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Rothenburg ob der Tauber – Touring Germany’s Romantic Road

By adriana - September 8, 2015 (Updated: February 10, 2016)

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Touring Germany's Romantic Road.

Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber on Germany's Romantic RoadToday, Adi begins a tour of Germany’s Romantic Road, starting with the beautiful walled town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber.

Back in 1960, when post-war Germany was desperate to rejuvenate the travel industry, the Romantic Road came into being. Although a modern invention, the Romantic Road delivers what it promises – a beautiful route of towns, stretching from Würtzburg to Füssen, which manage to retain their ancient characteristics and beauty.

The route joins the historic cities of Würzburg and Augsburg with the three medieval walled towns of Rothenburg ob der TauberDinkelsbühl, and Nördlingen. It ends with a bang at Neuschwanstein Castle and the Alps.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a colourful gem on Germany's Romantic Road

Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a colourful gem on Germany’s Romantic Road

Rothenburg ob der Tauber (which translates to Red Fortress above the Tauber) is a town in the Franconia region of Bavaria, Germany. It is a popular tourist destination, which you will notice, as soon as you arrive in the historic center.

Rothenburg's historic town centre

Rothenburg’s historic town centre

I will not say it is crowded, but it’s certainly busy with people, from all over the world, scouring the local stores for woodcrafts, local schnapps, and Christmas ornaments.

I had Rothenburg on my travel wish list for a long time and, when I finally got to see its beauty, colorful buildings, and the sense of stepping back into Renaissance era Germany, it overwhelmed me. The narrow cobblestone streets feel like they haven’t changed in hundreds of years.

Rothenburg's colourful architecture makes it a delight to photograph

Rothenburg’s colourful architecture makes it a delight to photograph
The cobbled streets look frozen in time.

The cobbled streets look frozen in time.

It was the first time I visited a completely walled in city center. It’s a wall you can walk almost entirely around, giving you a pleasant view of the town’s red roofs.

Walking along the town wall gives a great view of the rooftops

Walking along the town wall gives a great view of the rooftops

You can enter Rothenburg with the car and try to park somewhere, but that will most definitely cause you a major headache. I recommend parking your car outside the wall (parking fees are cheap) and walk into the centre.

It’s worth mentioning several movies were filmed here, including The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm and scenes from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, both part one and two. You can see the commemorative plaque on the rebuilt town wall.

Quiet evening in Rothenburg's most iconic area

Quiet evening in Rothenburg’s most iconic area

My favorite part of the day, in Rothenburg, is the late afternoon, toward evening. The tourist buses have left, the shops are closing, leaving only the restaurants open. By this time, the only people out are the ones grabbing a bite to eat. It’s a calm atmosphere allowing you to really take in the town.

The local schnapps in pretty bottles

The local schnapps in pretty bottles

When it comes to traditional foods and beverages to try, while in Rothenburg, two things are worth mentioning. First, is the local schnapps store, selling a huge variety of fruit schnapps in ceramic bottles that you can just refill every time you visit. While at the store, you can try a little bit of each. Be warned, it will hit you fast.

Schneeball are a favourite local treat

Schneeball are a favourite local treat

The second thing to try is the schneeball (snow ball), a type of pastry made of flour, eggs, sugar, butter, cream, and plum schnapps, which has been around for three hundred years in the regions of Franconia. These pastries sell like hot cakes, in assorted boxes, so you can try one of each flavor.

Rothenburg's city hall is a pretty sight as the sun sinks over the town.

Rothenburg’s city hall is a pretty sight as the sun sinks over the town.

Whether you visit Rothenburg for its history, its colorful and romantic architecture, or for its food, it will most definitely leave its mark on you. It is a town that one cannot simply forget.

Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber on Germany's Romantic Road

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Adriana
I live in Germany with my husband and two children. I have a big passion for travel and photography. I am most happy when I travel, when I discover new cultures, see new places and try new foods. We have travelled to twenty-seven countries and almost two hundred cities. See some of the photos taken during our adventures at Life in A Suitcase and follow on Google+.
Adriana
@onfoodandwine @rotravel @RomaniaTourism @finding_romania We only stayed a week but I would stay a lifetime. - 2 days ago

2 comments

  1. Comment by AL

    AL September 18, 2015 at 02:18

    Hi it’s great to read your blog. I will be travelling pass Rothenburg as well next month. Does any shop open on Sunday in Rothenburg? Most likely we will be passing by on Sunday
    Thanks

    • Comment by Adriana

      Adriana September 18, 2015 at 19:31

      Hi AL,

      our day trip there was also on a Sunday and everything was open. The shops close around 5-6pm. Enjoy! 🙂

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