Exploring Wurzburg

My day started early with a walking tour of Wurzburg. My guide was Marcus, a lovely fellow who reminded of Mark Williams from the Fast Show. Both in appearance and mannerisms. Outstandingly polite and personable he would bow at the waist and “humbly beg forgiveness” if he struggled with the pronunciation of a word. of course his English was near faultless and he had a larger vocabulary then most school leavers appear to have these days; describing Wurzburgs cathedral as one of “many outstanding superlatives”.

Marcus took us along the riverbank, and through Wurzburgs old town. The river walk is particularly attractive in the snow, with trees on one side and the river running under the bridge, all whilst overlooked by the first Prince-Bishops palace on the large hill. We learnt of the history of Wurzburg and the role that it had to play in Germanys history, particularly in regards to the Prince-Bishop’s who were the political and religious leaders, the defacto heads of state second only to the Emperor in significance. This role survived repeated attempts to remove power and allow Wurzburg to become a free state but despite a peasants revolt where around 1,000 peasants rose against the Prince-Bishop his army of under 100 people suppressed the uprising easily. It was not until Napoleon Bonaparte came along that the line of Prince-Bishops was broken, with their political powers handed to one of Napoleons favoured relatives. Eventually the office of Bishop was re-establised, but purely as a religious figurehead and still exists to this day with the 88th Bishop of Wurzburg.

Since leaving Guernsey I’ve had real difficulty sleeping. Night in London passed with just a couple of hours, and my first night here was much the same. Part of this was down to having just a single, tiny flat pillow. I ended up rolling my duvet into a makeshift pillow and trying to sleep on that. This morning I asked reception if I could have an extra pillow or two. After the walk some people went to lunch, but I was feeling the effects of just a couple of hours sleep in the last couple of days, so retired to the hotel to see if I could get an hours sleep. Mercifully I did get a little sleep, but was greatly surprised upon awakening to discover two pillows gently placed next to my feet. Someone from housekeeping must have brought them up when I was sleeping. I’m just glad I was fully clothed and not in my usual sleeping attire!

In the afternoon I visited the second Residents Palace. This one built after one of the Prince-Bishops decided that one huge castle just wasn’t big enough for his purposes! The palace is a magnificent building, one built to “out Versailles, Versailles” in the words of my guide. it is without doubt a spectacular sight but I think my own taste in decor is a little more understated then the former Prince-Bishops.

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