Rothenburg ob der Tauber

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Rothenburg on the Tauber River is rightfully considered one of the most authentic and photogenic old cities in Bavaria.
Rothenburg on the Tauber River is rightfully considered one of the most authentic and photogenic old cities in Bavaria.
Rothenburg ob der Tauber  is a small medieval town in the Ansbach district in Bavaria ,and the district of Middle Franconia , which lies on the border with Baden-Wurttemberg- Germany.

Rothenburg is located west of Nuremberg on the banks of the Tauber River at the border of the Frankenhehe Natural Park. The outskirts of the city are picturesque hills and foothills, covered with forest and vineyards, which are in contact with the southwestern spurs of the Alps.
The history of Rothenburg ob der Tauber dates back to 970, when a family of East Frankish nobles built the first church in the Tauber Valley. A castle was built here at the end of the 11th century, and a monastery at the beginning of the 12th century.

In 1142, these lands were acquired by King Conrad III, who decided to build a castle over the spurs of the Tauber River, which would later be called the imperial. In 1274, Rothenburg receives the privileges of an imperial city. In the 14-15 centuries, the city flourished the most. At that time, about 6,000 inhabitants live in Rothenburg, which at that time exceeded the population of Munich and Frankfurt.
The imperial city of Rothenburg ob der Tauber remained until the 18th century. In the 16-17 centuries, the development of the city was undermined by plague epidemics and the Thirty Years War. Rothenburg was taken and plundered several times. At the beginning of the 19th century, he lost the status of an imperial city and was included in the kingdom of Bavaria.

During World War II, the city was badly damaged by airstrikes. 45% of the old city was destroyed

Today Rothenburg ob der Tauber , it is one of the highlights of tourism in Germany. Until 1803 it was a Free Imperial City and today it is a world-famous tourist attraction for its well-preserved medieval center. It is part of the popular “Romantic Road” that runs through southern Germany.

Access : Coordinates: 49.383333, 10.183333 / By train :
Rothenburg ob der Tauber is connected with an hourly regional train to Steinach (near Rothenburg ob der Tauber). The  train station is about a 20-minute walk from the city center. In Steinach there are connections to Wurzburg, Treuchtlingen and Neustadt an der Aisch / Ny car : Easily accessible via the A7 Wurzburg-Ulm or Ulm-Wurzburg motorway Symbol: AS 108 Rothenburg ob der Tauber.

/ Parking : The historic city center is only partially accessible by car. The parking spaces are very limited and some can only be used temporarily. There are, however, five large parking lots outside the city wall /

Highlights :

