Subject: Carol's notes on Wurzburg
Wurzburg (led by Ian again)

Wurzburg had a wall 350 years ago. One hundred fifty years ago they got rid of it and made it into a park. Wurzburg was dominated by a bishop rather than by a duke or a king. It wasn't a free city. So Wurzburg is quite a contrast from the free city of Rothenburg. It is a rather conservative, Catholic town. 75% of the inhabitants in Wurzburg are Catholic, which average for Bavaria, but still quite a lot. The population is 126,000. It is know for (1) Bishop Center, (2) university, and (3) wine growing due to the limestone which helps the soil (used to be a shallow ocean). There are privately owned vineyards. The owners often banded together as cooperatives. They have a hedge restaurant where privately can sell their wine for just a week. Vertical vineyards are planted because with less sun it is less work; economical. Erosion brings the good soil down. Cold air is bad for grapes, so vertical planting prevents that. This residence palace belonged to the former feudal lords of Wurzburg. The rulers, for nearly 1300 years, were not kings or princes, or whatever. Each was a bishop. But this bishop was a nobleman at the same time. So he had a double position. That is why he is called a prince bishop. You can imagine that it is an absolutist position. He had all the powers; not only of government but the powers of our soul in his hand. The only difference was that his realm was not too large. He had the diocese of Wurzburg, size of lower Franconia now. In the German Empire, it didn't amount too much. But these bishops as you can see, like to show in fact, that they were in power. Get this: This is a 340-room apartment for a single man. So as a bishop, he had to follow the rules of celibacy. He did not have a family there. He only had parts of his court and parts of his government in this palace. They liked to show their power like the French kings. Until the beginning of the 18th century, the bishop lived outside of town. He lived in the castle, over and outside the town. The reason he had to live there was he needed protection, but not from an outside enemy. The enemy was from within. He was afraid of his own subjects and justifiably. His subjects wanted him out. They wanted to kill him or chase him away simply because this town wanted to have the same position as Rothenburg. They wanted to be a free imperial city, and the bishop was in the way. So they fought against him. There were many wars and revolts and revolutions. But all the revolutions failed because they didn't have enough soldiers, weapons and discipline. The mercenary armies that the bishop could hire were disciplined stronger and had more weapons. That is why they always won. But in the 18th century, this danger of revolt was over so they wanted to move into town, back to their subjects, so they built this small copy of Versailles. Let us discover what is inside and how a bishop lived. This fountain here is called the Franconia Fountain. On top we see this lady here with a crown. This is a saint, the patron saint of Franconia. That is why her name is Franconia. But she is none other than the Virgin Mary. In the 17th century, a very superstitious time, they said they needed a patron saint for their land. Let's take the Virgin Mary and give her a new title: The Princess of Franconia. Grouped around this fountain are three men, three famous men. They've been dead for over 500 years. One is a poet from the 15th century, a painter from the 15th century, and a sculptor from the 15th century. Maybe you know the sculptor, a very famous German, Tilman Riemenschneider. Let us go inside. The reason for the palace is EGO, showing off. The official word is representation. But it is showing the world my power. Louis 14th said the state- that is me. That was true. That was all the state had. That meant that in his person, was embodied the state. The state had to have a house, representative enough. That is why he built Versailles which was the center of his world. Even the smallest ruler wanted to be like Louie 14th, so they built these palaces. There was a model to building it; a so-called protocol. They had to be similar in a sort of visual protocol. You had to follow a certain order of rooms. It was a formula for showing off. So that is what we are doing. We are starting here in the driveway. It is called the vestibule. They would open the iron gates and let in the coaches, drive in and turn here, letting their guests off here. And this where the protocol started. The bishop would come all the way down if it was a king or a bishop or he would half way if it was a duke or a baron. He would wait all the way at the top if were an entirely lower position guest. We would be met, down here, of course (laughing). No cost was spared for the Imperial Hall. It was meant to accommodate the German emperor. When a German emperor evolved he didn't have his own kingdom. The emperor went from place to place in his large empire. So when an emperor showed up your residence, your palace had to have an imperial room to impress the emperor. The irony is that fifty years after completion, Napoleon took church property away and gave it to the German king. A German emperor never came