Rothenburg | a beautiful Medieval Town

The Medieval Town of Rothenburg

View as we enter Rothenburg

View of Galgentor, as we enter the medieval town of Rothenburg

Rothenburg, a medieval town straight out of the Grimes Fairy Tales is next on our  tour along the  Romantic road. First view of the medieval town we see the Galgentor Tower, part of the defensive walls that once encircled the town. The Galgentor Tower was the main place for executions in medieval times. Galgentor means Gallows Gate. In medieval times executions were  an important event in the life of the town, the event widely publicized, dutiful citizens expected to attend!

 Picturesque-Rothenburg-situated above the Tauber Valley

View from Castle Gardens into valley; across to medieval town of Rothenburg.

Enjoying the sunny winters day, it was a delight to stroll down the  narrow cobblestone streets, explore the towers, historic town gates and archways of this medieval town. Rothenburg, described as “the Jewel in the Crown” of Germany’s Romantic Road, has exceptional medieval architecture and views of the pretty Tauber Valley below.

Two of the eye catching traditional timber framed houses-in Rothenburg

Medieval town of Rothenburg-two eye-catching traditional timber-framed houses

Traditional Timbered houses – a feature in a medieval town

Our guide gave us a map with instructions and we were let loose to enjoy all the antiquities a medieval town could offer. The beautiful traditional timbered houses, so eye-catching in brown and white.  In medieval times  by law a citizen had to store enough grain to feed his family for a whole year for when the town came under siege.  Grain storage was in the top floors of the buildings. A gilded fountain known as Georgsbrunnen stands nearby from the year 1608.

St. Jacobs Lutheran Church in Rothenburg

Rothenburg-St-Jacobs-Twelve Apostles Alter- magnificent stained glass windows

St-Jacobs Church-Twelve Apostles Alter- magnificent stained glass windows – medieval town of Rothenburg

Don’t miss spending some time in St Jacobs Lutheran Church c.1311. The High Alter (1466) or Twelve Apostles Alter,  considered one of the finest in Germany, the work of Swabian master carvers. There is so much detail in this wonderful work. The magnificent stained glass windows behind the High Alter, date from 1350-1400 and are 56ft high with glorious color. Each window depicts a scene from the life of Christ.

Rothenburg-St-Jacobs-Church - 'Alter of the Holy Blood'

Rothenburg-St-Jacobs-Church – ‘Alter of the Holy Blood’

The ‘Alter of the Holy Blood” is another great masterpiece. Taking  six years to complete by famous Würzburg Sculptor, Tilman Riemenschneider. St Jacobs Lutheran Church holds some exceptional religious artworks from the middle ages.

Burgtor Gate & customs-house

Burgtor Gate & customs-house-Medieval Town of Rothenburg

The Bergtor or Castle Gate

After St Jacobs Kirsch back to this fascinating medieval town. The Bergtor or castle gate is two quaint round buildings built before 1600, and are the former guard and customs house. Travelers entering the town from the Tauber valley had to pay a toll at the gate. Behind the castle gate is the middle Burgtor bastion gate, it has a mask with a hole for the mouth through which defenders of Rothenburg could pour hot pitch on the heads of their enemies.

Rathaus-&-City-Councillors' Tavern, graced by a 17th century clock.

Rathaus or Town Hall and-City-Councillors’ Tavern, graced by a 17th century clock.

Town Hall and City Councillors’ Tavern

At the center of Rothenburg town is Marktplatz dominated by the stately renaissance Town Hall (Rathaus).  To the right is the City Councillors’ Tavern (Ratstrinkstube) featuring the renowned clock with figures of Tilly and Nusch, who appear on the hour several times a day to reenact their historic meet, ‘The Maestertrunk’, a drinking wager that spared the town from being burnt down during the thirty years’ War.

Famous clock depicts Meistertrunk Legend Gen. Tilly and Mayor Georg Nusch 1631

Famous clock depicts Meistertrunk Legend- 1631

Weisser Turm or White Tower

The 12th century Weisser Turm (White Tower) originally part of the inner town wall is the highest point in the Alststadt. The White Tower  is the second city gate that visitors will arrive under when approaching from the east. These are part of the original city walls and this area was known as the Jewish quarter in medieval times. The Judentanzhaus or Jews’ dance hall is next to the White Tower.

Enjoy a tour of romantic Rothenburg by horse and carriage, what could be more fitting in this delightful medieval town.

Roderturm Tower-with-horses-Rothenburg

Medieval Town of Rothenburg-12th century Weisser Turm

Christmas all year – Kath Wolfharts

Do visit Kath Wolfharts Christmas shop. This is a magical wonderland full of sparkling Christmas trees, decorations, ornaments, and a wonderful moving window display. Whatever month you visit,  it will still feel like Christmas when you enter through the door into Kath Wolfharts Christmas Village.  Truly a delight.

Entrance-Kathe Wohlfahrt Xmas Village-Medieval town of Rothenburg

Entrance-Kathe Wohlfahrt Xmas Village-Medieval town of Rothenburg

Typical homemade Franconian meal

We enjoyed staying at the Hotel Tilman Riemenschneider. We were warmly welcomed by the staff and shown to comfortable rooms with quaint Alpine inspired furniture. In the evening we enjoyed a typical homemade Franconian meal with local wines.

Hotel Tilman Riemenschneider-quaint alpine-furniture-traditional Franconian meals

Hotel Tilman Riemenschneider-quaint alpine-furniture-traditional Franconian meals

Tour of the Night Watchman in a medieval town

Our stay in Rothenburg was far to brief, we didn’t get to see everything. I’m not very good at following maps? I would love to visit this enchanting medieval town again. Don’t miss the tour of Rothenburg with the Night Watchman. The Night Watchman was so very entertaining as he took us on his rounds of this ancient medieval town at night. He carries an intimidating weapon known as a Hellebarde to keep the drunkards and thieves at bay, the villagers safe in their beds at night. The Night Watchman’s horn, worn on a chain around his neck, is to warn the villagers of fire, a dreaded event in medieval times.


Night Watchman – Rothenburg a medieval town

Sadly we had to leave this delightful medieval town of Rothenburg the next morning after breakfast.

Next we visit another picturesque medieval town named Dinklesbull…


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