I’ve done a good deal of traveling this past year but I can’t believe I hadn’t been to Rothenburg ob der Tauber much sooner, especially because it was just a mere two and a half hour drive from our home.
This town had been described as a fairy-tale like town with a romantic vibe, and it truly was just that. I felt compelled to take photos with each and every step, so badly in fact, that I had to remind myself to put away my camera and fully embrace the moment I was living in. I just couldn’t believe that a place like this actually existed and even more that people really lived in this little town.
The town is home to an imperial castle that dates back as far as 1142 and during the Middle Ages, the Market Square, in the heart of Rothenburg, was a place that held events like markets, meetings, and even executions. However, scattered across this charming little town, you can take in the most breathtaking architecture, which includes the most beautifully colored buildings I’ve ever seen.
One of the most interesting things you can do while in Rothenburg ob de Tauber, is visit the Medieval Crime Museum. The museum is home to exhibits ranging from the most bizarre shame masks to sinister looking iron torture chambers. Without a doubt, Rothenburg’s Medieval Crime Museum has got to be one of Germany’s most unique stops. Not only do they have a creepy line-up of punishment and torture devices on display but they also posses public records regarding some of Bavaria’s most notorious criminals, who took part in scandalous matters from treason, murder, and even witchcraft. Needless to say, a visit to this museum is certainly one to remember.
To lighten up the atmosphere after a visit to the Mittelalter Kriminalmuseum, you can walk on down to the Käthe Wohlfahrt Christmas shop. Käthe Wohlfahrt is a famous Christmas shop that you can find in many locations worldwide, however, Rothenburg ob de Tauber, is host to its main head office so you’ll be sure to find one of a kind gifts and souvenirs in all shapes and sizes. After you wrap up your Christmas shopping, stop in to check out the German Christmas Museum which houses an array of Christmas themed items, including ornaments dating back to the 1870’s.
While there are many things to see and do while in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, it’s worth mentioning that there are a variety of wonderful restaurants and cafe’s to choose from too. We ate an amazing little pizza cafe called, Eiscafe-Pizzeria Roma, that had the most amazing pizza and chicken cordon bleu that I’ve ever tasted. Next time we go, we were urged to try, Zur Höll, an authentic little German restaurant apparently worth every penny. Speaking of pennies, most (not all) shops and restaurants only take cash, so be sure to have pockets full of euro so you can indulge in all the town’s specialties.
Also noteworthy, we had the opportunity to try Schneeballs while in town. Rothenburg’s (very popular) unique fried pastry dessert that tourists seem to flock to. Unfortunately, we didn’t keep a good eye on time so it was a little after 6pm before we had the chance to try these famous snowballs, which meant that all the little bakeries that sold them were closed (this was a Saturday too). Defeated, we ended up trying some at a local coffee shop and sadly they seemed a bit too dry for our taste, the coffee, however, was amazing. I don’t want to give up on these famous little Schneeballs though, so next time we go I’ll be sure to make it a priority on my list.
While Schneeballs will be high on the list the next time I visit Rothenburg ob der Tauber, the main thing that I will definitely be taking part in while we’re there (that was highly recommended) is the Night Watchman’s Tour. It’s an entertaining hour long walking tour about the history of the town and starts around 8pm, so if you have the time to stay the night, supposedly, this tour is worth the extra time.