It was completed in its current size in 1187/88. Previous buildings had been built on the same site, although their chronology is not always clear. The appearance of the cathedral has changed many times over the centuries. Between 1699 and 1749, for example, it underwent a Baroque revival, and some elements of the stucco have been preserved in the transepts, the crossing and the choir. The Schönborn Chapel (1721-1736), adjacent to the north transept, was built according to plans drawn up by architect Balthasar Neumann (1687-1753). The cathedral was very badly damaged in a devastating air raid on 16 March 1945. The decision was made to preserve what was left and to rebuild the parts that had been lost in a new design. The reconstruction process was completed in 1967 when the altar was dedicated.
Visitors can take a guided tour of this place of worship as part of a spiritual programme. The tour enters the main body of the church through the large west door with its representations of the story of the Creation (Fritz Koenig, 1964/67). In the central nave, the tour passes a seven-armed candelabra (Andreas Moritz, 1967/81) and the medieval bronze baptismal font (Meister Eckard of Worms, 1279), decorated with reliefs from the life of Jesus, before leading on to the main altar in the crossing. The tour through the cathedral culminates at the Second Coming of Christ (Hubert Elsässer, 1987/88), displayed in the apse of the high choir.
The nave contains a number of tombs of the bishops of Würzburg, dating from various centuries and arranged in chronological order – including two by the sculptor Tilman Riemenschneider (around 1460-1531). In the crypt is the grave of Bishop Bruno (around 1005-1045), who is known as the builder of this cathedral. Nearby is a cross from around the year 1000 showing the smiling face of Christ. It is the oldest stone sculpture in the cathedral. The south side of the cathedral leads to the sepulchre and cloisters.
During the renovation work of 2011/12, the interior was redesigned and adapted to suit changing forms of liturgy and piety. A freestanding wall in the west section of the south aisle creates a space for personal prayer. Contemporary works of art offer new ways of approaching the church interior and its message.