Jan and I decided to take the opportunity that the long weekend offered us and go somewhere for the day on Saturday (four days off in a row meant we could fill the entire day and still have two days of relaxing at home – bliss). Since there was rain and cold forecast* for everywhere that was within day trip range, we figured it didn’t really matter where we went and spontaneously decided on Würzburg. My verdict: not one of my favourite German towns. Unfortunately, about 80% of Würzburg was destroyed during World War 2, and when they rebuilt it there wasn’t exactly a tonne of money lying around, so all the new buildings are basically ugly (but were cheap to build). There is the odd nice building here and there, either because they managed to escaped the bombs or have since been restored, but in general the town isn’t the prettiest I’ve seen. Of course, it has Tübingen and Heidelberg to compete with, and the horrid weather didn’t help much either.
We didn’t arrive until around 1 p.m. (Würzburg is roughly 2 hours drive from here and Jan didn’t get up til 9 a.m.), so after a quick walk down to the river (The Main) for a look at the old bridge and take some photos of the fortress up on its hill, our first stop was lunch. I had Wiener Schnitzel, which was very tasty, and tried the local beer, Würzburger Hofbräu.
After lunch (which took a while because we started with soup to warm us up and hung around long enough to have a coffee after our main course), we headed over the the Fachhochschule (University of Applied Sciences) to see the Röntgen-Gedächtnisstätte (Röntgen Memorial Hall). Wilhelm Röntgen is famous for discovering the X-Ray – they’re named after him in German: Röntgenstrahlen. I guess that was just too complicated for English speakers to be able to pronounce. And, random piece of useless information, he received the first ever Nobel Prize for Physics for his discovery. See, my blog is educational! 😉
Our next stop was the Juliusspital Weingut (Wine Estate is the translation on their website…). The Juliusspital (hospital) was set up to provide treatment for poor people (especially old poor people) who couldn’t afford to go to an ordinary hospital. It still continues that tradition today, and raises part of the money it needs by producing wine, and by giving gided tours of the winery. This included a look at the bottling facility, followed by a tour of the wine cellars including three different wines to taste. The tour guide wanted to take our money at the entrance to the cellars, at which point we discovered that Jan didn’t actually have enough money left to pay for his entry (I had enough for myself, but not enough for him). A lovely couple from near Cologne helped us out, completely disproving the stereotypes about rude, unhelpful Germans! We then bought them a bottle of wine in the shop at the end, where you could pay by card.
This is the fountain where we met to start the tour. You can just see a hint of blue sky trying to make its way through at the top. Unfortunately, that didn’t last for long.
Apparantly it represents the four rivers of Franconia (Würzburg is in an area of Bavaria called “Franken”) but I’ve no idea what those are, other than the Main.
By the time we’d finished the tour, just about everything else of interest was closed due to it being Saturday, and the Easter weekend at that, which was a shame. I would have quite liked to go in the Residenz, but instead I just took a photo of the outside.
The Cathedral (St. Kilian’s) was closed as well, for renovation. It wasn’t our day for going into things!
I also took lots of photos of lanterns, just because I like them. One day I’m going to have a huge collection of lantern pictures. I’ve even got Jan pointing them out to me now!
Doesn’t the sky above this one look threatening:
That’s pretty much how the sky looked all day, apart from a brief interval while we were waiting for our tour of the winery to start. And it was cold too! So much for spring.
All in all, it was a nice day with my boyfriend, and gave me a chance to see another part of Germany that was new to me, but I don’t think I need to go back there again. Sorry Würzburg, you’re just not my type of town!
*A mere two weeks ago we had gorgeous sunshine, and now winter seems to have returned. Not impressed, weather gods!