Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a picturesque city located in Middle Franconia, in the land of Bayern, Germany. The name of this medieval town derives from its location: “ob der Tauber” literally means above the Tauber. The city is indeed situated on a hill overlooking the Tauber river. If you visit the city, you will be amazed by the colorful houses and its surrounding natural landscapes. Here is a list of experiences you cannot miss when you are in Rothenburg ob der Tauber.
1. Visit the Rathaus
The Rathaus, in English the City Hall, is a building located in the Marktplatz (the Market Square) and one of the most important historical structures of the city. Its original structure has been destroyed by a fire and later rebuilt in the 16th century in a Renaissance style. Only the front of the building has maintained its original Gothic style.
If you wish, you can get inside and visit the interior of the building (though now it’s closed because of Covid-19 restrictions) with all its Renaissance rooms. In particular, the Kaisersaal (the Emperor’s room) is used for multiple theater performances.
A climb up to the Town Hall Tower is also worth the effort. From up there, visitors can enjoy a beautiful panoramic view of the city and the Tauber Valley.
2. Stop at the Kathe Wohlfahrt’s Christmas Shop
If you are looking for the ultimate Christmas shopping experience, you definitely have to stop at the Kathe Wohlfahrt’s Christmas Shop. No matter what time of the year you visit the city, the Kathe Wohlfahrt’s Christmas Shop is open all year around!
This store entirely dedicated to Christmas has a festive and charming atmosphere that enchants all visitors. The store is located on Herrngasse and offers more than 12,000 items: candles, globes, nutcrackers, Christmas trees and many other decorations. And if you really are a Christmas lover, you can even visit the German Christmas Museum right above the store.
3. Taste the Schneeballen
A Schneeball, meaning snowball in English, is a sweet short crust pastry very popular in Rothenburg ob der Tauber. The Schneeballen are round shaped with a diameter of 8/10 centimeters. The main ingredients include flour, eggs, sugar, butter, and sour cream. The dough has to be deep-fried and then covered with powdered sugar. Today there are different variations and flavors: Some recipes include chocolate and nuts, others cinnamon or marzipan.
You can find the Schneeballen in basically all bakeries and cafes around the town.
4. Visiting during Christmas time? Stop at the Christmas market!
Once a year during Christmas time, Rothenburg ob der Tauber becomes a winter wonderland. Expect to find glowing streets and picturesque squares full of suggestive and heart-warming Christmas decorations.
The Christmas Market is part of the city’s tradition since the 15th century and it is usually set up in three main venues: Marktplatz, Grüner Markt, and Kirchplatz. There, you will find a variety of wooden booths selling gadgets, handmade decorations, as well as traditional Christmas pastries and warm mulled wine.
This year, the Christmas market will be organized from November 23, 2020, until January 6, 2021.