ROTHENBURG, the Most German of German Towns

h Rothenburg 13Do you remember how I thought that Tallinn was the most whimsical place ever? Well, Tallinn has nothing on Rothenburg, which should be in the running for the title of “Real Life Town That Looks the Most like It Just Dropped Out of a Disney Fairy Tale.”

Rothenburg ob der Tauber (which means “Red fortress above the Tauber River”) is a medieval town, more than a thousand years old, with a population of just about 10 thousand people, located on Germany’s popular and picturesque Romantic Road, in the north-western corner of Bavaria – but don’t call the Rothenburgians Bavarians, or you will get punched in the face, according to The German.panorama Rothenburg

Rothenburg is known for two things: being really beautiful and really German. So much so, that the Nazis considered it THE ideal community of the Third Reich, and organized regular day trips to Rothenburg, this “most German of German towns,” from all over Germany.

Here are some other words I would use to describe Rothenburg: fun, colorful, quaint, charming, old, magical, bucolic, adorable, bright, pretty, delightful, romantic and in some spots – almost Mediterranean. I wanted to take photos of LITERALLY every single building, flower box, watch tower, store sign and street corner. I kind of almost did.

Rothenburg SnowballRothenburg is obviously touristy, but surprisingly not stuffed to the gills with tourists, even on a warm (ok, crazy-hot) summer Sunday – possibly because it’s over 2 hours away by car or bus from either Frankfurt or Munich. It really is a lovely day trip destination, ideal for hours of historical and architectural sightseeing, tasting local specialties (such as the Rothenburger Schneeballen, or Snowball pastry, rolled from strips of shortcrust dough made with plum schnapps), or shopping for regional crafts. But I’m saving that for the next chapter…For now, just enjoy Germany at its most whimsical:

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26 thoughts on “ROTHENBURG, the Most German of German Towns

    • You’d think so, but the town is actually totally relaxed about all that ‘twee.’ It all just works – like you really HAVE been transported to a medieval fairy tale (w/o the plague and murdering witches), as opposed to just a Disney sound stage. I couldnt get enought!

  1. Love Rothenburg. My husband’s family is from Dinkelsbuhl, which is a sister-city only about 40 kilometers away. It’s just as much of a fairy-tale setting as Rothenburg. If you can visit during July, you should check out their Kinderzeche festival in which the whole town is on holiday and most people are dressed up in costume celebrating the town’s salvation from the marauding Swedes of the Thirty Year’s War!

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  4. This city is stunning!! I need to go there asap. I can’t believe I have never been there even though I live in Munich for over 3 years… shame on me really! I need to make it as a priority!
    Your pictures are awesome ❤

  5. Pingback: BEING BAVARIAN IN MUNICH | Home & Away

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