The Museum für Franken and the Department of City History are housed in the premises of the Marienberg Fortress. The Marienberg Fortress is the landmark of Würzburg and sits “enthroned” and visible over the city. From 1201 until the relocation to the Residence, the fort was the headquarters of the Würzburg Prince-Bishops. Traces of human settlement were found here during excavations, dating back to the Hallstatt era (around 1000 B.C.).
Like with a cut-through tree trunk, the growth of the Fortress can be traced from its inner core outwards: the oldest parts are in the innermost castle courtyard with the Marienkirche (Saint Mary’s Church), which has its roots in the 8th century, the keep and the well house, which was built over a 104 m (!) deep shaft, ensuring the water supply for the Fortress. On the city side, the courtyard borders the Fürstenbau (Prince Bishop’s Residence) with its Fürstengarten (Royal Garden).
The connection to the second courtyard, whose main features were created under Prince-Bishop Julius Echter (1573 - 1617), with farm buildings, bastion and a horse pool in the centre, is formed by the Scherenbergtor, a gateway which could only originally be accessed from the outside using a drawbridge. The youngest part of the Fortress is the Greiffenclau yard with a commanders’ building and baroque armoury (1709 - 1712). Both buildings served military purposes, a duty, which the Fortress fulfilled exclusively from the mid-18th century due to the relocation of the Bishop-Prince’s residence to the city’s Residence.
View of the Marienberg Fortress and the Alte Mainbrücke to Würzburg
Caspar Merian in the style of Wenzel Hollar, 1648, and Anna Beek, 1690/1700
Image: Rolf Matthes
Museum für Franken
Staatliches Museum für Kunst- und Kulturgeschichte
incl. Museum im Fürstenbau
1st April to 31st October
10 - 17
1st November to 31st March
10 - 16
Closed on Mondays
Opening hours on public holidays