A glorious town along the famous Romantic Road of Germany, this town was luckily left mostly unharmed by the destruction left behind by WWII. Many other cities in Germany weren’t so lucky. A couple of train changes away from Nuremburg, it’s worth the trip. If you choose to arrive by train like we did, don’t overlook the luggage belts on the sides of the stairs at the train stations! They were such a lifesaver with getting luggage up and down stairs.”ob der Tauber” translates to “on the Tauber” indicating that this is the Rothenburg on the Tauber River. When planning a visit, be careful not to confuse this with another German town, which is also called Rothenburg (minus the “ob der Tauber”).
Rothenburg Ob De Tauber looks like something straight from the pages of a Fairy Tale. This medieval beauty has a wall surrounding it, which apparently, you can walk on. We did not get a chance to partake, but it sounds like something worth checking out! Another fun walk which gets rave reviews is the Night Watchman tour, where you get to experience the town on foot..led by an in-character Night Watchman, of course.
Shop & Sightsee
Oh my goodness. The Käthe Wohlfahrt Christmas store! This store looks like you’re walking into just a normal little shop.. NOPE! This place is incredible. Rooms and rooms of every size/shape/figure of beautiful Christmas ornaments, figurines and nutcrackers, you could spend an eternity in here. There is even a 13 foot nutcracker! (Pictures prohibited).
When you are all shopped out, the Castle Garden area offers a panoramic view of the Tauber Valley. Wander around and explore! It’s a great place to stop and sit for a snack, soak in the views, and marvel at the face above the gate entrance.
I am certain the gardens outside of this cool looking castle are just amazing in spring and summer time.
At the Castle gate entrance, intruders would get boiling water poured on them from the mouth of the face. Eeek!
If churches are your thing, there are some impressive wood-carved altars in St. Jackob’s church. There is a small fee (a couple of euro) to enter. This money goes towards the maintenance and upkeep of the church.
There is also what is said to be a vial of Christ’s blood in a rock crystal on one of the intricate wood carved altars located towards the rear of the church upstairs.
Before ending your time here, take a picture at the most photographed spot in Rothenburg ODT.
Try the schneeballs (snowballs) when you need to jump start your blood sugar levels with this ball of pastry covered in confectioners’ sugar. If your blood sugar isn’t high enough after the schneeball, you can always grab a pretzel.
We found this restaurant by a recommendation from Rick Steve’s Germany book and also our hotel receptionist. It was a Wednesday and it was English Conversation Club night. It was the highlight of our visit in Rothenburg Ob De Tauber. While the restaurant didn’t open until 6:30pm, we arrived at 6:10pm and at first were skeptical as to whether this was someone’s house or a restaurant. Carmen then greeted us and asked if she could assist us. She wanted to know if we had reservations (we did not), but she was nice enough to take us regardless. We were seated at the long table where the Club was to meet shortly thereafter. With a wood burning fire glowing beside us, our food was incredibly delicious and the Franconian wine wasn’t bad either ;). As the guests filled in, Robert Forrester sat with us and he (from the town of Rothernburg ODT), along with Alex and Frederick, gave us the history lesson of all history lessons.. The three gentlemen were German WWII Vets. They were in their 90s. Robert shared with us his story of being an American POW (prisoner of war) and about his life in general. He was one of the sweetest people you’d ever meet. “Herman the German” another local man is called, is a funny guy himself – don’t forget to talk to him. He will give you his business card, if you are so lucky. 🙂
We shared the rest of our dinner and drinks with a few other locals as well and a couple of visitors who visit Rothenburg ODT regularly (from the U.S.) because they simply love the town.
There are plenty of small, family run hotels here to choose from.
We chose the Hotel Eisenhut.
A former mansion turned hotel, this place had more vintage-cool furniture than an antique shop. The light fixture in the lobby above the desk was a knight’s helmet. Oh, and it’s location is prime. It’s located right beside the Käthy Wohlfahrt Christmas Store! The locals at the Old Franconian Wine Stube got a hoot when they heard we were staying here. They said that it’s the nicest hotel in Rothenburg ODT and one gentleman said that he used to work there when he was younger.
When and if you go to Rothenburg ODT, be sure to tell Robert, Carmen, and Herman the German we said hello. 🙂