ROTHENBURG - TRIP TO THE MIDDLE AGES
20/12/2015 | State: Bavaria
Trip date: July 6, 2014
Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a small town in the middle of Germany. I think nowhere else in Europe can you find such a number of original buildings dating from the middle ages.
We did a stopover on our way from the Alps. Rothenburg is a few kilometers from highway number 7 leading from the south border of Germany to the north. We knew that Rothenburg is a romantic city, but what we saw surpassed our expectations.
The old town is protected by a fortification system. Most of the walls still stand and you can get into the town through one of eight gates. (http://www.tourismus.rothenburg.de/index.php?id=594http://www.tourismus.rothenburg.de/index.php?id=594).
When we arrived, we saw a nice German town but nothing special. We parked in a parking lot close to the fortification. We went through a gate and appeared in a world 400 years back.
Small streets with almost no cars, old historical houses and lovely shops. Nothing modern, no concrete, no steel, only original materials and everything in a good condition.
We admired the authentic atmosphere and headed for the center of the town. Rothenburg ob der Tauber is not big city, that means we could reached the main square quickly. When we stepped in Markplatz we were impressed: the real authentic Middle Ages.
The old majestic Town Hall, ornate, half-timbered houses around the square a lot of cafes and small shops. We walked around the square and explored the Town Hall.
Close to the square is Church of St. Jacob, another building that is really worth visiting. This is the most important church in Rothenburg and it dominates the town’s skyline to this day. The narrow windows and tall spires of the Church of St. Jacob look very impressive.
Then we continued through Hernngasse. We browsed the shops; we bought an authentic sword made of steel for our son. But then we discovered something special, the "Deutsches Weihnachtmuseum" (German Christmas museum): museum and shop that are open during the whole year. It is a landmark of Rothenburg. We were there in July and when we stepped in, we felt a Christmas atmosphere. It is a big shop that has nothing but Christmas decorations, located in spacious large areas in a historical house. You do not have any chance to get out without at least one small cute thing:)
After the visit of "Deutsches Weihnachtmuseum," we continued along Herrngasse. There we passed the Franciscan Church, which is also dedicated to St. Mary. It is one of the oldest basilicas in Rothenburg, dating back to 1309.
On the end of this street we arrived at castle gardens with the walls of fortification, and there opened to us a great view over the valley of the river Tauber.
We were enchanted but we were missing one thing. We wanted to see the place where a huge number pictures from Rothenburg have been taken: the small narrow house between two gates.
We had to ask several people and finally we found it. We had to go down the street "Untere Schmiedgasse". At the end of this street we saw the landmark. The view that you can always see when it comes to Rothenburg. We took a several photos and the experience was complete. That was perfect trip for whole family.
There are not many such cities as Rothenburg, neither in Germany nor in the rest of Europe. When you love medieval history, it is definitely a must-see destination.
P.S. I found some interesting facts about Rothenburg:
• In 1986 Jorge Mario Bergoglio SJ from Argentina studied German in Rothenburg ob der Tauber. In 2013 he became Pope Franciscus I.
• The imagery of Walt Disney’s “Pinocchio” was very much influenced by sketches of Rothenburg ob der Tauber that he saw.