to Wurzburg. See that part of the fresco above the staircase. This is an allegory of a continent; America of course. We can see an Indian, a princess sitting on an alligator, pointing to the right. Why is she pointing to the right? The first reason was the flag. I don't know if you can see it. It is the emblem of the coat of arms of the bishop. She is pointing to the right because that is the way we are to walk up the stairs, a little hint. She is pointing to the most important scene. It is Greek heaven. We see a whole roof of Grecco /Roman gods and goddesses. We see a man in the son. This is Apollo, god of the sun, the god of arts and culture. He is just rising up because his job was to pull the son across the sky. Servants were the hours of the day. They look like angels. They are pulling the chariot because this is sunrise. This is the beginning of a new day. Isn't this a strange thing; a bishop's palace with all these Greek/Roman gods? Look at that dark cloud. The man in the blue coat with a lance and helmet is Mars, god of war. We see a lady, very scantily dressed. That is Venus the goddess of love. Not only do we have Grecco/Roman gods here but also we have undressed gods here in a bishop's palace. Well, this is supposed to be a complement, a complement to the bishop himself. Oh, Bishop, you are our sunrise. You are our sunshine over your subjects, sunshine over Franconia. You are nearest to God. This was to get more money out of the bishop with these little compliments, but also it was typical of this Baroque period to over do things. Let us go to the middle level. Notice the stairways are low for noble striding. This entire palace building was begun in 1720 and it was finished 44 years later. And none of those who began the work saw it completed. The workers were usually older men. The average reigning time was an average of 5-10 years-not very long. All the other Schonborns sent their artists and architects to help Johann Phillip Franz here in Wurzburg. But he didn't want that. He wanted a good solution. So he found one in Wurzburg. The strange thing was that this architect wasn't an architect at all. He was actually a cannon founder. He made cannons and bells. But he was a genius. He wasn't discovered until after his first house, just a row house in town. The plans for this building were so grandiose and wonderful that they hired him. He lived to see it finished. He was 30 when he started. When this painting was finished in 1750s, one year after it was finished, he died. He became one of the most important and famous Baroque architects in Germany. His name was Balthazar Neumann. He is depicted on this German 50 mark bill. He was important enough to have his face on our money. He built this palace, right? As I said, it took 44 years and well, it was a symbol of the bishops. Now we have to look this direction. We are looking at the most important part behind me. We see here this oval picture. This is one of the bishops himself called Griffinclaw(sp). Griffen's claw. A griffen is a combination of eagle and lion. He has an eagle's head and a lion's body. You can see the griffen on the oval. He is sitting there, himself, in the painting. He is in good company. The lady on the left, that very unclad lady that is blowing a trumpet, is the goddess of fame. She is trumpeting his fame into the world; an exaggeration, he wasn't that famous. Behind the oval is a lady that is crowning this oval. She is the goddess of Virtue, and is crowning him, the bishop, with virtue. There are more. The last one flying above our heads is the god of merchants and business people. See the little god by Mercury. That is the morning star light bringer. He is bringing the dawn. Do you know what his name is? It is Lucifer. That is a Latin name. Because Lucifer himself. He was the greatest of all angels, who fell the deepest and became the Devil. But the name Lucifer is still often used for the Devil although the name means 'light refraction. Let's look at more allegory. See the red coat. Behind it is a woman on a throne. She is Europa. Europa was a beautiful princess. Zeus loved her and wanted to seduce her in the shape of a box. He kidnapped her to Greece. Let's not go into the myth. Anyway she was the origin of this continent, Europe, and the queen of all the continents. We can see four continents of the world. She is the ruling continent of all. Right? Near her is a globe and she is painting the continent red on the globe. To signify the importance we see a muse of astronomy. Near Europa we have a hint of who has the real power. Over the knee of Europe you can see the three attributes of the church, the Catholic bishop: the cross, the staff, and the metra (the hat). Who has the power in the background, holding the strings? The artist and the bishop knew, but they put in all these gods and goddesses. A strange paradox. Let's leave the mythological plane and see some real people. Three real people I would like to show you in this fresco. Here on the cornice, the man with a uniform with his dog. He is sitting on a cannon, his actual work. This is the artist, Balthazar Neumann. He was not only a cannon maker and an architect but he was also an engineer and a soldier. He was a major in the army