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Würzburg Wörtzburch (Mainfränkisch)
Clockwise from top: Marienberg Fortress and Old Bridge – the Main with a newer bridge – the Old Town with the cathedral, narrow square and city hall – and the Residence, a world heritage site.
Flag of WürzburgFlagCoat of arms of WürzburgCoat of arms
Location of Würzburg Map
Würzburg is located in GermanyWürzburgWürzburg Show map of GermanyWürzburg is located in BavariaWürzburgWürzburg Show map of Bavaria
Coordinates: 49°47′N 9°56′E / 49.783°N 9.933°E / 49.783; 9.933
Admin. regionLower Franconia
DistrictUrban district
 • Lord mayor (2020–26) Christian Schuchardt (CSU)
 • Total87.63 km2 (33.83 sq mi)
Elevation177 m (581 ft)
Population (2022-12-31)
 • Total127,810
 • Density1,500/km2 (3,800/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
Postal codes97070–97084
Dialling codes0931
Vehicle registration

Würzburg (German: ; Main-Franconian: Wörtzburch) is, after Nuremberg and Fürth, the third-largest city in Franconia located in the north of Bavaria. Würzburg is the administrative seat of the Regierungsbezirk Lower Franconia. It spans the banks of the Main river.

Würzburg is situated approximately 110 km west-northwest of Nuremberg and 120 km east-southeast of Frankfurt am Main. The population as of 2019 is approximately 130,000 residents.

Würzburg is famous for its partly rebuilt and reconstructed old town and its Würzburger Residenz, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The regional dialect is East Franconian German.


Timeline of Würzburg
Historical affiliations

 Duchy of Franconia (to 1168)
Prince-Bishopric of Würzburg, 1168–1803
Electorate of Bavaria, 1803–1805
Grand Duchy of Würzburg, 1805–1814
Kingdom of Bavaria, 1814–1871
German Empire, (Kingdom of Bavaria), 1871–1918
German Reich, 1918–1919
Würzburg Soviet Republic, 1919
German Reich, 1919–1945
American-occupied zone, 1945–1949
 Germany, 1949–present

Early and medieval history

Impression of the city seal of 1319 Woodcut depicting Würzburg from the Nuremberg Chronicle (1493) Panorama of Würzburg with castle Marienberg. Matthäus Merian in Cornelis Danckerts, "Historis", 1642.

A Bronze Age (Urnfield culture) refuge castle, the Celtic Segodunum, and later a Roman fort, stood on the hill known as the Leistenberg, the site of the present Fortress Marienberg. The former Celtic territory was settled by Alamanni in the 4th or 5th century later by the Franks in the 6th to 7th. Würzburg was the seat of a Merovingian duke from about 650. It was Christianized in 686 by Irish missionaries Kilian, Kolonat and Totnan. The city is mentioned in a donation by Duke Hedan II to bishop Willibrord, dated 1 May 704, in castellum Virteburch. The Ravenna Cosmography lists the city as Uburzis at about the same time. The name is presumably of Celtic origin, but based on a folk etymological connection to the German word Würze "herb, spice", the name was Latinized as Herbipolis in the medieval period.

The first diocese was founded by Saint Boniface in 742 when he appointed the first bishop of Würzburg, Saint Burkhard. The bishops eventually created a secular fiefdom, that extended to Eastern Franconia in the 12th century. The city was the site of several Imperial Diets, including the one of 1180, at which Henry the Lion, duke of Saxony and Bavaria, was banned for three years from the Empire and his duchy Bavaria was handed over to Otto of Wittelsbach. Massacres of Jews took place in 1147 and 1298.

The first church on the site of the present Würzburg Cathedral was built as early as 788 and consecrated that same year by Charlemagne; the current building was constructed from 1040 to 1225 in Romanesque style. The University of Würzburg was founded in 1402 and re-founded in 1582 by Julius Echter von Mespelbrunn. The citizens of the city revolted several times against the prince-bishop.

