Home Inspiration Next stop: Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Next stop: Rothenburg ob der Tauber

The magic of the old town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Let yourself be enchanted by the historical flair of the old town on a walk through Rothenburg: The town center attracts its visitors:inside with narrow half-timbered houses and numerous towers like from a fairy tale.

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Next stop: enchanted! A walk through the old town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber is like a little journey through a storybook. The medieval town center with its narrow half-timbered houses, winding alleys and small oriels and turrets is for many the epitome of historic Germany.

On the tower path around the city

An ideal start for your city tour through Rothenburg is the Rothenburger Turmweg. This leads you about four kilometers along the city wall around the old town. On your tour along the Turmweg, you will pass numerous information boards that provide you with information about the towers of the city wall and the sights. For those who are particularly interested, a brochure with further information on the 22 stations of the Rotheburg Tower Trail is available at the tourist information office on the market square. It is best to start your tour at the Rödertor, one of the five main gates of the outer city fortifications, which is only about an eight-minute walk from the train station. Some of the city's towers are open to visitors:inside, and the city wall itself can be walked on in some places. From up there, the view of the city's 42 towers is best enjoyed.

On Pinocchio's tracks in Middle Franconia

A detour from the tour around the city wall is especially worthwhile near the Kobolzell tower. Not far in front of it, you will encounter the actual landmark of the Middle Franconian town of Rothenburg - the Plönlein. Even Walt Disney's cartoonists were impressed by the architecture of the narrow half-timbered house: Thus, the Plönlein served as a model for the birthplace of the famous children's book character Pinocchio and is one of the most photographed landmarks of the historic town.

Experience the dark sides of the Middle Ages

Eerie and educational at the same time, the tour continues through Rothenburg's old town. Just a two-minute walk from the Plönlein, parallel to the city wall to the north, is Rothenburg's Medieval Criminal Museum, Europe's largest museum of legal studies. In addition to a collection of various masks of shame, stretching benches and other torture devices, there is also an iron maiden to marvel at. The museum does not play with shock effects, but fulfills its educational claim as a legal museum and pays attention to a child-friendly presentation. After the museum visit, you can continue your walk along the Rothenburg Tower Path in the direction of the castle gate. For a little refreshment with coffee and cake, we recommend a short detour across the market square to Walter Friedel's traditional café. For those with a sweet tooth, the café has its original Rothenburg snowballs and Tauberkugeln, small praline-like treats.

Christmas all year round

If you still have time and feel like making another stop, just a 3-minute walk from the Kriminalmuseum you'll find another museum like no other. In the German Christmas Museum, it's Christmas Eve all year round. Here, the origin and development of Christmas customs in Germany are made vivid for visitors through numerous exhibits. In the house next door, Käthe Wohlfahrts Christmas Village is a great place to pick up a souvenir or two for friends and family. Directly in front of the traditional store, oversized nutcracker figures and a red historical bus with presents invite visitors to take a photo stop.

Enchanted Romance and Nature - The Castle Garden

Whether you've followed the Tower Trail on your excursion so far, or you've taken a direct stroll through the Middle Franconian town, the Castle Garden at the town's exit at the castle gate provides the ideal backdrop for a short break. The garden on the former castle grounds invites you to linger in a romantic atmosphere and makes photographers' hearts beat faster. The centerpiece of the grounds is the small figurine garden, whose arrangement symbolizes the seasons and the four elements. Finally, stop at the nearby Zur Höll tavern and reflect on the eventful day over a hearty meal and a good glass of wine or a refreshing apple spritzer before heading back to the train station.

You can reach the station in about 15 minutes on foot by following Burggasse and the Alter Keller to the east until you reach Rödergasse. There you turn right towards the Rödertor, where you started your tour around the old town. From there, follow Ansbacher Straße to Bahnhofstraße and follow this for another 200 meters or so to the train station, from where you can start your return journey full of impressions in your luggage. Bet that you are definitely enchanted after a visit to the romantic Rothenburg?