River Cruise Day 11 Wurzburg and Rothenburg

River Cruise Day 11                   Wurzburg & Rothenburg           Cloudy and cold 11 deg top

 When we woke this morning we were in Wurburg, which is known for its Industrial Company that builds cranes – Koenig and Boer and also has the biggest vineyard in Germany.

Our way to the Residence Palace, we passed by the Rontgen Memorial – the original laboratory where Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen discovered X-Rays (thought Brian and Mary-Jean would be interested in this).

The Residence Palace was the home of the ruler, who ruled as a bishop and duke in the state of Franconia in a double role.  The Palace was built from 1720-1744 and is huge!

Unlike most castles, it has an entry point for horses and carriages, undercover and big enough for them to turn around and leave their passengers at the foot of an incredible staircase with a self-supporting, ornately painted domed ceiling.(painted by the Venetian artist G.B. Tiepelo)

We saw half a dozen rooms, lavishly decorated with tapestries, mirrors, gold leaf trim, and one room even had fine material dipped in plaster and placed on the ceiling to give a 3D effect.

Unfortunately, the rooms were empty apart from an occasional chair or cupboard from the period so we had to use our imaginations to picture how they may have looked in the 1700s.

We have trouble trying to reconcile the obvious difference between the nobility/clergy of these times and the apparent poverty of the average citizen of the town.

Also, we were not allowed to take photographs inside the Palace, which is annoying because they are making a huge revenue out of the thousands of visitors per day and they want to make even more by making it necessary for you to buy a postcard to capture the inside views of the palace.

We were also taken to the Palace Gardens for a look around but were disappointed that they were fairly ordinary compared to other places we have seen.

From there we walked down with our guide, to the town centre, where we saw the Cathedral and the Church of the New Monastery.

We were then given free time to explore on our own.  We walked down to the River Main to a bridge, the Alte Mainbrucke, which was erected between 1473 and 1543.  We took photographs of the bridge and the statues on the bridge.  From there we had a great view of the Marienberg Fortress and Vineyards.

We wandered through the shops and gain found a great little bakery, where we bought a pastry before heading back to the bus and then to the boat.

After lunch, we joined an optional tour to Rothenburg, 70 kilometres south west of Wurzburg and about an hours’ drive away.  The correct name for the town is Rothenburg ob der Tauber, which means Rothenburg above the Tauber (which is the river).

On our journey, we passed through the Agricultural Plains, where they grow wheat, barley, maize and sugarbeet – interestingly their biggest customer of the sugar from the sugarbeet is Coca Cola!

Rothenburg is a delightful walled town, with its wall connecting five medieval gates compete with guard towers that date from the thirteenth to sixteenth centuries.  The walls are completely intact and the old town, with its narrow cobblestone streets and gothic, renaissance and baroque houses, was charming and beautiful.

It was interesting to be told that Rothenburg is a Protestant town and as our guide put it is a Lutheran Island in a Catholic Sea.

We wandered around the town centre and through many of the narrow streets looking at shops, the buildings with their ornate window boxes and window displays and we walked along the top of the walls.  Once again we marvelled at the steeply pitched rooves and the beautiful pastel colours of the multi-storey buildings.

We found some pastry shops that make a specialist Rothenburg Schneeballen, which is a Snow Ball – it is flakes of pastry, dipped in honey or something similar, rolled into a ball and dipped in an icing/yoghurt type of thing and is available in several different flavours.  We bought one to try and went back for some more to have for our morning tea on the boat tomorrow.

We visited, and made a couple of purchases from the famous Kathe Wohlfart’s Christmas Village Shop – what an absolutely amazing place!!

We really enjoyed wandering around the narrow little streets and the Market Square.

We have put Rothenburg on our list of favourites – the other being Salzburg – or anything Austrian really!!

2 Responses to “River Cruise Day 11 Wurzburg and Rothenburg”

  1. Maria Hughes says:

    Hi Sis – we too have been in one of Kathe Wohlfart’s Christmas Village Shops and even though it was no where near Christmas time, was still absolutely beautiful – bought the “Big” kids a decoration each for their Christmas trees!! All fine here, much love Mxx

  2. Maria Hughes says:

    Hi Sis – loved our chat tonight our time – enjoy the rest of your week in London, and travel home safely. Have enjoyed travelling along with you through all the wonderful places you have visited, much love to you and Richard, Janet and Adrian from us all in Leeton xxxxx

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