When the first spiers and bergfrieds appear above the treetops of the Tauber Valley, you have already taken the first step towards traveling back in time to the Middle Ages. Rothenburg ob der Tauber exudes an unforgettable magic and takes visitors on a culinary trip.
If you are looking for romance, you will find it in Rothenburg, if you want to escape the restless present, you will find peace in the shadow of the 42 defiant towers of the wall ring. The first settlement in the Tauber Valley was built in 960, and in 1142 the Imperial Castle was added. In 1274, King Rudolf of Habsburg declared Rotheburg an imperial city.
Holidaymakers can best experience 1,000 years of history on one of the nightly night watchman tours through the winding streets, past ornate half-timbered houses. A must is definitely the St. James Church with the Holy Blood altar. What seems a bit macabre is a real piece of history by carver Tilman Riemenschneider (1460-1531). Themes of the figurative design are the entry into Jerusalem, the last supper and the Mount of Olives. As early as the Middle Ages, crowds made pilgrimages to the Gothic church for this reason.
Strengthened by this, we continue to the Burgarten, from where we have a magnificent view of the old town and the Tauber Valley with the Topplerschlösschen. This was the residence of a famous mayor of the city who died under mysterious circumstances in the dungeons of the town hall. The little castle is furnished with furniture from the 16th to the 19th century and can be visited, but back to the garden: the Reichsburg of Hohenstaufen once stood on the site of today's castle garden, and an earthquake destroyed the complex in 1356.
From there it goes sometimes up, sometimes below the wall ring to the Spitalbastei. The roundabout from the 16th century is the mightiest fortification in the city with two kennels and seven gates. Somewhat hidden there is the hospital manager's house, which looks like a witch's cottage and served as a kitchen for the hospital and as an apartment. Today it is a meeting place for old and young.
A trip through the Tauber Valley beyond the city walls is an option - on foot or by bike. Hiking trails lead around Rothenburg and around to the Frankehöhe. Since various Ways of St. James cross in the area, you are sure to meet one or two pilgrims on the way. A tour on the Taubertal cycle path or the Altmühltal cycle path, both of which have their starting point here, is a good idea with a bike. In the Rothenburg climbing forest, young and old can climb to dizzy heights in the Tauber Valley.