Marienberg Fortress (German: Festung Marienberg) is a prominent landmark on the left bank of the Main river in Würzburg, in the Franconia region of Bavaria, Germany. The mighty Fortress Marienberg is a symbol of Würzburg and served as a home of the local prince-bishops for nearly five centuries. It has been a fort since ancient times. Most of the current structures originally were built in Renaissance and Baroque styles between the 16th and 18th centuries. After Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden conquered the area in 1631 during the Thirty Years’ War, the castle was reconstructed as a Baroque residence. After it ceased to serve as residence of the Bishops of Würzburg, the fortress saw repeated action in the wars of the late 18th and 19th centuries. Festung Marienberg was severely damaged by British bombs in March 1945 and only fully rebuilt in 1990. Today, it houses two museums.
From 1914-18, during World War I, the fortress served as barracks for artillery. During the German revolution revolutionaries seized control of the fortress in 1918 but it was retaken by government troops. After the war, the Fürstenbau served as a barracks for the Landespolizei (state police), as a military depot and as an emergency accommodation (100 apartments). In 1935, the Bavarian Administration of State-Owned Palaces, Gardens and Lakes became the owner of the fortress and began the restoration of the castle.
Towards the end of World War II, the Echterbastei served as a medical depot and then as a depository of cultural treasures. During the bombing of Würzburg by the Royal Air Force on 16 March 1945, significant parts of the fortress were destroyed by fire caused by incendiary bombs. Reconstruction commenced after 1950 and was finished only in 1990.
Given the repeated destruction of the fortress’ structures over the centuries, most recently and significantly in the bombing of 1945, many of the edifices visible today have been reconstructed to a lesser or greater extent. References in the following to a specific period thus do not necessarily imply that the substance of the extant structure dates to that period, but rather that it was originally built in the period’s style.
Read more here: