About two weeks ago, my sister surprised me with the news that she was going to come and stay in Wuerzburg for a few days. We do not share many common interests and ever since she told me she was coming I have been thinking about things that we would both enjoy doing together. In order to plan something fun I thought back to my first month in Wuerzburg when I had a lot of time to discover the city and the region for the first time. There are many cute and unique towns around Wuerzburg, but I think one with the most special character (and perhaps the most well known photo spots) is
Rothenburg ob der Tauber, only an hour away by train.
Rothenburg ob der Tauber, also in Franconia, is much smaller than Wuerzburg however it has a long history and enough to see that you can easily spend the whole day there. Once you take the train from the main station in Wuerzburg (directly opposite Babelfish Hostel) and arrive in Rothenburg there is definitely a slight feeling of entering another world. The buildings have been well preserved and are quite grand for what is now in Germany considered a small town; this is because Rothenburg was once a â€˜Free Imperial Cityâ€™ until the 19th century and at one time was one of the largest cities in the Holy Roman Empire.
In my opinion, being in Rothenburg can feel like being on a film set, and after taking the walking tour around the city (I highly recommend it but make sure you bring good shoes!) I found out that Rothenburg has actually been used in many films either as a setting or inspiration. For Harry Potter fans you can catch glimpses of it in the last two films, and according to our guide, Walt Disney was also inspired by Rothenburg before he made Pinocchio in 1940.
Rothenburg is such an easy place to walk around, mostly because the medieval walls are still mostly in tact and as long as you follow them you will never get very lost. Our walking tour led us to one end of the town where there is a public park on the grounds of the former Staufer Castle, and from there we had a view of the Southern side, where the hospital was built in the 14th century. A view of a hospital may sound grim, but in Rothenburg, surrounded by vineyards in typical Franconian style, it was very picturesque. We continued walking around the walls, it's not difficult to imagine various battles taking place there, especially climbing up into the gatehouses where even the locals were punished if they arrived back after the gates had shut! In the end we passed by the
Medieval Crime and Justice Museum (clearly marked by a witch-dunking stool outside) and arrived at quite a contrasting view of the pastel coloured main street of Rothenburg, where the tour ended.
The main street of Rothenburg contains mostly bakeries, however bakeries are never a bad sight, especially where the town specialty is
schneeballen (snow balls). To be honest I had thought schneeballen was German for snow globes, so I didnâ€™t really have it that high on my list of things to see in Rothenburg, however they are actually balls of deep fried dough â€“ and if youâ€™re anything like me that description is attractive enough! Schneeballen are traditionally covered in glaze or icing sugar so they look like snowballs (or snow globes, according to my level of Germanâ€¦) but I have also seen them covered in chocolate, cinnamon and strawberry glazes. With a delicacy named after snowballs it may be no surprise that Rothenburg has famous Christmas markets, and a
Christmas Museum, both of which Iâ€™m definitely planning to visit as soon as December arrives. Luckily since Christmas is coming I am happy to see the schneeballen appearing in local bakeries in Wuerzburg so I can finally try the rest of the flavours without hopping on a train.
Until next time!
Zuletzt geändert am: Dec 01 2017 um 3:57 PM
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