In 1397, King Wenceslaus IV of Bohemia visited the city and promised its people the status of a free Imperial City. However, the German ruling princes forced him to withdraw these promises. In 1400, the bishop's troops decisively defeated the citizenry in the Battle of Bergtheim, and the city fell under his control permanently until the dissolution of the fiefdom.: 41  During the German Peasants' War, a local town council member, Tilman Riemenschneider refused to obey an order by Konrad von Thüngen, the Prince-Bishop of Würzburg to fight the revolting peasants.: 23  This resulted in 8,000 peasants killed on 4 June 1525 just outside Würzburg. Riemenschneider and the entire town council was incarcerated and tortured in Marienberg Fortress.: 24 

Modern history

The Würzburg witch trials, which occurred between 1626 and 1631, are one of the largest peace-time mass trials. In Würzburg, under Bishop Philip Adolf, an estimated 600 to 900 alleged witches were burnt. In 1631, Swedish King Gustaf Adolf invaded and ended the witch burnings.

In 1720, the foundations of the Würzburg Residence were laid. In 1796, the Battle of Würzburg between Habsburg Austria and the First French Republic took place. The city passed to the Electorate of Bavaria in 1803 but, two years later, in the course of the Napoleonic Wars, it became the seat of the Electorate of Würzburg (until September 1806), the later Grand Duchy of Würzburg.

In 1814, the town became part of the Kingdom of Bavaria and a new bishopric was created seven years later, as the former one had been secularized in 1803 (see also Reichsdeputationshauptschluss). In 1817, Friedrich Koenig and Andreas Bauer founded Schnellpressenfabrik Koenig & Bauer (the world's first steam-driven printing press manufacturer).

The Hep-Hep riots from August to October 1819 were pogroms against Ashkenazi Jews, beginning in the Kingdom of Bavaria, during the period of Jewish emancipation in the German Confederation. The antisemitic communal violence began on August 2, 1819, in Würzburg and soon reached the outer regions of the German Confederation. Many Jews were killed, and much Jewish property was destroyed.

In 1848, Catholic bishops held the Würzburg Bishops' Conference, a forerunner of later German and Austrian conferences. By distinction, the Würzburg Conference is a name given to the meeting of representatives of the smaller German states in 1859 to devise some means of mutual support. The conference, however, had no result. Würzburg was bombarded and taken by the Prussians in 1866 when it ceased to be a fortress.

In the early 1930s, around 2,000 Jews lived in Würzburg, which was also a rabbinic centre. The Nazi Party in 1933 achieved total control. During the Kristallnacht pogroms in 1938, many Jewish houses and shops were raided, looted, or destroyed. The contents of two synagogues were stolen or destroyed. Many Jews were imprisoned and tortured by the Gestapo. Between November 1941 and June 1943, Jews from the city were sent to the Nazi concentration camps in Eastern Europe.

From April 1943 to March 1945 a subcamp of the Flossenbürg concentration camp was located in the city, with dozens of prisoners, mostly from Poland and the Soviet Union.

World War II bombing

On 16 March 1945, about 90% of the city was destroyed in 17 minutes by firebombing from 225 British Lancaster bombers during a World War II air raid. Würzburg became a target for its role as a traffic hub and to break the spirit of the population.: 19 

All of the city's churches, cathedrals, and other monuments were heavily damaged or destroyed. The city centre, which mostly dated from medieval times, was destroyed in a firestorm in which 5,000 people perished.

Over the next 20 years, the buildings of historical importance were painstakingly and accurately reconstructed. The citizens who rebuilt the city immediately after the end of the war were mostly women – Trümmerfrauen ("rubble women") – because the men were either dead or still prisoners of war. On a relative scale, Würzburg was destroyed to a larger extent than was Dresden in a firebombing the previous month. Today the whole of the old town is sited as a cultural heritage site after decades of rebuilding and reconstructions.

Battle of Würzburg

On 3 April 1945, Würzburg was occupied by the U.S. 12th Armored Division and the U.S. 42nd Infantry Division in a series of frontal assaults masked by smokescreens. The battle continued until the last German resistance was defeated on 5 April 1945.


