Staatlicher Hofkeller Würzburg

These cellars are monumental: they extend beneath the world heritage Würzburg Residence for some 4,557m². The magnificent building above is one of the most exceptional of all baroque palaces in Europe.

The building particularly renowned for its cabinet of mirrors and magnificent, self-supporting staircase with ceiling frescoes by the Venetian artist Giovanni Tiepolo.

It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1981. The cellars below the palace are also part of the World Heritage site. Balthasar Neumann, a master of baroque, was the principal architect of the residence and constructed the vaulted cellars with up to five-meter-thick walls from 1720 to 1744.

The beginnings of the wine estate can be traced back to a deed of gift by Embricho, bishop of Würzburg, in 1128, thus making it the oldest documented wine estate in Germany to have always been owned by the current sovereign, in uninterrupted succession. Up until secularization, it was known as the “Fürstbischöflicher Hofkeller”; in 1814, the vineyards of the prince bishops were transferred to the Bavarian crown and the estate was renamed “Königlich Bayerischer Hofkeller.” When the Bavarian monarchy was abolished in 1918, the estate was turned over to the newly created state of Bavaria and renamed “Staatlicher Hofkeller Würzburg.” With 120 hectares of vineyard holdings throughout Franken and an average annual production of ca. 850,000 bottles, it numbers among the largest wine estates of Germany.

Headquarters of the VDP estate (member, Association of German Prädikat Wine Estates) are adjacent to the Residence, in the Rosenbach palace – above and below ground level. The cellars are 891 meters long and up to six meters high, making the Hofkeller a virtual underground world of its own. Seven different cellars and a tunnel extend beneath the two wings of the Residence, including the rondel cellar, chamber cellar, red wine cellar, and the famous “Stückfass” cellar with its 100 wooden casks, each with a capacity of up to 120 liters (known as a “Stück” in German). The treasure chamber is in the “Bacchus corner”; the clerks’ cellar houses three giant casks built in 1784, which contained nothing short of the “liquid” salaries of the court’s servants more than 200 years ago.