Rothenburg City Breaks
Massive stone town walls studded with 42 towers, half-timbered houses with red-tiled roofs, cobblestone streets and flower-filled window boxes characterise Rothenburg ob der Tauber, located on the famous Romantic Road.
One of Europe's most beautiful medieval town looks like a movie set - but it is all real! The silhouette of gate and defence towers conveys the aura of a fairy tale and as you enter through one of the old gates, you will immediately feel secure within the time-honored walls of this romantic place.
Rothenburg's enchantment has prevailed over the past 1,000 years and is continuing to cast a spell onto the international visitors making their way through the narrowly winding cobblestone alleyways. Enjoy the cosy atmosphere of wintertime, turning the bright red rooftops into frosted delights which are reminiscent of picturesque Christmas card motives.
The town is one of Germany's best-preserved medieval cities and the two main market streets are full of picture-perfect houses, cafés and restaurants. Regional specialities can be enjoyed in cosy taverns with Franconian wine as the perfect accompaniment.
Like stepping into a painting or an old book, Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a place of history, with over 800 years of history waiting to be discovered and explored. There are some great views of the picturesque town to be had from the tower of the Town Hall.
Join the Night Watchman on his nightly tour through the lantern-lit alleyways every day at 8pm.
Visit one of the many seasonal concerts in one of Rothenburg's churches, e.g. the St. Jacob´s Church.
Did you know?
The streets and houses of Rothenburg had a big influence on how the Walt Disney film Pinocchio looked.
- Flight time from London: 1 hour 40 min
- Albrecht Dürer Flughafen Nürnberg: 122km from the city centre; transfer time about 1 hour 43 min
- Nearest railway station: Rothenburg ob der Tauber Bahnhof
- Currency: Euro
Friese-Kabalo Kunstgewerbe OHG is a shop that specialises in cuckoo clocks, pewter beer steins, music boxes and dolls.
Visit the year-round Christmas shop of Käthe Wohlfahrt's Weihnachtswerkstatt, which is packed with hand-carved Christmas decorations and gifts.
For teddy lovers, a visit to Teddyland is a must. They stock more than 5000 of them, which is the largest population in Germany.
During peak season, restaurants along the Romantic Road tend to be crowded, especially in the larger towns. You may want to plan your meal times around visits to smaller villages, where there are fewer people. The food will be Franconian or Swabian, but it will also be generally less expensive than in the well-known towns. You may find that some of the small, family-run restaurants close around 2pm, or whenever the last lunch guests have left, and open again at 5 or 5:30pm. Some serve cold cuts or coffee and cake during that time, but no hot food.
Eat the famous "Rothenburger Schneeballen" (Snowball) in one of the local bakeries; the original recipe has been passed down through generations. You can find all kinds of different varieties. Some are covered in powdered sugar whilst others are filled with cream.
Try the "White" mulled wine from the booth of the Winery Glocke at the Rothenburg Christmas Market, one of Germanys most beautiful festive events.
Mittelalterliches Kriminalmuseum (Medieval crime museum)
The gruesome medieval implements of torture on display here are not for the faint-hearted. The museum, the largest of its kind in Europe, also soberly documents the history of German legal processes in the Middle Ages.
Half of the town hall is Gothic, begun in 1240, whilst the other half is neoclassical, started in 1572. Below the building is the Historiengewölbe (Historic Vaults), housing a museum that concentrates on the Thirty Years' War.
A historic parish church of Gothic origins with a baroque interior, St. Wolfgang's is most notable for the way it blends into the city wall.
Rothenburg's city walls are more than 2km (1 mi) long and provide an excellent way of circumnavigating the town from above. The walls' wooden walkway is covered by eaves and there are stairs every 200 or 300 yards to provide easy access. There are superb views of the tangle of pointed and tiled red roofs and of the rolling country beyond.
The church has some notable Riemenschneider sculptures, including the famous Heiliges Blut (Holy Blood) altar. Above the altar, a crystal capsule is said to contain drops of Christ's blood. There are three 14th and 15th-century stained-glass windows in the choir and the Herlin-Altar is famous for its 15th-century painted panels.