Würzburg with Fortress Marienberg and Main river Panoramic view of city center from the fortress with Main river

Würzburg spans the banks of the river Main in the region of Lower Franconia in the north of the state of Bavaria, Germany. The heart of the town is on the locally eastern (right) bank. The town is enclosed by the Landkreis Würzburg but is not a part of it.

Würzburg covers an area of 87.6 square kilometres and lies at an altitude of around 177 metres.

Of the total municipal area, in 2007, building area accounted for 30%, followed by agricultural land (27.9%), forestry/wood (15.5%), green spaces (12.7%), traffic (5.4%), water (1.2%) and others (7.3%).

The centre of Würzburg is surrounded by hills. To the west lies the 266-meter Marienberg and the Nikolausberg (359 m) to the south of it. The Main flows through Würzburg from the southeast to the northwest.

City structure

Würzburg is divided into 13 Stadtbezirke which are additionally structured into 25 boroughs. The following overview shows the boroughs and their numbers allocated to the 13 municipalities.

01 Altstadt

  • Dom (01)
  • Neumünster (02)
  • Peter (03)
  • Innere Pleich (04)
  • Haug (05)
  • Äussere Pleich (06)
  • Rennweg (09)
  • Mainviertel (17)

02 Zellerau

  • Zellerau (18)

03 Dürrbachtal

  • Dürrbachau (07)
  • Unterdürrbach (22)
  • Oberdürrbach (23)

04 Grombühl

  • Grombühl (08)

05 Lindleinsmühle

  • Lindleinsmühle (19)

06 Frauenland

  • Mönchberg (10)
  • Frauenland (11)
  • Keesburg (12)

07 Sanderau

  • Sanderau (13)

08 Heidingsfeld

  • Heidingsfeld (14)

09 Heuchelhof

  • Heuchelhof (20)

10 Steinbachtal

  • Steinbachtal (15)
  • Nikolausberg (16)

11 Versbach

  • Versbach (24)

12 Lengfeld

  • Lengfeld (25)

13 Rottenbauer

  • Rottenbauer (21)


Wurzburg's 2023 population is now estimated at 126,033.

Foreign population

Largest groups of foreign residents:
Nationality Population (Dec. 2022)
 Ukraine 1,632
 Romania 1,316
 Italy 1,153
 Turkey 1,086
 Poland 759
 Russia 603
 Greece 588
 Afghanistan 526
 China 483
 Kosovo 414


Climate data for Würzburg (1991–2020 normals)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 3.8
Daily mean °C (°F) 1.2
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) −1.4
Average precipitation mm (inches) 40.0
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 14.9 13.8 14.1 12.2 13.0 13.3 14.0 12.4 12.0 14.6 14.3 17.2 165.8
Average snowy days (≥ 1.0 cm) 8.2 4.2 1.8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.0 4.6 19.8
Average relative humidity (%) 84.7 80.5 73.6 66.2 68.4 68.5 67.7 68.8 76.0 83.6 87.8 87.8 76.1
Mean monthly sunshine hours 54.8 84.4 132.3 190.7 215.4 223.9 237.1 226.2 166.7 106.7 51.5 42.7 1,724.9
Source: World Meteorological Organization


Würzburg is mainly known as an administrative centre. Its largest employers are the Julius-Maximilians-University and the municipality. The largest private employers are Brose Fahrzeugteile followed by Koenig & Bauer, a maker of printing machines. Würzburg is also the capital of the German wine region Franconia which is famous for its mineral-rich dry white wines, especially from the Silvaner grape. Würzburger Hofbräu brewery also locally produces a well-known pilsner beer.

Würzburg is home to the oldest pizzeria in Germany. Nick di Camillo opened his restaurant named Bier- und Speisewirtschaft Capri on 24 March 1952. Camillo received the honour of the Italian Order of Merit.

In 2017, the GDP per inhabitant was €62,229, placing the district 13th out of 96 districts (rural and urban) in Bavaria (overall average: €46,698).


