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The all-year round Santa Claus from Rothenburg

Rothenburg ob der Tauber Rothenburg ob der Tauber Creative Common BY-ND

On the favourite holiday trail of Germans there is an exceptional, but small town. It’s Rothenburg ob der Tauber, where the Middle Ages still hadn’t passed, and the wine is counted in gallons.

Europe is called the Old Continent not without reason. Many cities boast with their wealth of monuments of the most beautiful architectural eras. A great example is Rothenburg ob der Tauber, a Bavarian pearl, having an exceptionally large number of the Middle Ages monuments. The city is a global phenomenon in this respect.

Rothenburg is situated on the river Tauber, about 30 km from the city of Ansbach. It is an ideal place for the lovers of the Middle Ages’ architecture, as the monuments situated there have preserved in a very good condition. When we add the unique atmosphere of cobblestone streets and huts with steep roofs, image of a fairytale town where time has stopped long ago emerges. Despite the bustle in virtually every corner of Rothenburg we will feel the breath of history.

The perfection of the German town

Rothenburg has not always enjoyed such great popularity as today. It was made famous by artists of the Romantic era, who saw its charm and found it to be the closest to a perfect German town.

Sightseeing of the Bavarian tourist pearl is best started from the centre, where some Gothic churches with impressive towers are situated. Visitors' will, no doubt, be attracted to the elaborate Kirche St. Wolfgang (A church of the Saint Wolfgang, the patron of shepherds) or St. Jakobskirche ( A church of Saint Jacob ) with a beautiful bas-relief depicting Christ and the sleeping apostles.

Käthe Wohlfahrt - the largest Christmas store in the world

Although the Christmas holidays are further rather than closer, their subject was introduced not without reason. Käthe Wohlfahrt is situated precisely in Rothenburg and is an open all-year-round, largest in the world Christmas store. Nothing stands in the way to visit it even in the middle of the holiday - who knows; maybe the sight of Santa Claus and snow covering the shop’s trees (never mind it being artificial) will bring us relief from the scorching heat of summer?

The power of family holidays can be felt here most in December, when the market is filled with colourful candy stands. But all-year-round there is always something interesting happening here- after all, Rothenburg has been placed on the most popular German holiday route, referring to the Romantic Route that stretches from the Alps to Würzburg, on Main. The tourists visiting the city have plenty of opportunities to get acquainted with the local folklore. The fairs and festivals enjoy a large popularity, with particular emphasis on Der Meistertrunk, or the Celebration of the town’s Bailout, during which the inhabitants wear ancient costumes.

The mentioned festival involves an interesting legend. During the Thirty Years' War Rothenburg was occupied by Earl Tilly, who planned to burn it. When municipal councilmen gave him a gallon of wine, he announced that he would spare the city, if there was someone who would drink the liquor during the trills of a mechanical lark on the clock tower. The Mayor answered the unusual challenge and managed to drink the entire contents of the vessel (almost 4 litres). The Astonished Earl spared the city. You can jokingly say that during the celebration of the annual festival many try, even in a small extent, to match the Mayor.

Where to stay?

To devote sufficient attention to town’s attractions, it is best to spend there at least one day and hence, to look around for some accommodation. One of the proposals for the tourists may be the Tauberromantik Camping, situated in the suburbs. An adult will pay 5.50-6 Euros per day, and Camper spot costs 7.20-8 euro / day. You can come here with the dog (1.80 Euros per day).

In Rothenburg everyone will find something for themselves, not just a lover of the Middle Ages. After meeting with the history, you can pay a visit to one of the many restaurants and familiarize yourself with the extensive menu of Bavarian cuisine.

Translation: Barbara Mikołajczyk

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