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Where can one get a great breakfast in the morning?"Where in Rothenburg ob der Tauber can I buy fresh rolls in the morning or get a nice breakfast with coffee?" (posted 05/31/2014)
Are there any cultural highlights, museums?"I'm very interested in the history and culture of Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Are there any cultural highlights or museums in Rothenburg ob der Tauber that you can recommend?" (posted 06/07/2014)
Ideas for 2-3 activities and daytrips?"Can you recommend 2-3 ideas for day trips with interesting targets near Rothenburg ob der Tauber? As we do not want to travel more than 2 hours (one way) we are looking for nearby attractions or points of interests that are worthwhile to visit. What is the best way to get there (car, bus, train?)" (posted 06/02/2014)
Good restaurants for dinner?"Can you recommend me 2-3 good local restaurants in Rothenburg ob der Tauber where I can get a nice and tasty dinner?" (posted 06/01/2014)
Typical tourist activities or places that one should NOT do, as they are not worthwhile doing.
Things can do to make it a fun and memorable evening?
How to get around and find best means of local transportation?"How do we find our hotel parking lot once we arrive in town? It is Historic Goldener Hirsch. Also is there a certain place to enter the town?" (posted 06/21/2014)
Where to find good quality groceries?"Where is there a supermarket in Rothenburg and are they open Sundays" (posted 06/14/2014)
Are there any special local events?"At what time does the famous wine-drinking mayor make his appearance each day?" (posted 05/10/2014)
Are there any local food specialties one should try out?"Are there any local food specialties in Rothenburg ob der Tauber one should try out?" (posted 05/31/2014)
What makes this destination special? Why should one spend some time here during vacation?"Why should someone do a vacation in Rothenburg ob der Tauber? Can you possibly tell me 2-3 popular travel tips for Rothenburg ob der Tauber, which everyone visiting Rothenburg ob der Tauber should see? Also let me know 2-3 special insider travel tips for Rothenburg ob der Tauber that a typical tourist may not know about, but that you can highly recommend. Thanks!" (posted 05/31/2014)
Is there a good local deli or restaurant with lunch menu?"Is there a good local deli or restaurant in Rothenburg ob der Tauber where they serve a good lunch?" (posted 05/31/2014)
Are there any points of interest or local attractions?"Are there any special points of interests or local attractions in Rothenburg ob der Tauber that you can recommend that are worthwhile visiting?" (posted 06/12/2014)
What are good places to go for shopping?"We find ourselves with a short layover and hope to eat and shop in Rothenburg but will only have time after Nightwatchman tour one evening and until 9am the next morning. We need ideas of shops we could get in. Are there any open later than 7 pm or earlier than 9am?" (posted 06/21/2014)
Any sporting activites and recommendations to stay active?"Any sporting activites and recommendations in Rothenburg ob der Tauber to stay active?" (posted 06/04/2014)
Questions around the weather, different seasons, ...
Popular Points of Interest in and near Rothenburg ob der Tauber
[ source: Rothenburg ob der Taube Tourism Office ]
The City Councillors' Tavern (die Ratstrinkstube)
The City Councillors' Tavern (1446) (die Ratstrinkstube) - is indeed one of the most famous buildings in Rothenburg. It was accessible only to the city councillors. Especially noteworthy are the various clocks. The main clock was installed in 1683. Beginning in 1910, the two windows located to the right and left of the town clock open every hour between 11.00 a.m. and 03.00 p.m. and between 08.00 p.m. and 10.00 p.m. to show the legendary
Master Draught(der Meistertrunk).
The City Councillors' Tavern (1446) now serves as the Tourism office for Rothenburg ob der Taube.
The Medieval Crime Museum (Kriminalmuseum)
The only museum of its kind in Europe, the Kriminalmuseum is housed in a structure built in 1395 for the Order of the Johanniter, who cared for the sick. The building was redone in 1718 in the baroque style; it's the only example of baroque architecture in town. The museum's four floors provide an insight into the life, laws, and punishments of medieval days. You'll see chastity belts, shame masks, a shame flute for bad musicians, and a cage for bakers who baked bread too small or too light.
Check the museum website for admission prices and open hours as they change several times during the year.
The Master Builder's House (das Baumeisterhaus)
This house, which is probably Rothenburg's loveliest patrician residence, was built in 1596 for the city's Master Builder and demonstrates both the wealth and tastefully cultivated livestyle of the time. Dragon-shaped volutes soften the rigidity of the terraced gable. The lintels of the two upper stories show alternating depictions of the seven virtues and the seven vices, such as Kindness alternating with Gluttony, and Motherliness with Fraud. Today it serves as a café, where guests can admire the still cosy inner courtyard with the magnificent wooden balustrades, the
bull's-eyewindow and the galleries.
