The wines of the “Juliusspital” and the “Bürgerspital” are cellared in traditional fashion and known around the world for their quality. The profits from the wine sales go to fund charitable projects
Wine experts Robert Haller and Horst Kolesch
Würzburg, located on the Romantic Road in the north of Bavaria, is the beating heart of the Franconian wine region. A long time ago this was the home of the Prince-Bishops, who exercised both spiritual and secular control. Buildings in the Baroque and Rococo styles and the largest ceiling fresco in the world make this city a superb open-air museum of magnificent architecture.
Visitors from all over the world come to Würzburg am Main, a city surrounded by vineyards. Here they can follow the steps up to the famous wine-growing area on the slopes below the Marienberg Fortress and enjoy wonderful views over the city.
With wine festivals in spring and summer, guided tours through the wine cellars and tastings in various wine bars, visitors can immerse themselves in the world of Franconian wine and soak up the special flair of this Residence city.
Juliusspital: Excellent wine for good deeds
The Juliusspital winery also traces its history back to an act of charity: in 1576, Prince-Bishop Julius Echter von Mespelbrunn laid the foundation stone for a large infirmary for the poor, complete with orphanage.
For more than 440 years, the Foundation has been helping the elderly and sick.
He was convinced that whoever took in the poor and the sick would be rewarded in heaven. In return, he handed over properties to the hospital, including entire villages with their vineyards, one of which was the famous “Würzburger Stein”.
With a total growing area of 180 hectares, the Juliusspital is now the second largest winery in Germany. “For us, wine has always been our bread and butter, and therefore a pillar of our lives,” explains Winery Director Horst Kolesch.
In order to meet the appropriate quality standards, the fine wines are mainly stored in oak barrels in a 250 metre long cellar under the historic Fürstenbau building.
Wine tastings and guided tours of the vaulted cellars with their atmospheric lighting and stored treasures are among the highlights of any visit to Würzburg.
Horst Kolesch is full of enthusiasm: “There are magical places in the vineyards where you can look out across a sea of vines and see the entire city with all its churches, towers and bridges.”
Bürgerspital zum Heiligen Geist: Where wine relieves distress
Franconian wine is easily identified through its round, bulbous bottle – known as a Bocksbeutel. It is considered a trademark and has been used in Franconia for over 250 years.
The bottle was first used in the “Bürgerspital zum Heiligen Geist” – a foundation set up for the poor and elderly, with a unique history of its own. Today the Bürgerspital, which is run by winery director Robert Haller, is one of the most important wineries in Franconia.
His tip: on a guided tour of the wine cellars you can catch a glimpse of the treasure chamber that houses the famous 1540 Steinwein!
Largest ceiling fresco in the world
One architectural delight in the centre of Würzburg is the Residence Palace. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981. The building was constructed between 1720 and 1744 by Balthasar Neumann. The stairwell boasts the largest ceiling fresco ever painted, measuring 19 by 32 metres. It was created by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, an artist originally from Venice.
Another attraction is the Cathedral of St. Kilian. Its soaring towers guide visitors to the city from afar. The fourth largest Romanesque church in Germany, it is viewed as the principal work of German architecture from the reign of the Salian emperors.
However, the city’s main landmark is the Marienberg Fortress. It lies just a stone’s throw from the city centre on the left bank of the River Main, surrounded by vineyards. From here you can look down on the old university town with its domes, towers and bridges.
The southern flair of the Residence city coupled with Franconian hospitality and the combination of a young university city and ancient bishop’s seat is highly distinctive and brings the history of Bavaria to life!
... from Robert and Horst
Vineyard hike ...
... through our parade site Würzburger Stein. From there you have the whole city scenery in front of you. There are magical places from which you can look down on a sea of vines and the city of Würzburg with all its churches, towers and bridges.
wuerzburger-steinweinpfad.de (only in German)
Walk along the Abtsleite in Würzburg
The walk across the slopes and vineyards on the Abtsleite offers incomparable views of Würzburg and the wine villages in the Main valley.