Viking River Cruise, Day 10, Monday, July 4, 2016

We arrived at Markbreit where we will board our bus for the 30 minute ride to Wurzburg. We were about 45 minutes behind schedule due to congestion at the locks.

We met our guide Toby and began our tour at the Bishops Residenz which was built between 1720 and 1744. However it suffered major damage and partially destroyed by the bombings during World War II. It was meticulously rebuilt to its original form and decorated with many original fixtures.

Unfortunately no cameras are allowed inside the Residenz. The Residenz has the worlds largest fresco, “Four Continents” which covers 2,000 sq/ft. It was painted by Giovanni Tiepolo and although flat is painted to give the illusion of three dimension in places.

The Residenz is crammed with frescoes, antique tapestry, and unbelievable stucco sculpture in its “white hall”.

It is literally indescribable! If you ever get the chance to see it, it will be well worth your time. Here are some exterior photos.

Leaving the Residenz, Toby entertained us as we walked down the main street of the old city part of Wurzburg. We only encountered one traffic light. All the other streets, pedestrians have the right-of-way. Toby would wait at a clear intersection or side street and wait for a car to come, then he would march the 20 of us across the street.

We went through a square anchored by a church and this “art in public places”, man wrapped in plastic wrap.

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We passed several churches:

St. Killian’s Dom, four spire church Circa 1050

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St. Killian’s Basilica Romanesque Cathedral, Circa 1045, bombed during WWII, rebuilt 1967

Marienkapelle Market Place Church built Circa 1400

On the way to the market place we past this church with skeletons over the door. I didn’t catch its name but Toby called it the “funeral” church.

We continued through the market place which sported a May Pole. The market had all sorts of vendors, much like an American flea market.

We rested at a little Rathskeller, the generic word for “beer garden” and enjoyed an apple strudel.

Our group was to meet at this fountain but Babs and I opted to walk back to the boat. We walked to the Old Main Bridge Circa 1473-1547. The locals buy wine and stand in the middle of the bridge and drink their wine. This is possible because the bridge is only open to foot traffic.

Our walk along the Main River to our boat offered us good views of the Marienberg Fortress Circa 706 which was original a Celtic fort and later the Bishops residence.

Once again, we beat the boat back because once again they got caught in the traffic at the locks. After what seemed like a “Three Stooges” skit the crew finally got the boat in position and the gang plank in place.

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Dinner was surf and turf. The crew did this cake for us and we sang the National Anthem.

The entertainment is a glass blowing demonstration (commercial) by a glass blower with a shop at our next port.

Tomorrow we head for Wertheim where glass is king.

Babs Says: Today our guide pointed out the largest bank in town. A guest asked if it was open today. Guide got a quizzed look and said “Of course. Why wouldn’t it? Guest says, “It’s the 4th of July.” Poor guide could not hide his laughter. “We do not celebrate the 4th of July. We also passed the “American Embassy” in town – McDonald’s!

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