Exploring Germany: Rothenburg ob de Tauber

a cobblestone road with a yellow building and a clock tower in the background

By Christina

Explore in Rothenberg:

The first time I thought about exploring Germany was when my brother-in-law and his family were stationed there. At first, I thought it was this far-off place that required taking a plane and I was too anxious for that.

But then I read this book called Fatal Puzzles, and while that book takes place in Zons Dormagen, which by the way is for another post, I knew I had to see Germany.

 

Add that with the self-proclaimed historian in me just screaming that she needed to be released into the historical wild.

And what better place to run free than Germany?

In this post I am going to share with you how wonderful Rothenberg is to explore, and I’m going lay it all out for you so you can visit as well. Remember, just because you’re a tourist doesn’t mean you have to plan or act like one.

Rothenbourg

The Magic of Germany

Germany is that mysterious romantic place full of grassy hills, deep and thick forests, and gingerbread houses. As you become more enchanted by the Bavarian romantic, you’ll discover Rothenburg ob de Tauber as one of the most beautiful towns in Germany.

For a history nerd, you’ll quickly find yourself immersed in a time capsule with cobblestone streets, medieval walls, and colourful timber-framed houses.

Each street and each corner is more picturesque than the next as you soak up all 800-plus years of history.

 

It is a no-brainer to see that this is one of the most popular tourist destinations, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to run into commercial, cookie-cutter tourist blandness.

You’ll see an authentic, and historic town full of charm. The magic is still in place ready to leave a lasting impression long after you close the chapter on this fairytale.

 

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Exploring Germany: Rothenburg ob de Tauber

 

The best way to experience the beautiful Rothenburg ob de Tauber is to simply wander the streets.

Walk at your own pace, feasting your eyes on the world around you. If you’re staying the night here I recommend devoting one or two hours where you take photos and the rest you’re looking.

When you allow yourself to visual feast upon the town, only then are you experiencing, and breathing in the sights, the smell of cooked meats, and coffee, and if you go around Christmas the sweet smell of fennel.

 

Marktplatz

In the Marktplatz, the heart of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, you’ll find a beautiful arrangement of the famous Bavaira architecture and historical sights. The main attraction to soak up is the Gothic Town Hall and its Renaissance-style tower.

If you’re not afraid of heights, or you have an adventure streak or if you’re eaten too many sausages and sauerkraut, walk up the 220 steps to the top to see a breathtaking bird’s eye view of the old town.

 

When you’re done there submerge yourself into the underground medieval dungeons that are well persevered below the town hall.

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Another thing very German and very cute are coo coo clocks. In the Marketplatz, you’ll find Ratstrinkstrube with its famous clock face, which chimes every hour and performs a re-enactment of the mayor who saved Rothenburg by agreeing to drink a tankard of wine.

 

If you visit the Reichsburg Cochem castle, be sure to take a look at the keyholes. Monks, who made their own ale, needed a wide berth to find the hole for the key. Trust me, you’ll wonder why you don’t have these on your doors.

 

As you continue walking along you’re sure to stumble upon the famous crooked yellow house. The enchanting house looks like it was literally pulled out of a fairytale, in fact it is said that this house was the inspiration for Geppetto’s house in Disney’s Pinocchio. 

 

If you’re ready for a drink to wet your whistle take a detour down any dreamy side streets or winding alleyways, you’ll stumble upon lovely cafes and bars where you can take in the sites while you kick back with an ice cream, traditional Bavarian beer, or a rich coffee.

 

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So much of the details have been thought out, you’ll find quirky clock faces, window displays, architecture, and business signs that make you wonder what story they are trying to convey.

 

Castle Gardens

No place in Europe is complete without a garden. Rothenburg’s historical castle was sadly destroyed in the 1300s by an earthquake.

The garden is now where the fortress once stood.

Castel garden (Burggarten) is popular with locals as well as tourists. This is a relaxing place to take a stroll, read a good book, or have a picnic.

The best part, you’re going at your own pace and it’s free.

Here you’ll be treated to the best views of the Tauber Valley. If you don’t want to just look at it, you can hike it or rent a bike and wander or relax with wine tasting.

 

 

Historical City Walls.

Going back to the book I read, Fatal Puzzles.

While the book takes place in Köln, there is a description of a city wall very similar to this one.

The old town of Rothenburg ob de Tauber is encircled by medieval city walls, rumored to have been constructed with the stones from the original castle.

The walls extends about 4 km around the town and is free to visit. Be ready to explore the numerous historical gates and towers along the way.

 

During the summer months, Röderturm the historic tower houses a small exhibition about the Allied air raid during the Second World War.

 

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Continue your historical journey by visiting one of the town’s unusual museums. A former medieval monastery or perhaps you’re a crime nerd and you wanna know about Medieval crimes.

 

When I visited Rothenburg ob de Tauber, it was Christmas. This time of year makes you believe in Santa Claus, and with good reason.

If you are looking for a treat at Christmas time, come here, and don’t forget to check out the German Christmas Museum. (though you can check out the museum during the summer too, but you’ll miss the mulled wine!)

Final Thoughts

My exploration of Germany happened many years ago, though I remember each detail, each moment, and the sweet smells that wafted around me as though it happened yesterday. 

This is why you have to put your phone and camera down, at least for an hour or two. You can always retrace your steps but you can never recaputre the moment. So live it, and explore Germany! 

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Hi, I’m Christina

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I’m the coffee-addicted creative behind Christina Q. Writes. As a full-time writer and lover of history, I share insights into my crazy wonderful life.  Christina Q. Writes is where I share tips and advice to help you live simply and in the moment, and do it your way. Don’t be afraid to laugh at my mistakes!