Just Traveling Thru

A Visit to Rothenburg, Germany

Rothenburg ob der Tauber City Walls

Since Rothenburg ob der Tauber is essentially on the way back to Munich from Nuremberg, and also since we had been in Nuremberg all morning exploring, we decided to visit Rothenburg on the way back.
The drive from Nuremberg to Rothenburg was only 112 kilometers via the A-6 autobahn, however a major accident caused a horrendous traffic backup that turned what should have been an hour trip into a 2+ hour crawl.
This image is the town wall and Klingentorturm, a defensive tower.

Rothenburg Plönlein

One of the most famous postcard images from Rothenburg ob der Tauber is definitely the Plönlein. A narrow half-timbered building with a small fountain in front, it is framed by the Kobolzeller tower and the higher Siebers Tower, with lovingly restored townhouses to the right and left, creating a charmingly picturesque effect.

Rothenburg Shopping

Jeremy had discovered a very nice chess set in a local shop, and we purchased it and had it shipped to our home in Virginia. You can see how excited he is, because it is a very cool chess set!
Rothenburg shops offer just about every German trinket and souvenir you can think of from cuckoo clocks and beer steins to German cookbooks and postcards.

Rothenburg Town Hall

It faces the Marktplatz (market square) on one side of the building. Part Gothic, from 1240, and part Renaissance, from 1572,the town hall is decorated with intricate friezes and a large stone portico opening onto the main market square. A climb to the top of the 60 meter (200feet) tower provides a view that sweeps across town and far into the Tauber Valley.

Plönlein Gate

This is the "other side of the gate" of Plönlein, which you may remember from our previous pictures. You can also clearly see that all of the streets here are cobble stone.
The term Plönlein is actually translated as a “small square at a fountain”, which means that the ensemble at the Plönlein also includes the fountain in front of the lone timber-frame house and the two towers of the old city wall that rise to its left and right.

Walking through Plönlein Gate

That is Jeremy and I just beyond the gate, waiting for Celeste to take this picture. The "tunnel" has been there for quite a few years, and is very sturdy.

Gate House

This is actually access to exit the village and return to the parking lot. We were not yet ready to leave, so we just took this picture and turned around and walked back to the Market center.

Pubs & Restaurants

At the time we were there, there were no "large retaurants" in the old city. However, there were a number of smaller pubs and restaurants where you could dine if they were not crowded.

Spital Bastion Moat

This was originally the moat of the Spital Bastion, a barbican with a pop-up roof built by Rothenburg architect and stonemason, Leonhard Weidmann.
The Spital Bastion has 2 inner courtyards, has 7 gates, an upper walkway, and is surrounded by a dry moat you can walk in. The Spital gate bastion is the most recent part of the city’s fortifications – it was completed in 1537. The lettering on the gate’s arch says “Pax intrantibus – salus exeuntibus”, meaning “Peace to those who enter and health to those who leave”.

Strolling on the City Walls

Large parts of the city wall of Rothenburg ob der Tauber are accessible around the clock. The walk on the city wall leads from the Rödertor northwards, past the Würzburger Tor to the Kummereck.

Approaching St. James's Church

We walked just about every street in the village, it is not very large, so walking with the goal of seeing everything does not require a lot of time.
St. James is a historic Lutheran church, which serves as a church on the pilgrimage route to St. James Church in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. It has two towers (south tower: 55.2 meters, 57.7 meters north tower).

More Shopping !

There were a number of unique shops, many of which sold things that could probably not be found back home. Here is a good example. As intriguing as the statue was, I could not figure out a way to use it at home, so we did not purchase one.
I am pretty sure that this was a "Nutcracker Soldier", but I could be mistaken.

Driving in Rothenburg ?

As you can see, there are a number of small & diverse shops in Rothenburg! And yes, if you own a shop or live in Rothenburg, you can drive your car in and park. If not, you have to park in the parking lot and make your way in on foot.

Rothenburg Town Hall

Rothenburg’s Town Hall appears more like a monumental castle. In Rothenburg, having a beer cellar below Town Hall was not enough – here the impressive tavern, the Ratstrinkstube, is towering above the Marktplatz.
NOTE: Image is the property of Berthold Werner via Wikipedia)

Roderturm Tower View

Rothenburg's walls and towers were built in the 13th century. Preserved are the “White Tower” and the Markus Tower with the Röder Arch.
NOTE: Image is the property of 25asheshsharma1989 via Wikipedia)

You should keep in mind that this is a very, very popular place to visit during the summer months, visitors come here constantly. If you do not get here early in the day, the streets, shops and restaurants will be crowded - and parking could be a challenge!

Rothenburg is a beautiful example of a medieval village. One must park outside the village interior area (no visitor's cars inside the walls) and walk in, where you will find a number of shops and restaurants. The types of shops vary - everything from t-shirts to art, so walking about here is not only a trip through history, it is a nice shopping stroll as well. You should note that on Sunday, the majority of shops are closed. However, many of the cafes, restaurants, museums and souvenir shops will be open.

There is no admission fee required to visit Rothenburg, and because it is not a very large village, it is easy to walk about and enjoy.

 Quick History Lesson 

Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a town in the district of Ansbach of Mittelfranken (Middle Franconia), the Franconia region of Bavaria, Germany. It is well known for its well-preserved medieval old town, a destination for tourists from around the world. It is part of the popular Romantic Road through southern Germany.

Rothenburg was a Free Imperial City from the late Middle Ages to 1803. In 1884 Johann Friedrich (von) Hessing (1838-1918) built up "Wildbad Rothenburg o.d.T." during the 1884-1903 timeframe.

The name "Rothenburg ob der Tauber" is German for "Red fortress above the Tauber". This is so because the town is located on a plateau overlooking the Tauber River. As to the name "Rothenburg", some say it comes from the German words rot (red) and burg (burgh, medieval fortified settlement), referring to the red colour of the roofs of the houses which overlook the river. The name may also refer to the process of retting ("rotten" in German) flax for linen production.

The above information was extracted from Wikipedia.

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