Following World War II, Würzburg was occupied by the U.S. Army's 1st and 3rd infantry divisions, as well as an Army hospital staff and various other U.S. military units. The last U.S. troops were withdrawn in 2008, concluding more than 60 years of U.S. presence in Würzburg.

Arts and culture

Notable artists who lived in Würzburg include poet Walther von der Vogelweide (12th and 13th centuries), philosopher Albertus Magnus and painter Matthias Grünewald. Sculptor Tilman Riemenschneider (1460–1531) served as mayor and participated in the German Peasants' War. Richard Wagner obtained the position of chorusmaster at the city’s theater in 1833 through his brother, Albert, and finished his first opera, Die Feen (The Fairies), there that year (see Wikipedia article on Richard Wagner).

Some of the city's "100 churches" survived intact. In style they range from Romanesque (Würzburg Cathedral), Gothic (Marienkapelle), Renaissance (Neubaukirche), Baroque (Stift Haug Kirche) to modern (St. Andreas).

Major festivals include the Africa Festival in May, the Mozart Festival in June/July, and the Kiliani Volksfest in mid-July.

Main sights

Residence (front view) Marienberg Fortress Käppele Juliusspital Falkenhaus The statue of St Kilian, with the Marienberg Fortress on the right

Museums and galleries

Kulturspeicher at night Black-figure Etruscan amphora in the Martin-von-Wagner-Museum


NBA Hall of Famer Dirk Nowitzki was born and grew up in Würzburg. Nowitzki and numerous other German national team players started their careers at the local Baskets Würzburg club that plays in the Basketball Bundesliga as of 2016. In the past, the club played in international competitions such as the Eurocup.

Würzburg is also home to the football teams Würzburger Kickers and Würzburger FV playing in the Fußball-Bayernliga.

SV Würzburg 05 is a swimming and water polo club in the German Water Polo League.


Würzburg is the administrative seat of the Regierungsbezirk Lower Franconia. The administration of the Landkreis Würzburg (district) is also located in the town.

Since April 2014, the mayor of Würzburg has been Christian Schuchardt (CSU).

Education and research

Würzburg has several internationally recognized institutions in science and research:


Alte Universität, the old Renaissance building of Würzburg University

The University of Würzburg (official name Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg) was founded in 1402 and is one of the oldest universities in Germany.

Academic disciplines are astronomy, biology, Catholic theology, chemistry, computer science, culture, economics, educational and social sciences, geography, history, languages and linguistics, law, literature, mathematics, medicine (human medicine, dentistry and biomedicine), pharmacy, philosophy, physics, political science, psychology and sociology.

Today, the ten faculties are spread throughout the city. The university currently enrolls approximately 29,000 students, out of which more than 1,000 come from other countries.

University of Applied Science

University of Applied Sciences Würzburg-Schweinfurt main building in the city centre

The University of Applied Sciences Würzburg-Schweinfurt was founded in 1971 as an institute of technology with departments in Würzburg and Schweinfurt. Academic disciplines are architecture, business economics, business informatics, civil engineering, computational engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, engineering management, geodesy, graphic design, logistics, mechanical engineering, media, nursing theory, plastics engineering, and social work. With nearly 8,000 students, it is the second-largest university of applied science in Franconia.


The Conservatory of Würzburg is an institution with a long tradition as well as an impressive success story of more than 200 years. It was founded in 1797 as Collegium musicum academicum and is Germany's oldest conservatory. Nowadays, it is known as University of Music Würzburg. After the commutation from the conservatory to the university of music in the early 1970s, science and research were added to complement music education.


Würzburg is home to the daily newspaper Main-Post. Radio stations like Antenne Bayern and state broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk have local studios. The latter also maintains a large broadcasting station at Frankenwarte. The TV branch of Bayerischer Rundfunk has its Studio Mainfranken in the town.



Due to its central position Würzburg is an important traffic hub. It is the site of the interchange of Autobahn highways A3 (CologneFrankfurt – Würzburg – Nuremberg) and A7 (HamburgHanoverKassel – Würzburg – Ulm) as well as the start of A81 (Würzburg – HeilbronnStuttgart). Furthermore, Bundesstraße highways B8, B13, B19 and B27 pass through the city.


