Rothenberg

Rothenburg ob der Tauber Travel Blog

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Medieval walled city

When my parents returned from Germany, they raved about Rothenberg, so I figured I should see it.  I took the train, which involved a bus transfer.  According to the schedule online, I had 3 minutes to walk from the train station to the bus, and I had to figure out which bus I needed, so I was a little stressed.  So I find my bus and there's no one around.  The departure time comes and goes.  Hmmm.  What's going on?  The bus driver comes in and tells me the bus leaves in one hour.  What!?  One hour?  That's one hour less that I have in Rothenberg!  I was not happy.  But since I had nothing else to do, I talked to the bus driver.   He knew about as much English as I knew German, so we spoke in mixed sentences and managed to get through an hour discussing politics, weather and tourist destinations in both countries.

People watching the clocktower
  It was good practice.  Although I think he knew more about American politics than I did.  I felt ashamed of my lack of knowledge of foreign politics.  Americans do a lousy job of learning about other cultures, languages, and politics.  We aren't exposed to it in school and few take the time to learn on their own.  And I am one of them. 

So I finally made it to the city and proceeded to wander around the medieval walled village.  The streets are narrow, and many are paved with cobblestones.   I went through the town square and watched the unimpressive clock tower show.  On the hour, the man raises a beer stein as if he's drinking.  Ooh, can you feel the excitement?  Yeah, not so much.

St Jakob's spire
  I went into St. Jakob's Church and was quite impressed with the big Gothic church.  The front of the church had large stained glass windows the were from the 1400s and 1500s.  Wow.  And the altar was a Riemenschneider carving, from the 1400s, I think.  But it isn't the famous one.  The back of the church houses a large pipe organ, and up in the balcony is the famous Heligblutaltar, or Holy Blood Altar, another Riemenschneider carving.  I can't seem to understand the history or legend of the altar, but I seem to think there is supposed to be a drop of Christ's blood in a crucible on the altar.  But I have a hard time believing that's true. 

I went to the Criminal Museum, which was actually a bit morbid, but I liked it.

Heligblutaltar (Holy Blood Altar)
  It had a bunch of medieval torture devices, posters explaining their uses, and other things that I can't remember.  I spent a lot of time just wandering around the town.  I read that it is worth the time and effort to climb on top of the wall and walk around the city.  I think the reason I spent so much time wandering around was that I was looking for a way on top of the wall and never found it!  I told myself that was because it was winter and maybe its not allowed to be up there - too slippery or something. 

I also read about the Schneeball - a ball of dough fried and flavored - that Rothenberg is known for.  Rick Steeves doesn't recommend them.  But I loved it!  I had one that was covered in powdered sugar.  I almost didn't try one because of his disdain for them.  But I'm glad I did, and I wish I had bought another! 

Ma-Ray says:
It looks like a beautiful city. I will remember it, for whenever I will go biking through Germany.
Posted on: Nov 28, 2008
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Medieval walled city
Medieval walled city
People watching the clocktower
People watching the clocktower
St Jakobs spire
St Jakob's spire
Heligblutaltar (Holy Blood Altar)
Heligblutaltar (Holy Blood Altar)
Narrow streets
Narrow streets
Rothenburg - walled city
Rothenburg - walled city
St Jakobs Church, stained glass w…
St Jakob's Church, stained glass …
Riemanschneider carving - main alt…
Riemanschneider carving - main al…
Pipe organ and pulpit
Pipe organ and pulpit
Looking into the walled village fr…
Looking into the walled village f…
Square at night
Square at night
Goodbye city
Goodbye city
Rothenburg ob der Tauber
photo by: novabelgica