Rothenburg is a medieval extravaganza which takes the visitor effortlessly back in time. It stands today exactly as it had in the 11th century, it's steep gabled roof houses, balconies, soaring spires, and narrow cobble streets still remain. The city's imposing gateway, towers, and city walls never fail to impress.
The town walls with their battlements and mighty bastions form a protective circle around the precious relics of bygone ages. The Spitalbastei at the southern gate is particularly impressive. Its towers are not the only outstanding feature of St. James's Church; the interior is equally impressive, with three altars by Tilman Riemenschneider, the renowned woodcarver. Another star attraction for Rothenburg is the Crime Museum where visitors can see historical objects relating to law, instruments of torture, drawings, documents and seals dating back seven centuries. On a lighter note the Christmas Museum illustrates the history of traditional German family Christmas celebrations and the Doll and Toy Museum features the history of playthings.
Christmas Market in Rothenburg
There is a city in Germany where Christmas can be experienced all year long, Rothenburg ob der Tauber on the Romantic Road in Bavaria. It is also home to one of the most romantic Christmas markets in Germany. The town boasts some of the most impressive medieval architecture in Europe, and citizens fight tooth and nail to keep developers outside of the city walls. Its medieval stage is home to the annual “Reiterlesmarkt,” the Rothenburg Christmas Market was named after a local Teutonic legend that began during pre-Christian times as the story of a horrid rider who carried the souls of the dead. As Christianity swept through Europe, the figure developed from a wild man into a loving, gentle man who gave gifts to all people on earth.
While Christmas decorations can be bought all year long in Rothenburg, the holidays are a special time to view the city and the market in its illuminated splendor. A local specialty that shouldn’t be missed is the "Schneeball" or snow ball, made from strips of sweet dough fried and covered with powdered sugar or chocolate. Rothenburg ob der Tauber is also home to the German Christmas Museum.