Wurzburg: Alte Marienbrucke (Old bridge).

UNEXPECTED WÜRZBURG

A City and a Déjà Vu 

Würzburg. Now, why on Earth did it take me so long to write about this trip? To be honest, before departing I had mixed feelings about it. It was the first trip I was taking all alone in a long time, and even though mom needs a break from time to time, the idea of my kids missing me was breaking my heart.

On another side, I was not going through a happy period with Germany myself… (Yes, my unconditional love for Greece… you name it). Even with a grandmother of pure German origin, having a break at the beginning of the Romantic Road was not top of my bucket-list. Except from one thing: one of my best friends lives there and I had promised to pay a visit.

You can arrive through Stuttgart Airport or Frankfurt Airport. So here I went, like when I was on my twenties, this time I was leaving a husband and two kids at home… I took my backpack and headed to the airport. After a 40-minute flight I landed in Stuttgart.

Once downtown I walked to the library and then visited Königstraße, then reached the nearby Schlossplatz. Finally it was time to take my Flixbus (just 8 € , super comfy bus direct to Würzburg; much, much cheaper than a train ticket). And let the fun begin…

There is enough to do and see in Würzburg to justify a long stay. In fact, being the first city (or the last, it depends on which your starting point is) of the famous Romantic Road, Germany’s best known and most popular holiday route, it is easy to find one delight after another, enjoy the marvelous landscape and delightful little corners, magic secrets from old times. All cities on the road have peculiar characteristics which make them unique. Not a doubt, Würzburg is an outstanding example.

 

Churches, domes and spires. Würzburg.

Churches, domes and spires. Würzburg.

Our first stop, after a stroll by the river Main was at the Marktplatz. My first lunch was a typical Fränkische Bratwurst mit Brötchen on a bench, admiring the beauty of the Public library (the yellow Baroque building) and the Marienkapelle or Church of St. Mary. After a quick lunch, we walked about the market, tasted some fab fresh fruit juices at the market and crossed the old bridge over the Main.

Alte Mainbrücke Déjà Vu. To be honest, from my arrival in the city, I started finding repetitions and images, street art, spires, and sculptures I could only attribute to my own obsession. Just the idea of the city having its own astronomical clock and tower, trams, a fortress on top of the hill, or a bridge with statues on both sides were not enough to give me the right to compare Würzburg to Prague. Würzburg has its own identity and I am not doubting about it. However, when I saw John of Nepomuk on the bridge I could not help remembering that if you touch the bas-relief in Prague, you are bound to return So wait a minute. Return? Where to? To the bridge? Which one? To John of Nepomuk’s statue? Which one? To a parallel Prague.

John of Nepomuk on the Alte Mainbrücke, Würzburg.

John of Nepomuk on the Alte Mainbrücke, Würzburg.

Later I found that Nepomuk was -because of the way he died – a saint protector against floods and drowning. So no wonder he has a place on bridges! In fact, there is a statue of  Nepomuk on bridges in many countries, such as Ponte Milvio, in Rome; and on a bridge leading in Austria, there is a plaque where he is holding a finger to his lips, as if protecting a secret. So no magic, no déjà vu, just a patron saint against floods.

A street in Wurzburg.

Streets in the city.

Marienberg Fortress. As if we hadn’t walked enough, we ventured up the hill to visit the Festung, the big fortress that guards the city with an allure of majesty and impressive presence. If you plan on doing so, be smart (smarter than us, do it in the morning, not under the three o’clock sun, with 98 °F, and no water bottle. Anyhow, the ride up is worth the view of the city, the bridge, the churches, the vineyards and the river. Still being up there you can feel this young city pulsing with life and lots of interesting activities, restaurants, music proposals, concerts, art and entertainment for all ages. Children and elderly having fun and enjoying life together, life is a joy and they are not afraid to show it.

Later at night, our dinner was fabulous (and cheap against all odds). Surrounded by so many vineyards, beer is good but wine is even better, and quite inexpensive as well. A dinner at a typical brewery of the city, a wonderful biergarten. What followed next needs a separate post.

Places to spend the night in Würzburg.

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Wurzburg, Germany. The Fortress.

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