A masterpiece of German Rococo, the Residence was commissioned by two prince-bishops, the brothers Johann Philipp Franz and Friedrich Karl von Schönborn, as an Episcopal palace. Its building between 1720 and 1744 was supervised by a number of architects, together with Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt and Maximilian von Welsch. Nevertheless, the Residence is mainly related to the name of Balthasar Neumann, the then young and unknown creator of its outstanding Baroque staircase.
Born in Venice, the ltalian painter Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1696-1770) is considered the last great master of Venetian artwork. He created quite a few altarpieces and frescoes for church buildings, castles, palaces, and villas in Italy and Germany. Nearly all the inside ornament of the Würzburg Residence was created by Tiepollo.
The Residence is such a wonderful example of German Rococo that it had a style named after it: Würzburg Rococo. Typical of this style are the vast painted ceilings and large, domed rooms. Trees, flowers, and Chinese scenes have been among the many popular motifs. Stucco craftsmen and woodcarvers grew to become as revered as architects and painters for the quality and splendor of their work.
Lots of these involved in the constructing of the Würzburg Residence had been members of the Schönborn family, a powerful 18th-century dynasty of princes and electors on the rivers Rhine, Maine, and Moselle. Amongst them was Johann Philipp von Schönborn, who grew to become prince-bishop of Würzburg in 1719. He was succeeded by his brother, Friedrich Karl, one of many chief instigators of the Würzburg Residence project. The Residence was devastated by a fire during World War II and underwent a painstaking 27 million-dollar reconstruction program between 1950 and 1987. At present, forty rooms are open to the general public, with a splendid array of 18th-century furniture, frescoes, tapestries, and other treasures.