Old University


Historic University building featuring Renaissance and Baroque architecture.

Old University

Old University

Würzburg, a delightful city in Bavaria, Germany, is renowned for its UNESCO World Heritage site, the Würzburg Residence, its vineyards, and incomparable Franconian wine. However, for tourists with an inclination towards academia and history, the Old University of Würzburg must not be forgotten. Nestled in the heart of the city is the Julius-Maximilian-Universität, also known as the University of Würzburg, Germany's oldest higher learning establishment.

Founded in 1402, the Old University of Würzburg takes pride in its centuries-old academic tradition. The establishment’s history is studded with a plethora of remarkable achievements, none more so than its Nobel laureates, aiding in marking Würzburg as one of Germany's leading academic cities. Uniquely, the University of Würzburg boasts the first woman in Germany to earn a doctorate degree, physicist Emmy Noether.

For the historically inclined, the enchanting architecture of the Old University of Würzburg is a testament to Germany’s rich past. Its buildings, exhibiting Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque architectural styles, offer the opportunity to walk through time, revealing an architectural narrative from the Middle Ages to the Enlightenment.

The University building itself is an eye-catching spectacle, with its beautiful sandstone facade, making a striking impression on visitors. The former college campus, now replaced by a city square, is well maintained and is often teeming with students, adding a refreshing charm to the surroundings. One of the architectural marvels within the building includes the Aula, a hall known for its vibrant frescoes.

The University Church, being one of the focal points of the University, is an impressive display of Baroque art and interior design, and is absolutely worth a visit. The large and sumptuous church that greets its visitors is embellished with inspiring frescoes on the ceiling, elegant marbles on the floor, classic fountains, and grand candle-lit chandeliers, contributing to a simultaneously reverent and academic atmosphere.

The Old University also houses a museum that provides a glimpse into the institution's developmental journey. Exhibits include antiquities, old manuscripts, scientific tools, and a variety of other fascinating items, which serve to immerse visitors in the educational heritage of the university.

The University Library, too, is a grandeur manifestation of cultural heritage. It holds an extensive collection of rare books, papers, and manuscripts that paint a vivid picture of Germany’s intellectual history. Remember, when touring the library, to maintain the quiet and respect the sanctity of the academic space, just as countless scholars have done throughout the centuries.

The Neubaukirche, constructed between 1582 and 1594 as a University Chapel, is another key attraction. This stylistically pure Renaissance hall church offers a true feast for the eyes with visually awe-inspiring frescoes and stuccowork. Apart from its religious function, the church is also used for academic ceremonies and concert performances.

Beyond its exemplary academic reputation and captivating historical charm, the University of Würzburg is surrounded by numerous venues for relaxation and food. It enjoys an enviable location close to the city center, offering a variety of dining and shopping opportunities.

In conclusion, for tourists seeking to mingle knowledge, culture, and leisure on their visit to Würzburg, the Old University displays a captivating blend of architectural grandeur, academic heritage, and local vibrancy. Whether you're a history enthusiast, an architecture lover, or a casual sightseer, this ancient establishment is sure to provide an enriching experience.