and he helped to chase the Turks out of Vienna in 1689. And he is looking over his own work with a magnanimous eye. We see other artists in this palace. For example that man in the cream colored coat. Do you see him there? He is the only person looking at us in this picture. The funny thing is that where ever we are in this room, in this staircase, he will be looking at us. This has a reason. We will find out in the next room which he decorated. He was the stucco artist. He put the stucco designs on the ceiling. His name is Antonio Bossi and he came from the Italian part of Switzerland. The last person I would like to show you is over there, between the two white giants which are three-dimensional, by the way. We can see a man with a red cap and white scarf. This is a self-portrait of the painter himself. His name was Giovanni Tiepolo, one of the best known Baroque fresco painters in Italy in the 18th century. He made this painting, these 6,000 sq. feet, for the glory of the bishops. Here are some continents that we have missed. This is Africa. You can see this allegory, sitting on a camel, pointing to the right, to Europe to show us, Don't look at me. Look at Europe. Europe is more important. Europe was looked at like the queen of continents. This was called European Centralism. They thought that other continents were full of barbarians and cannibals and evil people. They knew that goods came from Africa such as slaves, but also frankincense. It was a good export item. On the corner on the left you see Arabian traders putting goods on the camels and leaving Africa. See the camels going away; exporting from Africa. Your continent was underestimated. They thought America was full of cannibals and barbarians. Whatever was exotic, they put in America. They didn't know America. Near the cornice are some severed heads and some exotic cooking. You don't want to know what that is, right? This painting was finished 20 years before American colonies declared their independence. By the way, look at Africa again. The artist didn't know how ostriches looked. There were no zoos at that time. Look at the ostrich in the middle. He knew it could run fast so he gave it sprinter legs. See those huge human legs! Take one last look at Asia. Look at the elephant. The elephant is an African elephant. The artist didn't really know what an elephant looked like. So he gave it some large ears and a pig's trunk. Asia was regarded as the second most important continent after Europe. Notice the lady riding the elephant. She is pointing to the right, towards Europe. To the right of the elephant is a flag. To the right of the flag you can see a mountain. There are two crosses. The third one is covered by the pilgrim. This is the mountain of Golgatha where Jesus was crucified. For a bishop, Jesus died in Asia, so that is why it is important to him. Also why is Europe important? Europe today is considered the cradle of culture. Our language, writing, everything comes from Asia. Cultural building cities like Babylon, Mesopotamia, Euphrates River, and Tigress River were all in Asia in what today is Iraq and Iran. It took 13 months to paint the ceiling. 90% of the town was bombed out on 16th of March 1945. Luckily this was saved because it is made this vault was made of rock and withstood the fire in the attic. So what we see here is 250 years old. It is now on the World's Heritage list by UNESCO. This place in August is filled by Italians to see their artists. Now we are in the White Hall. Remember that the vestibule we first came through was colorless. Then came that explosion of color. Now once again colorless. Not only did they want to make this more exciting, color was expensive. You put stucco on the wall first. Then while it is still damp you put color onto it and it becomes part of the wall. That is why it withstood the bombing. It just didn't flake off. It is a very difficult way of painting, as you can imagine. They painted in strips. They would first put the stucco on and then paint very fast. But at the same time remixing the colors everyday because in part they were of precious stones, and then having to keep a master plan of everything, because you are only seeing in parts. It is said he used up to 12 colors for an eyeball. He was a perfectionist. (John is talking about the stairway paintings instead of the White Hall) This is the White Hall, as I said. The guard of honor stood here to receive guests. The walls were white to contrast with the uniforms of the soldiers. This is a stucco room. This room was finished by Bossi, all by himself. He had a deadline to finish this room in seven months. He worked so hard on this all alone that he lost his mind. He died in Wurzburg in an asylum. He was so insane he was afraid to come into this room because he thought all the figures were moving. That is why we see him in the room before in a white coat- like a straight jacket. He is looking at us a mad way. The artist who painted the other room painted it after Bossi had done this room and knew about him, of course. He kinda smuggled this little characteristic thing of Mr. Bossi into his painting. This crazy face. This is the Imperial Room. This is the antechamber, the room before the audience chamber. See