Medieval architecture, curious museums, music festivals and a year-round celebration of Christmas make this one of Bavaria’s must-see destinations.
Step back in time in the romantic medieval town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Visit museums dedicated to crime and Christmas, spot centuries-old architecture or enjoy wine and music festivals. Set amid the beautiful countryside of Germany’s Bavaria region, this is an ideal destination to relax and enjoy cultural events.
Rothenburg ob der Tauber centers on its fascinating medieval quarter, little changed since the 11th century. Stroll around the battlements to find more than 40 gateways and towers. Explore cobblestone streets and interesting squares lined with colorful gabled houses. Admire the picture-perfect half-timbered house of Plönlein. Inspect woodcarvings by revered sculptor Tilman Riemenschneider at St. Jacob’s Church. Enjoy panoramic views from the 200-foot-tall (60-meter) town hall tower, which dominates Marktplatz.
Delve into German history and culture at the town’s museums. The Medieval Crime Museum displays laws and punishments from the Middle Ages. Find period furniture and art at the Imperial City Museum, set in a 13th-century convent. Old Rothenburg Craftsman’s House shows how craftsmen lived during the 1200s.
Find some relaxation at the Asian Water-Garden with waterfalls and ornamental ponds amid a garden of cherry trees and Asiatic flora.
Throughout the summer the town springs to life with a series of festivals. Attend performances by international rock bands during the Taubertal Open Air Festival. Sample local wine and food, such as grilled sausages, at the Weindorf wine festival. Parades retell the town’s history during the Imperial City Festival.
Come for the holidays to experience one of Germany’s most captivating Christmas Markets. Sip on a glass of mulled wine and try sweet schneeballen pastries as you browse the handicraft stalls set up in Martkplatz. If you can’t wait until the holidays, discover Germany’s festive traditions at the Christmas Museum and Kathe Wohlfahrt Christmas Village.
Reach Rothenburg ob der Tauber via train or rent a car and drive along the Romantic Road, a route that connects several picturesque towns in the southern German provinces of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg.