Hotel Walfisch – a superior 3-star hotel
with an attached restaurant for sophisticated tastes. The well-known accommodation, which has been family-owned since 1919, has a reputation that is appreciated far beyond Franconia’s borders. For example, there is free wifi throughout the hotel and modern flatscreen TVs are available in every room.
You can also enjoy hearty Franconian fare or classic international dishes on the sunny terrace in summer. From there you have a wonderful view of the river, the Marienberg Fortress, vineyards and Balthasar Neumann’s pilgrimage church, the Käppele [little chapel]. Its proximity to the city centre makes the hotel an ideal starting point for sightseeing excursions as well as for conferences and seminars.
Our guests often ask whether whale meat can be found on the menu. You could assume that to be the case based on the name of the hotel, but a glance at the Main River usually makes clear that there would scarcely be room enough in it for the giant ocean-dwelling mammal. So how then did Würzburg come to its whale, and we to our name?
No, it was not that one of the ocean behemoths got lost and ended up stranded at the foot of the fortress after making its way up the Rhine and Main Rivers. At another location in Würzburg 300 years ago, there was a wine and fish house called ‘Zum Wallfisch’. The name referred to the Waller fish [Wels Catfish], a huge river-dwelling freshwater fish commonly found in the Main at the time.
The tavern’s name became available at the end of the last century and was procured by a publican for his establishment at today’s ‘Walfisch’ location and changed to ‘Zum schwarzen Wallfisch’ [The Black Catfish]. Somewhere along the way the fish after whom the pub was named lost an ‘l’ - possibly by being painted over during a renovation - and gained enormous dimensions to become ‘Walfisch’ [whale].