May 30, 2014

The Marienberg Fortress in Würzburg

Marienberg Fortress, Würzburg, Germany
(c) Thrifty Gypsy
Würzburg was one of many places we visited while honeymooning in Germany for 23 days in 2010, and it's a city I would definitely recommend seeing.  It's located on the Main River in the northwest corner of Bayern about an hour east of Frankfurt.  We spent only the better part of the day there, but managed to see the Residenz, the Marienberg Fortress, the Alte Mainbrücke (the Saints' Bridge), and the Würzburg Cathedral -- arguably the four main attractions of the city!
View of the Marienberg Fortress from the Alte Mainbrücke
(c) Thrifty Gypsy

My husband's cousin drove us to Würzburg from Dinkelsbühl early one morning on the second week of our trip.  There we met up with a friend of hers, proceeded to make our way to a bakery for some pastries, then upward to the Marienburg Fortress!  Even by modern standards, it is a formidable and impressive fortress.  The earliest record of its existence dates to 704A, when it was just a small fort and church built by the Franconian-Thuringian rulers.  By the 13th century, however, the fortress had evolved into a massive castle.  In the 1630s, the castle was rebuilt and more bastions were added after King Gustaf Adolph captured and destroyed it during the Thirty Years' War.  After the long climb up to the fortress, I had a healthy respect for the soldiers who captured this fortress; it can't have been an easy feat to accomplish!

During World War II, the Marienberg Fortress sustained considerable damage from American and British bombers, and the fortress you see today is primarily a reconstruction of the original buildings and walls.

Can you imagine trying to run up this hill, lugging your weapons and gear while sustaining fire from the defenders, and manage to capture that fort?  It's not a pleasant scenario to think about!
(c) Thrifty Gypsy

View from the top.
(c) Thrifty Gypsy

Wow.  Those are some thick walls!
(c) Thrifty Gypsy

Walls within walls...
(c) Thrifty Gypsy

(c) Thrifty Gypsy

The Princes' Garden
(c) Thrifty Gypsy

From there we went on to visit the other three sites in Würzburg -- the Residenz, the Alte Mainbrücke, and the Cathedral -- but more about those in a future post!

The Marienberg Fortress is open from 9a-6p from mid-March to October.  It is closed Mondays and on certain holidays.  It is 4.50 euros per person entrance fee.

Have you visited the Marienberg Fortress or Würzburg in general?


  1. I've never been to this fortress, but it definitely has an interesting history. It's amazing to think about all the damage that WWII caused throughout Europe, and it's even more amazing to see how these incredible sites have been restored to their former glory!

    1. It really is very sobering and interesting to go to Germany and see the war from the other side. They really did a good job restoring sites like this; unless you read the history (or are an expert!), you'd have no idea that it was newly restored. They gave it an antiquated feel!


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