Wurzburg is a wonderful town. We did not quite know what to expect and we were nicely surprised. Wurzburg is a small city of 135,000 and dates back to the bronze age. It has a vibrant university and over 100 churches. Wurzburg is home to the oldest pizzeria in Germany, the oldest printing press manufacturer in the world. Werner Heisenberg, theoretical physicist, best known for asserting the uncertainty principle of quantum theory and Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, who discovered X-rays were both from Wurzburg. The Würzburger Stein vineyard just outside the city is one of Germany’s oldest and largest vineyards.
On 16 March 1945, about 90% of the city full of civilians (and military hospitals) was destroyed in 17 minutes by 225 British Lancaster bombers during a World War II air raid. All of the city’s churches, cathedrals, and other monuments were heavily damaged or destroyed. The city center, which dated from medieval times, was totally destroyed in a firestorm in which 5,000 people perished.