It was time for us to explore Rothenburg ob der Tauber in one day. For this we chose the last day in 2022 and made a short trip to Bavaria. The weather played along and we had 15°C and sunshine and that on December 31. So follow us through the city walls of the Christmas capital past the numerous gates and towers and let’s dive back into the Middle Ages.
Rothenburg ob der Tauber* is a beautiful medieval town in the heart of Germany that attracts many tourists every year. The town is located in the district of Ansbach in Bavaria and is part of the Romantic Road, a popular tourist route that runs through southern Germany. Rothenburg is known for its well-preserved city wall, which dates back to the 13th century.
Furthermore, it is known for its numerous historic buildings, which date back to the Gothic and Renaissance periods. The city is also famous for its lively art and culture scene and its beautiful landscape, which is characterized by vineyards, forests and rivers. Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a true gem and offers something for everyone – whether you are interested in history, art, culture or nature.
Rothenburg: A rose on the Romantic Road
There are enough parking lots around the old town. We drove to the parking lot north of the center at Bezoldweg. Since there were still free parking spaces on the side of the road this early morning, we even saved the day ticket. The rest of the day we walked comfortably through Rothenburg, which is very easy to explore on foot due to its size.
Our first landmarks were the White Tower as well as the Markusturm and Röderbogen. From here we went to the Medieval Crime Museum. For 8,- Euro you as a visitor get on four levels everything about the administration of justice in the Middle Ages, legal details and the development of crime. Most interesting are the torture tools and techniques; the iron maiden or the executioner’s robe. At least that’s how it was for me this time, as it was when I was in elementary school and was allowed to visit Rothenburg for the first time during a class trip.
A step back in time
Christmas had been over for a few days, but wouldn’t it be great to have Christmas all year round? This is possible in the famous specialty store for Christmas items Käthe Wohlfahrt – Christmas Village. A magical visit is guaranteed here and even the Grinch would get a smile on his thin lips at this place. By the way, the German Christmas Museum is located in the Christmas Art Shop and can be explored for 5,- Euro. An entertaining pleasure, which you should not miss.
Across from Käthe Wohlfahrt you will find the History Vault with the State Dungeon. The museum displays the history of Rothenburg and is especially recommended as a tour. Unfortunately, we could not enjoy the latter. However, there was a last serving of mulled wine for 2022, which gave us comfort and pleasure, refreshment and relaxation, gave us warmth and security and made the heart lighter.
Rothenburg: A town full of history and culture
Next to the Historiengewölbe is the unmissable Rothenburg town hall on the market square, or rather the Historiengewölbe is part of the town hall complex. The building has a town hall tower. This was unfortunately closed for us on this day because of renovation work. Otherwise, however, it can be climbed via 220 steps and then offers you a great view of the old town and the surrounding area (so they say).
Speaking of a great view. The great view you also get on the Plönlein, the landmark of the city of Rothenburg and inspiration for buildings in the Walt Disney film Pinocchio from 1940. The Plönlein thereby simply represents a beautiful arrangement of half-timbered houses, towers, fountains and cobblestones and is perhaps the snapshot for a medieval image.
A picturesque town in the heart of Bavaria
After so many impressions, it was time for refreshments. Here Rothenburg offers of course also something special and namely the Schneeballen. The Schneeballen from Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a true work of confectionery art and a real delicacy for anyone with a sweet tooth. This sweet treat consists of rolled dough and is dusted with fine powdered sugar in the classic version. The pastry is similar to a cookie, so the snowball is also often filled or coated with chocolate, marzipan or nougat. We enjoyed our snowballs at Diller’s. But you can find them on almost every corner in the city.
Strengthened, we could now turn to heavier fare and go to St. James Church. You can enter the church for free, but you are only allowed to move around a small area. If you want to look around everywhere, you are expected to pay a “visitation fee” of 3.50 euros “for the preservation of the church”. I am not a fan of entrance fees in churches. In this case, however, it is definitely worth it to enter. The main altar, the stained glass, the altar of the Holy Blood by the artist Tilman Riemenschneider or the organ are impressive, remarkable and tell their own story.
Closing the circle
You should not miss three other attractions in Rothenburg: the Tauber Bridge, which resembles a Roman viaduct, the magnificent Castle Garden, and the Gerlach smithy. This is particularly pretty to capture from the city wall. The city wall is also a good keyword here. There is a circular walk along, on and in the city wall once around the city and is the longest sight you can visit in Rothenburg with its 4 kilometers length. Passing the numerous towers and gates, you can literally feel the history.
You will pass the Strafturm, Klingentorturm, Pulverturm, Henkersturm, Galgentorturm, Thomasturm, Weiberturm, Rödertorturm, Faulturm, Ruckesser, Sieberstorturm, Kohlturm, Kobolzellertorturm, Sauturm and the Spitalbastei with the Spitaltorturm. The visit to the beautiful town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber made a deep impression on us. We fully enjoyed the picturesque alleys and the charm of the old town and were enchanted by the beauty and history of the city. We tasted the delicious pastry creations and admired the breathtaking view from the city wall ring. Our visit to Rothenburg will remain unforgettable in our memories and we are already looking forward to seeing this fascinating city again.
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