the benches here were for waiting for the emperor or empress. Very often you would have to wait, even if there wasn't a line. This was to put distance between you; not only a distance of standing, but also a distance of time, and position. All the rooms we are going to see from now on are reconstructions because the ceilings here were not too strong. They more or less burned out. The furniture was saved because it was in storage and many of the mirrors. But they often forgot or couldn't take out the wall paneling; for instance the ceiling is new. It was put in during the 1960s; the floor as well. The tapestries were taken out as well. Most of these furnaces are from Vienna and they have been restored. They can be fired up from behind to prevent danger of fire and to prevent the servants from coming in every five minutes to put in wood. The servants' quarters are behind here so they could open the small opening and put the wood in. This room isn't very exciting. It doesn't have a real throne in it. Empresses never reigned here. But emperors used to visit. One you know is Maria Theresa Austria. These two pictures are her parents. They were meant for her. She is the only empress to reside here. But the room between these two red cabinets was her changing room. As you know, during the Baroque period, they changed clothes ten times a day. If you look at the clothes they wore, it took a long time to change. So they needed an entire room actually for changing. Women usually didn't come here. The bishop lived here and usually alone. You might think, yeah, maybe he had someone on the side. But in the 18th century that wasn't the case. Bishops were very educated and open but they had to defend the faith against the humanists and very scientific kind of thinking coming up at that time. So they said, No, we must be bishops of principles. We can't afford affairs and such things. There is more to that, more problems of the prince bishops, but we won't go into that. Now we are coming into the bedroom. This bed did not belong to an empress. This is Napoleon's bed. He had two sitting rooms. That is all he wanted. After Napoleon had conquered Wurzburg he put his own regent here. For ten years, Wurzburg was the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. Only in 1814 did this become part of Bavaria. In this Baroque period there were no bathrooms because there was no plumbing. Hygiene was only discovered 150 years ago. Religion was responsible for unhygienic conditions. Do you wonder why? Was it more important to have a clean body or a clean soul? If you had a clean body you were very clean and vanity was a sin. In the 18th century they considered it dangerous to take a bath. So they powdered and perfumed. Very often the wig covered their heads which had no hair because they had scratched it away because of lice. Even at Versailles they couldn't hold any balls in the ballrooms because of the smell. Many of the lower nobles had to go behind curtains on straw. That was it. In the servants corridors. They did clean it up, even. The kings were cleaner. Even in the medieval castles they had holes in the walls, like an outhouse. This Green Lacquer Room was designed in a special way. They took little silver plates and glued them to the wall, and then lacquered them over. They looked metallic. The smoke and fire, after the bombing, darkened this room and they couldn't renovate it. The floor is a copy of the floor that was here before. There were no mirrors. But when you stand in the middle, you can see the corridor, a reflection. This is the banquet room. They would dance on the small marble floor. Half columns are fake because of the weight and cost of the real marble over 800 years ago. Frederick I wanted to get rid of his wife who gave him no sons. He couldn't, so he asked his advisor, the Bishop of Wurzburg what to do. The Bishop faked a document that said the wife was related to him. Frederick went to Rome and got the marriage annulled. He married a young wealthy woman, Beatrice of Burgundy. A fresco shows the bishop marrying the two. His wife was 12 years old! This palace now belongs to the state of Bavaria. The city of Wurzburg could no longer pay for it. Course, guests have to pay an entrance fee. That doesn't cover the cost. Only thanks to one of your countrymen did this palace retain its beautiful ceiling vault. After the war, the Americans employed architectonic officers. They were military men, but they were knowledgeable in art. They traveled all over the conquered Germany to find out where there were works of art and architecture worthy of being saved. Here in Wurzburg the architectonic(?) officer was John D. Skilton. He was very young and very knowledgeable. He brought wood to make a makeshift roof over the ceiling vault, which we saw earlier on, because the roof had gone, burned away. So only thanks to that, can we show you what the palace had to offer. Now at this city gallery, that is where the last prince bishop used to live. Our bishop today, we have bishops but not a prince, lives in this building right there. Pretty neat for a single man, isn't it? He only has to walk about 100 yards from where he works. (musicians on the street playing, church bells ringing)