Residenz Würzburg About the Object

The former residence of the Würzburg prince-bishops is one of the most important baroque palaces in Europe and today it is on UNESCO's World Heritage list. Originally designed for Prince-Bishop Johann Philipp Franz von Schönborn by the then young and unknown architect Balthasar Neumann, it took sixty years to complete; the shell of the palace was built from 1720 to 1744 and the interior finished in 1780. Neumann's world-famous staircase, roofed by an unsupported vault, was decorated in 1752/53 by the Venetian Giovanni Battista Tiepolo with a ceiling fresco representing the four continents. The painting, measuring 18 x 30 metres, is one of the largest frescos ever created. The magnificent sequence of rooms begins with the vestibule and Garden Hall and continues via the staircase and White Hall to the Imperial Hall, also with frescos by Tiepolo. The vaulting of these rooms even withstood the devastating fire of 1945, while the ceilings and floors of the Imperial Apartments flanking the Imperial Hall were destroyed. The furnishings and wall panelling had been removed beforehand, enabling the rooms to be reconstructed. Restoration was completed in 1987 with the reopening of the Mirror Cabinet. There is a total of over 40 palace rooms to visit, with a rich array of furniture, tapestries, paintings and other 18th century treasures. The Court Chapel, entered separately from the southern front yard, is one of the finest examples of religious art in Würzburg. The State Gallery contains Venetian art from the 17th and 18th centuries (Branch of the Bavarian State Galleries). A walk in the Würzburg Court Garden is a delight for both nature- and art-lovers. The water basin encircled by yew trees clipped into the shape of cones forms the present centre of the South Garden. In front of the magnificent east façade is a terraced garden decorated with groups of puttos by Johann Peter Wagner.