Cobblestone streets, impressive parapets and proud towers greet you as you enter through the old gates of a town that dates back to 1142. Visitors immediately feel as though they have stepped into a painting or the pages of a book as they enter a town discovered by painters and poets and that became a symbol of the Middle Ages in Germany. Rothenburg's centre, with more than two square-miles of imposing medieval buildings, remains untouched, offering more than 800 years of history to explore and making it seem like a place out of time.
As you pass along, you will notice some breathtaking romantic scenery over the roofs of the old town. The surroundings feature enchanted alleys, magnificent mansions, and the idyllic valley, where the river Tauber peacefully meanders through the wonderfully natural landscape.
Besides its wealth of medieval buildings and extraordinary museums - like the Medieval Crime Museum or the Imperial City Museum - Rothenburg is home to the most charming Christmas store in the whole world, Käthe Wohlfahrt. Inside, exquisite traditional works of art like Christmas tree decorations and Christmas pyramids carry visitors away to a magical festive world. The Advent period in Rothenburg ob der Tauber has been accompanied by a wonderful Christmas market since the 15th century and over 500 years of tradition and customs have been held onto and closely followed.
The smell of "white" mulled wine, made with the famous Franconian vintages, combines with the scent of roasted almonds to create a feast for your senses as you wander through the Rothenburg Christmas Market. The illumination of thousands of fairy lights and the festive music provided by local brass bands provides an atmosphere like no other as this medieval town is transformed into a winter wonderland.
You can find everything the heart and taste buds desire here. Old German Christmas pastries and handcrafted treasures of all shapes and sizes are joined by local specialities known as snowballs. These round treats are a bit like shortbread; some are covered with sugar or cinnamon while others are topped with chocolate, coconut or almonds. They are definitely something you must try as you wander around the many stalls situated by the town hall.
The Rothenburg "Reiterlesmarkt" can look back on a 500-year tradition, during which time it has thankfully altered very little from its historical origins.