DE

Würzburg Residence

Vestibule

 

Picture: Vestibule

The dominant characteristic of this room is the contrast between its considerable breadth and the elevation of the vaulting, which is disproportionately low because of the White Hall above it. The shallow vault is a remarkable technical achievement: spanning the whole area without any support, it was designed so that there was enough room in the large hall to turn a coach.

The neoclassical decoration added later however detracts considerably from the spatial impact of the vestibule. The stucco-work was created by Ludovico Bossi in 1765/66, the trompel'oeil grisaille paintings are by Franz Anton Ermeltraut (the labours of Hercules) and the marble statues of Minerva und Bellona in the niches on the south wall by Johann Peter Wagner (1779).

Only the atlantes by Johann Wolfgang van der Auwera are contemporary with the building (1749). Originally the vestibule was much better lit when the fanlight screen of 1749/50 and wrought-iron gates to the Garden Hall were still in existence. In 1964/65 the columns between the vestibule and the staircase had to be replaced by massive pillars for structural reasons.

The rather oppressively low proportions of the vestibule were no doubt also intended to provide an architectural contrast to the lofty staircase.


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