The city's main station is a central hub for long-distance and regional services. Würzburg lies at the southern end of the Hanover-Würzburg high-speed rail line that offers frequent InterCityExpress and InterCity connections to cities such as Cologne, Frankfurt, Hanover, Hamburg, Munich, Nuremberg and Vienna. In addition to the main station, there are two regional stations, Würzburg-South and Würzburg Zell.

Würzburg Main station
Long distance Route
(Linie 25)
  MunichNuremberg – Würzburg – KasselHanoverHamburg
Munich – Augsburg – Würzburg – Kassel – Hanover – Hamburg / – Bremen
(Linie 31)
  ViennaLinzPassau – Nuremberg – Würzburg – Frankfurt (Main) – MainzKoblenz – Cologne – WuppertalHagenDortmund
(Linie 41)
  Munich – Nuremberg – Würzburg – Frankfurt (Main)CologneDüsseldorfEssen
Hanover–Würzburg high-speed railway crossing the river Main north of Würzburg
regional Route
Regional-Express   Würzburg – KitzingenNeustadt (Aisch)Fürth – Nuremberg
Regional-Express   Würzburg – AschaffenburgHanau – Frankfurt (Main)
Regional-Express   Würzburg – OsterburkenHeilbronnLudwigsburgStuttgart
Regional-Express   Würzburg – SchweinfurtBambergLichtenfelsHof/–Bayreuth
Regional-Express   Würzburg – Bamberg – Erlangen – Fürth – Nuremberg
Regional-Express   Würzburg – SchweinfurtBad Kissingen / – MünnerstadtBad NeustadtMellrichstadtMeiningenSuhlArnstadtErfurt
Regional train   SchlüchternJossaGemünden (Main) – Würzburg – Schweinfurt – Bamberg
Regional train   Karlstadt – Würzburg– SteinachAnsbachTreuchtlingen
Regional train   Würzburg – Kitzingen
Regional train   Würzburg – Bad MergentheimWeikersheimCrailsheim
A Würzburg tram crosses the river Main on the Löwenbrücke.


Würzburg has a tram network of five lines with a length of 19.7 kilometres (12.2 miles).

Line Route Time Stops
1 Grombühl – Sanderau 20 minutes 20
2 Hauptbahnhof (Main station) – Zellerau 14 minutes 11
3 Hauptbahnhof (Main Station) – Heuchelhof 27 minutes 20
4 Sanderau – Zellerau 23 min. 18
5 Grombühl – Rottenbauer 39 minutes 31

The proposed Line 6 from Hauptbahnhof (Main Station) to Hubland university campus via Residenz is scheduled to be completed after 2018.


Bikes are a popular means of transportation in Würzburg.

27 bus lines connect several parts of the city and the inner suburbs. Twenty-five bus lines connect the Landkreis Würzburg to the city.


The Main river flows into the Rhine and is connected to the Danube via the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal. This makes it part of a trans-European waterway connecting the North Sea to the Black Sea.


Designated bicycle paths are located throughout the city, and the Main-Radweg long-distance bicycle trail passes through the old town.



The local public utility is Würzburger Versorgungs- und Verkehrs-GmbH supplying power, natural gas and water as well as public transportation and parking services. It also owns a majority stake in the port and runs local garbage collection/recycling. Heizkraftwerk Würzburg is owned by the utility.

Health care

Universitätsklinikum Würzburg provides health care services, with over 5,300 employees and over 1,400 hospital beds. Juliusspital also offers hospital services with 342 beds.

