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A Stately Start to the Romantic Road

At the start of Bavaria’s scenic Romantic Road, Würzburg is an elegant city with monuments attesting the power of the Church. On a green hill west of the city center is Marienberg Fortress, the former seat of the ruling prince-bishops. Now, it houses the Mainfränkisches art museum and overlooks the statue-lined Old Bridge crossing the Main River below.

But its the home of the prince-bishops that really steals the show. The opulence of the Würzburg Residence and its landscaped gardens have earned it a spot on the UNESCO World Heritage list. The surrounding U-shaped park extends all the way around the historic center.

This park is the first thing you see when leaving the train station, and nearby is the Röntgen memorial commemorating the physicist who discovered X-rays while teaching at Würzburg University, one of the oldest in the country.

Also one of Germany’s oldest is the Würzburger Stein vineyard outside the city. Some of the region’s signature Franken wine can be sampled in the cellar of historic Julius Spital hospital. Nearby is the Falkenhaus and the neighboring Church of Our Lady borders the main square. The cathedral is much larger and has its own museum.’s places to stay in Würzburg includes luxury spa hotels, guesthouses with parking, and cheap hostels.