Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a German town in northern Bavaria known for its medieval architecture. Half-timbered houses line the cobblestone lanes of its old town. The town walls include many preserved gate houses and towers, plus a covered walkway on top. St. Jakob’s Church houses an intricate, late Gothic altarpiece by woodcarver Tilman Riemenschneider. The medieval Town Hall has a tower with panoramic views.
An imperial castle dating back to 1142 represents the beginning of the town. Elevated to a Free Imperial City in 1274, Rothenburg became one of the most important city states of the Middle Ages. In 1631, during the Thirty Years War, Rothenburg was taken by imperial troops. Ex-Mayor Nusch saved the town by drinking nearly 13 cups of wine in a single gulp, the so-called “Master draught”. Losing its importance in the following centuries, Rothenburg’s medieval center remained untouched. In the Romantic era, the town was discovered by painters and poets and became a symbol of the Middle Ages in Germany. An informative walking tour along the city walls (and to a large extent on the former battlements) is offered by the Rothenburger Turmweg. Information panels and a brochure provide an overview of the town’s 42 towers. The year-round ‘Christmas-Village’ store in Rothenburg is a Christmas Winter Wonderland with more than 30,000 traditional German Christmas decorations and on the 2nd floor of the Käthe Wohlfahrt Christmas Village store in Rothenburg is a very unique German Christmas museum. Nowadays Rothenburg, situated in Western Franconia, is one of the most visited towns in Europe. Its richness of old medieval buildings and museums – such as the famous Criminal Museum and the Imperial City Museum – explains Rothenburg´s reputation as one of the most attractive destinations in Germany. Highlights of next year’s calendar of events are the Historical Festival Play “The Master draught” over Whitsun weekend, the “Imperial City Festival” in September and the world-famous Christmas Market “Rothenburger Reiterlesmarkt“ in December.