Rothenburg ob der Tauber, located in Franconia (Germany), is famous for its well-preserved medieval town. The towers are also in great shape as well as the town walls which you can walk on (a bit like in Aigues-Mortes).
I was mostly taken in by the size of Rothenburg. Most medieval towns or what is left of them are quite small, even when the city has grown around it. The medieval part in Rothenburg was surprisingly large, with no disruption of the architectural style. From the town’s park, you can overlook a lush green valley which encloses Rothenburg.
The town has been the backdrop for several movies because of its architecture and offers many photo opportunities.
Each way you turn, chance is that there is at least one bakery or café catching your eye, easy to spot with a (golden) pretzel hanging above the door. The pretzel is upside down in my opinion, but I think many people would beg to differ 😉
Another specialty is the so-called Schneeballen, a shortcrust pastry shaped like a sphere and dipped in powdered sugar, chocolate or other sweet treats. You can spot some in the picture above on an ad.
We happened to visit on the weekend where the biggest party of the year went down in Rothenburg by sheer coincidence. The town was bustling with booths selling crafts and medieval/rustic snacks and huge crowds of curious party-goers. There were traditional dance groups performing on the market square and a large percentage of the people were dressed in traditional costumes. Somebody told us that every (!) local is on his or her feet in preparation for the festivities.
In the afternoon, a parade went through the streets dancing and singing, with lots of scary looking horses (they were huge!) and happily drunk people.
The parade continued on to the festival grounds outside the town walls where more food and beer was passed around.
Perhaps I should mention that there is a reason for all this fuzz. A long time ago, when the town was captured, they were offered a chance that the town would be spared if someone succeded in drinking 3,25l of wine in one go. Their mayor did the deed and the rest is history (or legend). If that isn’t the best excuse to empty some drinks…
March 15th 2016