Rothenburg ob der Tauber, a small town in the state of Bavaria (Germany), is a surprise package in disguise. It is one of the very few towns where almost all structures and monuments from the medieval period are still intact.
Surrounded by the historic city wall and located on a small hill overlooking the river Tauber, this must be on your list if visiting Bavaria.
Brief History of the Town
Rothenburg ob der Tauber in German roughly translates to “Red Fortress overlooking Tauber”. The town was supposedly founded around 1000 A.D. and historically used for a variety of purposes.
The fortress around the town helped a lot to safeguard the residents in times of war.
In the modern history, the town had a high regard in the book of Nazis. During the World War II, several Nazi soldiers were stationed to protect the town.
Most of them were killed but the U.S. Assistant Secretary of War who knew about the beauty and history behind the town, ordered not to demolish it.
The residents surrendered thus preserving history. With several developments through the century, the town right now serves as a beautiful tourist destination.
The nearest major Airports are Munich, Frankfurt and Nuremberg. From Munich and Frankfurt the drive takes around 3 hours. It is a bit shorter from Nuremberg around 1.5 hours.
It is also possible to reach Rothenburg by train. For more details on the options, head over to the Wikitravel page.
When to Visit
Like most of Bavaria, Rothenburg experiences continental climate. The proximity to Alps can cause sudden changes in weather conditions.
Summers are warm and sunny, while winters are snowy with sub-zero temperatures. Spring kicks in sometime between mid-April to mid-May. It is not uncommon to find snow showers in late March or early April. Autumn can be rainy and starts around late September.
- May – September are good times to visit, if outdoor activities are preferred
- November – January are good times to experience the beauty of this town covered by snow
- February – April is good too but expect unpredictable weather conditions
Being a popular destination in Germany, the accommodation doesn’t come cheap.
During our visit, we stayed in Hotel BurgGartenPalais located right in the heart of the town. The double room was sufficient for our small family and breakfast was included in the price.
Few other options are: Gasthof Goldener Greifen, Pension Gundel, Hotel Gotisches Haus, Hotel Spitzweg. Check out Wikitravel for the coordinates.
Things to see and do
- Market Square – it is the heart of the town and very hard to miss. Look around to admire the beauty.
- Town Hall tower – Climb this tower to get an aerial view of the town.
- Ploenlein – Supposedly a most photographed spot in Germany, this road extending straight from the market square offers a beautiful sight of two medieval towers.
- St. Jakob’s Kirche – Walk along the beautiful cobbled streets to reach the other side of the Market square and find this Majestic Church. It is worth a visit inside.
- City Walls – As you keep walking around the town, you’ll notice the city walls remaining intact for centuries. Make sure to climb them and feel the history flow through your body.
- Alte Burg – Walking further, you reach the Alte Burg (old fortress) and a small garden, which offers a fantastic view of the entire town.
- Medieval Crime and Punishment Museum – If you want a glimpse of the black past, do visit this museum.
- Small Car Tour – From the Market Square, you can find some fancy old cars looking for tourists. Though a bit expensive (around 30 EUR), itis a nice way to go around the town and enjoy its beauty.
- Toy shops – Rothenburg is scattered with various toy shops. Make sure to visit them and grab some souvenirs.
- Always refer to “Rothenburg ob der Tauber”. Because there are many Rothenburg’s in Germany.
- It is also possible to stay in nearby Wurzburg and visit this down during the day. This way you can find some cheap accommodation.
- Look for souvenir shops with less tourists. There is no big difference in quality but certainly some difference in price.
- Don’t forget to stroll around without specific plans, to enjoy the real beauty of the town.
If you need more inspiration to visit the town, check out all my photos here. Have a good trip.
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