Notable people

Philipp Stöhr Gottfried Feder Werner Heisenberg

Twin towns – sister cities

Würzburg is twinned with:


See also


  1. ^ Liste der Oberbürgermeister in den kreisfreien Städten, Bayerisches Landesamt für Statistik, accessed 19 July 2021.
  2. ^ Genesis Online-Datenbank des Bayerischen Landesamtes für Statistik Tabelle 12411-003r Fortschreibung des Bevölkerungsstandes: Gemeinden, Stichtag (Einwohnerzahlen auf Grundlage des Zensus 2011).
  3. ^ Wuerzburg, Stadt. "Würzburg Online - Bevölkerung". www.wuerzburg.de. Retrieved 2018-10-07.
  4. ^ "Census 2022". Statistisches Bundesamt (in German). Retrieved 2021-11-02.
  5. ^ https://geoportal.bayern.de/denkmalatlas/searchResult.html?koid=59353&objtyp=bau&top=1
  6. ^ Koch, John T. (2020). CELTO-GERMANIC Later Prehistory and Post-Proto-Indo-European vocabulary in the North and West Archived 2021-11-25 at the Wayback Machine, p. 131
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Würzburg" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 28 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 860.
  8. ^ Norbert Wagner, 'Uburzis-Wirziburg "Würzburg"'
  9. ^ Heinz Willner, Der Name Würzburg, Frankenland 1/1999.
  10. ^ "Sacred Magic of Abramelin: The First Book: The Eighth Chapter". www.sacred-texts.com. Retrieved 8 July 2021.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i Dettelbacher, Werner (1974). Franken - Kunst, Geschichte und Landschaft (German). Dumont Verlag. ISBN 3-7701-0746-2.
  12. ^ a b Tilman Riemenschneider – Werke seiner Blütezeit (German). Freunde Mainfränkischer Kunst und Geschichte e.V. Würzburg. 2004.
  13. ^ Wolfgang Behringer, Witchcraft in Bavaria: Popular Magik, Religious Zealotry, and Reason of State in Early Modern Europe, (Cambridge University Press, 1997).
  14. ^ a b c "Würzburg During the Holocaust. Kristallnacht". Yad Vashem. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  15. ^ The Story of the Jewish Community in Würzburg an online exhibition by Yad Vashem
  16. ^ "Würzburg Subcamp". KZ-Gedenkstätte Flossenbürg. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  17. ^ https://geoportal.bayern.de/denkmalatlas/searchResult.html?koid=59353&objtyp=bau&top=1
  18. ^ Stanton, Shelby, World War II Order of Battle: An Encyclopedic Reference to U.S. Army Ground Forces from Battalion through Division, 1939–1946 (Revised Edition, 2006), Stackpole Books, p. 65, 129.
  19. ^ Seite 777, see also Chapter XVIII
  20. ^ Wuerzburg, Stadt. "Rathaus | Würzburg in Zahlen - Stadtgebiet, Flächennutzung, Klima". www.wuerzburg.de. Retrieved 2020-09-27.
  21. ^ "Data" (PDF). www.wuerzburg.de. Retrieved 2020-09-27.
  22. ^ "Wurzburg Population 2023". worldpopulationreview.com. Retrieved 2023-02-08.
  23. ^ "World Meteorological Organization Climate Normals for 1991–2020". World Meteorological Organization Climatological Standard Normals (1991–2020). National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Archived from the original on 12 October 2023. Retrieved 12 October 2023.
  24. ^ Bauer, Ralph (March 26, 2012). "Würzburg: GIs rissen sich um die Erste Pizza in Deutschland" – via www.welt.de.
  25. ^ "VGR der Länder, Kreisergebnisse für Deutschland - Bruttoinlandsprodukt, Bruttowertschöpfung in den kreisfreien Städten und Landkreisen der Bundesrepublik Deutschland 2000 bis 2017 (German)". Statistische Ämter der Länder und des Bundes. Archived from the original on November 8, 2018. Retrieved 4 February 2020.
  26. ^ "Englisch". Archived from the original on 12 February 2013. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
  27. ^ "National Commission for Decentralised cooperation". Délégation pour l’Action Extérieure des Collectivités Territoriales (Ministère des Affaires étrangères) (in French). Archived from the original on 2013-11-27. Retrieved 2013-12-26.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Würzburg. Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Würzburg.