German Christmas Museum
Discover the history of this family celebration on more than 2750 square feet. Highlights include Christmas tree ornaments from different areas and a unique exhibition of historic Father Christmas figures from the 19th and 20th century.
- January 16 - March 31: Sat., Sun. 11am - 4 pm.
- April 1 - January 15: daily 10am - 5pm.
Open Christmas, December 26 and January 1st.
Admission: Adults: 4 €, Students/Pupils: 2.50 €, Children (6-11 years): 2 €, Family Card: 7 €.
Doll and Toy Museum
The largest private collection of its kind in Germany. Enjoy more than 800 dolls, produced by French and German specialists of the past 200 years, as well as doll houses, chambers, kitchens, and shops, furnished with all of the precious things that a complete doll household required. There are also doll theaters, trains, tin toys, carriages, farms, schools, carousels, wooden toys carved by hand, and thousands of charming accessories of a child's world of the distant past.
Hours: March through December 9:30 am - 6:00 pm, January and February 11:00 am - 5:00 pm.
Admission: Adults: 4 €, Students: 2.50 €, Children 1.50 €, Family Card 10 € Family Card 10 €.
[ source: City Museum website ]
Imperial City Museum
The former Dominican nunnery convent houses the collections of Rothenburg's arts and culture. Paintings, sculptures and furniture from nine centuries as well as a section of medieval Jewish life and archeological findings are to be seen here. Particularly noteworthy are the oldest convent kitchen in Germany, the so-called
Rothenburg Passion(1494) and the old paintings showing romantic views of the city by Arthur Wasse. Recently, the
Baumann collectionwith weapons and suits of armor of superior quality has become one of the most important exhibition items.
Open: April - October: 10am - 5pm. November - March: 1pm - 4pm.
Admission: 3.50 € Adults, 2.50 €, Children/Students/Groups/Retiree, Family Card 7 €
What is your insider travel tip for Rothenburg ob der Tauber?
Travel Insider Tips for Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Located on the “Romantic Road” in Middle Franconia, Rothenburg is world-famous for its well-preserved medieval buildings and fortifications. Stroll leisurely through cobblestone streets (much of the town is car-free), and learn the legend of the “Meistertrunk” (Master-drink)—commemorated every day by a clock in the town square—according to which Rothenburg’s mayor saved his city from invasion in 1631 by emptying a giant goblet of wine in one draught!
One main building on the town square is the Ratstrinkstube and contains a clock which re-enacts the historic meistertrunk daily. According to legend, the meistertrunk commemorates the event in 1631 when the walled town was under siege by the Imperial forces of Count Tilly. On a lark, Count Tilly told the city that he would spare them if anyone could drink a tankard containing about one gallon of wine in one draught. Mayor Nusch took the challenge and was successful, and the city was saved. The clock re-enacts the event hourly from 11:00 to 3:00 pm and 8:00 to 10:00pm. Rothenburg celebrates their rescue each year on Whitsun with a festival performance, a grand army march, and a field camp.
On the west side of the town square is the Rathaus or town hall. The rear Gothic part of the building dates from 1250, and the attached front Renaissance building was started in 1572. This building served as the seat of government for the city-state during the medieval ages and for the city of Rothenburg since the formation of the federalist government. The town hall tower is open for ascent to view the city from high above. Underneath the tower is the entrance to a museum celebrating the Thirty Years War and also the Imperial Entrance into the Rathaus.
Rothenburg ob der Tauber is one of the cities on the Romantische Straße (Romantic Road) that has preserved vestiges of its medieval importance into the 21st century. A series of walls and towers defended the city over the ages, and the most recent still stands and surrounds most of the older part of the city. The inner wall (built prior to the 13th century) still remains. Stairwells ascend to the top of the wall at intervals, and the entire wall can be walked. In addition, the Roedertor tower at the east end of the city is open daily to allow a climb up the stairs to the vista from it.
While buildings within the walled city reflect the city's medieval history, this part of the city is in many ways a normal, modern German town with some concession to the tourist trade. In addition to many stores and hotels aimed at tourists, residences and shops also reflect the daily life of modern Germany. Most of the tourist shops cluster around the Town Hall Square and along several major thoroughfares (Herrngasse, Schmiedgasse). Also in the town is a criminal museum, containing various punishment and torture devices as used during the Middle Ages.
Along the Tauber River below the west town walls and the castle gardens lies the original settlement of Detwang, dating from the year 960. Its St. Peter and Paul church was built in 968 and is the only Romanesque church in the region.
Rothenburg has appeared in several films, notably fantasies. It was the inspiration for the village in the 1940 Walt Disney movie Pinocchio. It was also the location for the Vulgarian village scenes in the 1968 family movie, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. It is sometimes mistaken as the town at the end of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971). That town was Nördlingen (Nördlingen vacation rentals | Nördlingen travel guide).
Rothenburg is the primary location for Elizabeth Peters' mystery novel, "Borrower of the Night" (1973) which involves the search for a missing Tilman Riemenschneider sculpture. The town also featured as the location in the Belgian comic book La Frontière de la vie (The Frontier of Life, 1977) and it inspired the look of the town in the Japanese manga and anime series A Little Snow Fairy Sugar (2001). Rothenburg's famous street Koboldzellersteig and Spitalgasse is depicted on the cover of two Blackmore's Night albums, 1999's Under a Violet Moon and their 2006 festive album Winter Carols.
[ source: Wikipedia ]
From Rothenburg you have various possibilities for excursions: Along the Romantic Road down the Tauber valley in direction to Würzburg (Würzburg vacation rentals | Würzburg travel guide) or in south direction to Schillingsfürst (Schillingsfürst vacation rentals | Schillingsfürst travel guide), Feuchtwangen (Feuchtwangen vacation rentals | Feuchtwangen travel guide), Dinkelsbühl (Dinkelsbühl vacation rentals | Dinkelsbühl travel guide), Nördlingen.
Along the Castle Road by Kirchberg and Langenburg (Langenburg vacation rentals | Langenburg travel guide) to Schwäbisch Hall (Schwäbisch Hall vacation rentals | Schwäbisch Hall travel guide) or by Colmberg (Colmberg vacation rentals | Colmberg travel guide) in direction to Ansbach (Ansbach vacation rentals | Ansbach travel guide) and Nürnberg.
From here you can as well discover the Franconian wine-growing area with its idyllic villages.
Here in Rothenburg is the crossing of many very well marked hiking and cycle paths to all directions: Some examples: Tauber valley path, Rothenburg butterfly path, Aisch valley path, Altmühl valley path.
How to get there
- Rothenburg o.d.T. is popular with big bus tour groups, especially in the summer. Therefore, it is advised that you see the town in the morning or the evening when the bus crowds aren't there.
- If you are taking a train in, make sure you are buying a ticket to Rothenburg ob der Tauber; there are several other Rothenburgs in Germany. The train station is east of the town wall, about a 15 minute walk to the center Market Square (Marktplatz) of the Altstadt.
- Walking will get you from one end of town to the other in about 15 minutes.
- Driving is unnecessary and at times impossible; it is best to park the car and walk.
Things to See
- The Market Square (Marktplatz) is the center of urban life in Rothenburg o.d.T. The Square is framed on the west by the Town Hall (Rathaus), on the north by the City Councillors' Tavern (Ratstrinkstube) with its Tourist Information center, on the east by shops and cafes, and on the south by St. George's Fountain.
- The 165 ft. 13th century Town Hall Tower (Rathausturm) at the center of the Altstadt offers the best view of the area; cost € 1 and 241 steps up. The Tower does not have a foundation of its own; it rests on top of the gable of the Gothic building. The front part of the Town Hall, a Renaissance building, was built in the 16th century. The Town Hall (Rathaus) is free.
- The Medieval Crime and Punishment Museum (Kriminalmuseum), just south of Market Square, is full of examples of torture equipment and is not for the faint hearted.
- The Plonlein (Little Square), a few blocks south of the Market Square, offers a charming medieval sight. Standing at the right point, you can see two towers: on the left, more or less straight ahead, is the Siebers Tower (Siebersturm) dating from 1385; and down on the right, from the Tauber valley, is the Kobolzell Gate (Kobolzeller Tor) dating from 1360. These two access roads form a small triangular square, which is Plonlein. The Plonlein is often referred to as one of the most photographed spots in Germany.
- The Town Wall encircle the city, giving the Altstadt the shape of a head, with the nose -- the Castle Garden -- pointing left (west). The existing Town Wall was built in the 14th century, was partially damaged in World War II, and restored through gifts from donors throughout the world (see plaques on the wall). The Wall is about 1.5 miles long, covered, with several towers and entrances at the gates. One of the easiest access to get up to the sentry wall is just south of Siebers Tower (Siebersturm). The Wall is free and offers a good vantage point to see the town.
- St. Jakobskirche (Church of St. Jacob), Klostergasse 15, north of the Market Square, contains a masterpiece by the famous Würzburg (Würzburg vacation rentals | Würzburg travel guide) sculptor Tilman Riemenschneider (ca. 1460-1531).
Things to Do
- Two walking tours are offered. Both tours are in English, cost € 6, and leave from Market Square. The tourist office tours are 90 minutes and run April-Oct and Dec daily at 14:00. The 60-minute Night Watchman's tour runs nightly mid-March-Dec at 20:00.
- The Do it Yourself Town Wall tour. The best stretch of the Wall to walk is from the massive 16th-century Spitaltor (go through the Siebersturm to the southern tip of the Spitalgasse) to the Klingentor, completed around 1400, at the northern tip of the Wall. This takes about a half-hour if you don't stop. Offers excellent views and photographic opportunities.
