citizens who rebuilt the city included many women, called Trümmerfrauen (Rubblewomen). Relatively, Würzburg was destroyed more completely than was Dresden in a firebombing the previous month.

Since the end of the war, Würzburg has been host to the US Army's 3rd Infantry Division, 1st Infantry Division, US Army Hospital and various other US military units who have maintained a presence in Germany. The local Würzburg economy benefited greatly from the US military presence. However, these units are due to withdraw from Würzburg by 2008 which brings to an end over 60 years of US military stationed in Würzburg.

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