  •  Town Hall Tower : The powerful city hall consists of two parts. Gothic town hall with a tower was built in the 13th century. Located on the Market Square of Rothenburg, the height of the tower is up to 60 meters. The Town Hall combines Gothic and Renaissance styles. A very small observation deck offers views of the entire city.
  •  Museum of the Imperial City : The museum displays everything that has been created in this city of Germany from century to century: painting, sculpture, furniture, weapons, agricultural and craft tools, toys. The museum is located in a former Dominican convent, built in the 13th century.
  •  Forensic Science Museum of the Middle Ages : The exposition tells about the “legal relations in society” that existed in the 12th – 18th centuries. Wooden “collars” for ladies, metal masks of shame in the form of a pig’s snout, with a trunk, a long tongue, etc.
  •  Starorotenburg House of Artisans : It was built in 1270. Today, 11 rooms of the museum with extreme accuracy reproduce the furnishings of the dwellings of the masters, and talk about the crafts that they were engaged in. For 700 years, the house served as an apartment for representatives of various crafts. Coopers, dyers, tinkers, potters, baskets, soap-makers, tin-masons and masons lived in it.
  •  German Christmas Museum : Five interconnected aristocratic houses form the “Christmas Village” by Katie Wolfart, open all year and present five thousand exhibits on a total area of ??250 m2: Christmas tree decorations, nutcrackers, Christmas pyramids.
  •  Gerlach’s Forge : The picturesque half-timbered building, invariably attracting tourists. / The oldest church in the city, which, in particular, houses the altar of St. Francis by Tilman Riemenschneider. / St. Wolfgang Church / Franciscan Church.
  •  Raeder Gate : one of the oldest in the city. On the sides there are two squat towers, in which customs was previously located. They also served as additional protection for the gate, even if the enemy broke through the gate, they received fire from these towers in the back. Above the gate tower rises, which is the oldest part of the complex.
  •  Ratstinkstube – this is perhaps one of the most famous buildings in Rothenburg. In the old days, it was a restaurant that was intended only for members of the city council. Pay attention to a variety of watches. The main clock was installed in 1683. Since 1910, years on this building – to the left and right of the clock with decoration – two windows with figures open – every hour from 11:00 to 15:00, and also from 20:00 to 22:00 – which in the paintings show the legendary history of the masterful throat .
  •  St. Fountain George. : In the southern part of the Market Square is the well of St. George. The city is located on a hill, so water supply was a vital issue. Because of this, more than 40 wells were laid in the city, which served not only to supply drinking water, but also as reservoirs of water in case of fire.
  •  Gerrngasse street  : Once it was the most prestigious street of Rothenburg. It starts from the Market Square and goes down to the western part of the city to the gates of Burgtor. In the center of the street rises the elegant fountain “Gerrnbrunnen”, which supplied residents with water for residents of the street.
  •  Buttelhaus : one of the city prisons. Here, the city archive is currently located. On the south side of the tower are the remains of a former pillory.
  •  Raeder Arch and. St. Mark. : The arch is very old, 1200. Once there was a city wall, an arch and a tower – these are parts of the first fortifications of the city before its expansion.
  •  Ramparts : The city still retains its eight-walled enclosure, with double bastions, erected by Leonhard Weidmann. We can find an engraving on the last stone of the door arch, on the outside of it, which reads: “Peace to those who enter, prosperity to those who leave.” This inscription was made in Latin by Weidmann in 1586.
  •  Sankt Jakob : The Church of Sankt Jakob was built in the Gothic style between 1311 and 1485. It has a characteristic that sets it apart from other churches, and that is that the choir was built on one of the streets of the city, forming a bridge.The main attractions of the church are the altar of the Twelve Apostles by the artist Friedrich Gerlin (1466) and the altar of the Holy Blood of the famous Wurzburg woodcarver Tilmann Riemenschneider (1499-1505). According to legend, the last one stores three drops of blood of Jesus Christ, which are placed in a crystal capsule mounted in a gilded cross.
  •  Historical Center : Rothenburg ob der Tauber has medieval architecture difficult to match, as its old town is perfectly preserved, with cobbled streets and squares with half-timbered houses. It is considered the German prototype city.
  •  Burgturm. : The fortress gate with the fortress tower towering above them is the western border of the city. The tower was built in 1280 and is the highest in the city. The gate was built in the 15th century, after the castle was destroyed during the earthquake, which was located on the territory where the Burggarten Garden is now located.
  •  Doggy (Hundsturm). Dogs were used to guard the urban ditches, as well as to guard the Stoberlein tower. Once upon a time, the tower had narrow entrance gates, so the tower is decorated with the imperial and city emblem. However, in the 19th century, for some reason, the gate was walled up.
  •  The observation deck of Rothenburg. : If we walk along Spitalgasse a little in the opposite direction from the Hospital Tower, then after about 100 meters to the right we will see a small wall breach. At this point you can climb the fortress wall.
  • The fortress garden. About him will be a little later. There is also a good observation deck in the vicinity .
  • Plenlein (from Latin a small square) is one of the most beautiful corners of medieval cities in Germany.
  • Ziber tower. Behind the square is the Siebersturm tower, it was built around 1385, it was the gateway to the second city wall. After passing through the Siebersturm tower, we find ourselves in the southern suburbs, the so-called Kappenzipfel.
  • Hospital tower. : This is Spitalgasse Lane, which got its name from a former hospital located at the end of the lane. The hospital, a former hospital, was originally located outside the city walls and ended up inside the city only in the 15th century.
  • Horse mill. Inside the building, horses walked in a circle and twisted huge millstones. Nearby stands a stand on which the whole process is described and painted in detail.
  •  Cultural references :  Rothenburg has appeared in many films, mainly fantasy films. It was the inspiration for Pinocchio’s village in the 1940 Walt Disney movie. / The city served as a base for the fictional city of Lebensbaum (“Tree of Life”) in the video game Shadow of Memories (The Shadow of Destiny in the US Market) / Many images from the city used in some parts of the film The Grimm Brothers’ Wonderful World, and in the film’s trailer the camera flies over the city from the valley to the City Hall / In the renovated wall one can find a sign that refers to this film. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows became part of the films in Rothenburg – Part 1 (2010) and Part 2 (2011)
    – the “Romantic Road” – the famous Bavarian tourist route (like our Golden Ring), which includes ancient cities and medieval castles, about 60 km from Nuremberg. The main attraction is the old town (Altstadt), which is surrounded by a practically intact 14th century city wall. What is a unique historical heritage for modern Germany.

Activities : sightseeing / photo opportunities / walking tours / Scenic Driving- Auto Touring / Good place to glance history!! / snapping selfies.

Go next : Bad Mergentheim , a city in Baden Wurttemberg, Germany. / Tauberbischofsheim , a German town in the north-east of Baden-Wurttemberg / Wertheim is a city in Baden Wurttemberg, Germany.

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