Thursday, January 9, 2014

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

Actual date of this event: 13-15 Germany

Our weekend of German Christmas Markets continues!

After visiting Würzburg, we drove to Rothenburg ob der Tauber which is where we planned to stay until Sunday. I had heard about Rothenburg from my friend Kelly, who lives in Stuttgart, as it is one of her "must-see" places to take her visitors. I didn't know much about Rothenburg, other than it being "quintessential German". I don't know about y'all, but I have a certain picture in my head when it comes to a German town, and Rothenburg was super duper close to that picture. It is charming, beautiful, quaint, relaxing, and has amazing medieval architecture.
Located on the edge of Bavaria, Rothenburg ob der Tauber is enclosed by a wall at the top of a hill. During WWII, German soldiers were stationed in the town making it a target for the Allies. Because one American knew about the town and its beauty, the Americans chose not to use artillery to take over Rothenburg. All of the main areas remained untouched, and only a portion of the town had been destroyed from prior attacks.
Luke, Jill, Ryan and I chose a bed and breakfast outside of the town wall, so we were lucky enough to climb the hill both days to visit the town. I would like to say it was a good workout, but I am pretty sure we ate more food and drank more glühwein than the calories we burned, but hey, who's keeping track?

When we arrived Friday, it was super foggy, we could just barely see across the valley that was not enclosed by the wall. It was pretty crazy, but it was great for our plans later that evening.

We wandered around the streets, visited some shops and also the Christmas market. We snapped pictures of the architecture as daylight disappeared on us by 4:30.

Rothenburg has several stores that sell Christmas decorations year-round, so it is not necessary to visit only during the Christmas season. Käthe Wohlfahrt is one of the famous makers and can be found at most German markets... it's the "good" stuff!

I didn't find the that the Christmas market was too crowded any of the days we visited. But maybe I am just used to crowds of people now?

We decided to sit in a restaurant for dinner as we were getting pretty chilly. At 8 o'clock, we met for the Night Watchman Tour, which took us around a few parts of the town. The man explained what the Night Watchman's duties were in the old days and gave a brief history of the town. It was pretty entertaining, and the fog really helped set the mood!

On Saturday morning, we headed back up the hill into town to see the parts we did not visit the day before. It actually snowed on us for a few minutes!

  {this door has been there since the 1500's!!}

 {A bar called "Hell". So when a tourist asks "Where can we go drink?", the response is "Go to Hell!"}

The weather turned terrible very quickly, so we ducked in a restaurant for a few beverages to wait for the rain to stop. We were also meeting our friends, Kristen and Dave from Zurich, who decided to visit for the weekend as well. Once they arrived, we headed back out to wander in the Christmas market again.

We ended the evening with dinner as a group... more sausages and sauerkraut and beer. And Luke refused to share his pork hock with the rest of us.
If you are in the area, I highly recommend Rothenburg ob der Tauber as a place to visit! I would love to head back there again someday!

Stay tuned for our last Christmas market visit in Wiesbaden... Click here to read about Würzburg.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber was the inspiration for the village in Pinocchio. Parts of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Parts 1 and 2 were filmed in Rothenburg.

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