Rothenburg is a beautiful, well-maintained Medieval town in Bavaria, Germany. We decided to go there while my cousin, Cody was visiting. Rothenburg has a long, interesting history. When I first showed Cody the pictures of the town, he said it looked like it was “literally out of a fairy tale.” Rothenburg is a quintessentially German town. Amazingly, it’s quintessential German-ness is why so much of it remains when so many other town were flattened by war. During WWII, US leaders knew of Rothenburg’s important history and generals were ordered to take the town without artillery. For that, almost all of the town wall remains in tact.
Prior to that, the town was taken by 40 thousand troops in the 30 years war. It was abandoned the following Spring when the troops were no longer in need of it’s shelter and what was left of the town was ravaged by the plague. After that, the town was left alone and the little damage done during the war has been repaired.
Coincidentally, Cody studied the 30 Years War in school this year so it was interesting for him to see what the town looked like with some of the same buildings still standing. The wall is still open to allow people to take a walk around and look out over the town.
Rothenburg ob der Tauber translates to Red fortress above the Tauber. And, the massive wall around the town is impressive. Within the wall are many half-timbered buildings and houses. It really is quintessentially German.
One of the most interesting, even if a little creepy, is the Crime Museum. Most of the descriptions are well translated to English and worth reading. For example, quarrelsome women were locked into double neck violins until they could get along. Also, if the baker sold loaves of bread that were too light, they were lowered into the river repeatedly as punishment. There were tons of examples of the weird things they did to punish people. Some were funny but there were also some pretty scary punishments as shown in the pictures below. If you’re ever in Rothenburg, this should definitely be at the top of your list.
While in Rothenburg, you also have to try the Schneeballs. I have no idea how they get so many layers of chocolate in between all of the layers of dough. There are lots of cute little Schneeball bakeries all over town.
Rothenburg was a great little day trip!