Rothenburg ob der Tauber Photo Gallery

Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a quaint little town of narrow cobblestone streets and many day trippers. It has a long history going back to medieval times, with the Hapsburgs designating it as a free imperial city in the 13th century. Getting here by train is by no means easy, requiring 2 changes along the way. The train station is near the old town, which still has its defensive walls intact.

Although it is possible to visit this town in a day, I wanted to experience the local Christmas market as well, so opted to stay for the night. The crowds did not dissipate at sunset either. They were after the market as well.

Markus Tower is inside the current town wall and formed part of the first fortification in the 13th century.

City Hall has a small observation deck that offers a great view of the town. Space is limited so there is a maximum number of people who can visit at the same time. I rushed to be the first group to head up after their lunch break.

It was well worth the nominal admission fee and long climb.

The river valley descends below the town, which is surrounded by a protective wall. The natural setting is quite beautiful.

Most tourists seemed to congregate around the Christmas market squares. There weren't many people exploring streets at random like I was.

Unfortunately, not all watch towers could be climbed.

After visiting Nuremberg, Munich, and Regensburg's Christmas markets, this one looked a bit similar. But the atmosphere is just as lively and since the town squares are smaller, it felt a bit more cozy.

Many storefronts had beautiful displays of Christmas characters.

Like the ones I saw in Nuremberg, these wooden creations are not expensive and presumably locally-made.

These are schneeballs and are a local speciality. They looked excessively large and too sweet, but the arrangements are eye-catching and ingenious from a marketing standpoint.

This particular store was featured in my guidebook selling all sorts of meat products. The curry bradwurst here was a wonderful breakfast.

The castle once stood here but was destroyed by an earthquake in the 14th century. The Burggarten now offers a good free view of the fortifications and natural setting. The Tauber flows and snakes around below.

The weather was surprisingly warm and dry, with no snow at all. Sunset brought more chilly winds but it was great to watch the night arrive with a cup of hot wine on hand.

The winter sun rises quite late - past 8pm, and the streets were deserted at this time of day.

The last set of gates at the Spital bastion make up a strong set of fortifications from the 17th century.

It is possible to walk along part of the town walls, which are well-maintained and offer good views.

Peek above the streets and into people's homes.

Watch out for carriages.

Before leaving, I peeked into a few more churches. After visiting so many European cities, especially Rome, I have been desensitized by church architecture.

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