- Rent a bike at Rad und Tat, Bensenstrasse 17, phone +49 (0) 9861/87984
[ source: Wikitravel ]
Additional Rothenburg Resources:
For many travellers on the famous Romantic Road route through southern Germany, Rothenburg is one of the high points, with its historic town walls and central pedestrian area surrounded by the merchants' houses from the Middle Ages - find out more over here about Rothenburg ob der Tauber and the Romantic Road.
More about the History of Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Around 950, Weir system in today's castle garden — Earl of Comburg-Rothenburg. ~ 1070, The Earls of Comburg-Rothenburg, who also own the village
Gebsattel, built Rothenburg castle on the mountain top high above the river Tauber.
In 1116, The Earls of Comburg-Rothenburg dynasty dies out. Earl Heinrich wills all his belongings, including Gebsattel and Rothenburg to the Comburg convent. But Emperor Heinrich V. appoints his nephew Konrad von Hohenstaufen to be the successor.
In 1142, Konrad von Hohenstaufen, who became Konrad III (1138-52) the Roman-German King, trades a part of the monastery Neumünster in Würzburg above the village Detwang and builds the Stauffer-Castle Rothenburg on this cheaper land. He holds court there and appoints reeves as caretaker.
~ 1170, The city of Rothenburg is founded at the time of the building of Staufer castle. The centre is the market place and the Jakobs-Church. The development of the oldest fortification can be seen: Old cellar / old moat and the milk market. Walls and towers were built in the 13th century. Preserved are the
White Tower and the Markus-Tower with the Röder-Arch.
1194 - 1254, The representatives of the Staufer dynasty govern the area around Rothenburg. The St. John order and other orders are founded near the Jakobs-Church and the monastery of the Dominikan order.
in 1241/42, The Staufer Empire Tax statistics names the Jews in Rothenburg. Rabbi Meir Ben Baruch of Rothenburg (died 1293, buried 1307 in Worms) had a great reputation as a jurist in Europe.
In 1274, Rothenburg is accorded privileges by King Rudolf of Habsburg as an imperial city. Three famous fairs are established in the city. In the following centuries the city expands. The citizens of the city and the knights of the hinterland build the Franziskaner-Monastery and the Holy-Ghost-Hospital (1376/78 incorporated into the city walls). The German Order begins the building of the Jakobs-Church, which the citizens have used since 1336. The Heilig-Blut-pilgrimage attracts many pilgrims to Rothenburg. At the time one of the 20 largest cities of the Holy Roman Empire. The population was around 5,500 people within the city walls and another 14,000 in the 150 square miles (390 km2) of surrounding territory.
In October 1631 during the Thirty Years' War, Catholic Count Tilly wanted to quarter his 40,000 troops in Protestant Lutheran Rothenburg. Rather than allow entrance, the town defended itself and intended to withstand a siege. However, Tilly's troops quickly defeated Rothenburg, losing only 300 soldiers. After the winter they left the town poor and nearly empty, and in 1634, the Black Plague killed many more. Without any money or power, Rothenburg stopped growing and preserved its 17th century state.
Since 1803 the town has been a part of Bavaria. Romanticism artists of the 1880s rediscovered Rothenburg, bringing tourism to the town. Laws were created to prevent major changes to the town.
In March 1945 in World War II, Nazi soldiers were stationed in Rothenburg defending it. On March 31, bombs were dropped over Rothenburg by 16 planes killing 39 people and destroying 306 houses, six public buildings, nine watchtowers, and over 2,000 feet (610 m) of the wall. The U.S Assistant Secretary of War John J. McCloy knew about the historic importance and beauty of Rothenburg, so he ordered US Army General Jacob L. Devers not use artillery in taking Rothenburg. The local military commander Major Thömmes ignored the order of Adolf Hitler for all towns to fight to the end and gave up the town, thereby saving it from total destruction by artillery. American troops occupied the town on April 17, 1945, and in November 1948 McCloy was named Honorable Protectorate of Rothenburg. After the war, the residents of the city quickly repaired the bombing damage. Donations for the rebuilding were received from all over the world. The rebuilt walls feature commemorative bricks with donor names.
[ source: Wikipedia ]
Located on the “Romantic Road” in Middle Franconia (Bavaria), Rothenburg is famous for its well-preserved medieval buildings and fortifications. Stroll leisurely through cobblestone streets (much of the town is car-free) and enjoy this romantic town's charms. Rothenburg ob der Tauber has preserved vestiges of its medieval importance into the 21st century. A series of walls and towers defended the city over the ages, and the most recent still surrounds most of the older part of the city. Stairwells ascend to the top of the wall at intervals, and the entire wall can be walked. In addition, the Roedertor tower at the east end of the city is open daily to allow a climb up the stairs to the vista from it.
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