After hearing wonderful things about Rothenberg ob der Tauber, we decided to take the train to see the “fairytale” town for ourselves. It is located on the Romantic Road in Bavaria and should be on anyone’s “first time to Germany” travel list.
The town was as pretty as I hoped it would be as a wonderful example of a well-preserved medieval city. It only suffered a bit of damage during World War II in the northeast, so most of what you see is “real.” The old wall still surrounds Rothenberg, and you can walk along it to take in views that overlook the city.
Everywhere we turned was picture perfect.
Upon our arrival through one of the old town gates, we found out the annual Imperial City Festival was taking place. It celebrates the years Rothenberg spent as a free Imperial City from 1274-1803. Hundreds of people were dressed up taking their parts as knights, peasants, town pipers, and other kinds of historical people. There were different camps set up, each representing a different time in history. In the afternoon, it seemed everywhere we turned, we ran into a parade of costumed characters.
The festival celebrations helped add to the city’s historical ambience, and I was happy to unexpectedly witness it. There was so much activity and liveliness taking place. In fact, it was the one night a year that Rothenberg sets off fireworks. It was a lucky coincidence that we chose this weekend to be there.
In the evening, we took the recommended Night Watchman’s tour and learned more about the city and its history.
Afterwards, we headed outside the walls of the city, down to the fireworks celebration with the locals. We ooo-ed and ahhh-ed along with them about the fireworks and together about the lovely day we had just had enjoying the festival and atmosphere of Rothenberg.