Picture-perfect Rothenburg is like a time capsule. If you grew up on fairy tales of Andersen or the Grimm Brothers and imagined what a town looked like in the Middle Ages, Rothenburg is exactly what you might have imagined, with narrow cobbled streets, pretty houses and gilded craftsman shop signs above every door.
The historic core of the town, completely surrounded by walls, is very compact. Many of the gates and towers are interesting sights in themselves. The central town square, Marktplatz ♥ is where Rathaus ♥ stands. The town hall curiously consists of two parts, one Gothic, the other Renaissance. The tower provides excellent views over the town.
We stepped into St Jakobs Kirche ♥ to look at its several beautiful altars, one of which is curiously located on an upper level. There are a couple of other churches and minor museums in Rothenburg, but we bypassed them in favor of walking around town, finding a picture spot literally at every step.
We lingered for a while in the pleasant Burggarten ♥, which provides a magnificent view of the town and the river Tauber valley. We also looked into many intriguing shops along Herrgasse and Obere Schmiedgasse. The most popular is Käthe Wohlfahrt Christmas store – you won’t regret checking it out.
Night Watchman’s tour ♥♥ is a fun way to learn more about the city history, as long as you do not mind walking around with a crowd of up to a hundred people. The guide, dressed and equipped as a watchman should, gives one tour in German and one in English every night in-season, starting and ending on Marktplatz. The delivery is somewhat too theatrical, but you certainly get your money’s worth on this tour.
Places to Eat
Restaurant Reichskuchenmeister ♥♥♥, a hundred or so meters away from Marktplatz, was one of the best culinary experiences that we had on our German trip. The food was extraordinary. We tried a garlic bruschetta, a delicious garlic soup, an excellent pike in a garlic sauce and a very good mixed grill. Our damage: €70, including a bottle of wine.
Altes Brauhaus ♥♥, within ancient city walls, is just a few hundred meters from the central square. Our room was #8 on the top floor. It was surely one of the biggest rooms in the hotel, quite spacious, with sleeping accommodations for 3 people (even though we did not need it). Quite picturesque, with timber frames protruding from the walls. Views over the city rooftops from the windows. Adequate breakfast, but we erred in going down for the morning meal after a big group of Japanese tourists left, and had considerably less choice than expected. Last stay: 2005.