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Topplerschlösschen: Possibly the smallest castle in the world

The "Topplerschlösschen" is just one of many medieval sites in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, a small town in Middle Franconia.

The small town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber attracts visitors from around the world. Anyone who visits is fascinated by this medieval old town, which resembles a setting from a fairytale. You enter the town through a gate, which leads you into a maze of crooked alleys, lined with spectacularly restored half-timbered houses. All this is surrounded by a city wall, which you can also walk along. The bizarre Topplerschlösschen lies to the west of the old town in the Tauber valley. At first glance, it looks like a small house balanced on top of a fortified tower. It was built in 1388 and had two primary functions: firstly, it was Rothenburg's fortified tower, and secondly, it was the residence of the mayor, Heinrich Toppler. Today, it has been furnished with historic pieces from the 16th to 19th Centuries.

You can visit the castle by appointment (tel.: 0049 09861 7358) on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays between 13:00 and 16:00 (admission is EUR 1.50). The castle is closed in November.

After a final stroll through the shops in the old town, why not refuel with a regional Franconian Bratwurst served with cabbage (from EUR 4.30) in the restaurant Gasthof Rödertor.

Directions: Take the train to Rothenburg ob der Tauber station. The Topplerschlösschen is a 25-minute walk from the station, and is situated in the Tauber valley on the western edge of the old town. At the station turn left down Bahnhofstraße and then turn right down Ansbacher Straße. Continue down this street, through the Rödertor gate and down Rödergasse to the Marktplatz, then straight on down Herrngasse. Once you're through the town gate, turn right towards the Tauber valley along the row of trees. After 100 metres, take the sharp left-hand turn through the woods, across the Tauber river and then turn left to arrive at the Topplerschlösschen.

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