Rothenburg Christmas Market
There is a city in Germany where Christmas can be experienced all year long - Rothenburg ob der Tauber on the Romantic Road in Bavaria. Rothenburg is also home to one of the most romantic Christmas markets in Germany.
Known for its medieval setting, Rothenburg is a walled city that has been left largely untouched for hundreds of years. Some complain of the Disney-like feel of the city, whose unspoiled beauty fills the city’s cobblestone streets with visitors during the holidays.
Visiting Rothenburg ob der Tauber is like stepping into a time warp. The town boasts some of the most impressive medieval architecture in Europe, and citizens fight tooth and nail to keep developers outside of the city walls.
Its medieval stage is home to the annual “Reiterlesmarkt,” the Rothenburg Christmas Market named after a local Teutonic legend, which began during pre-Christian times as the story of a horrid rider who carried the souls of the dead. As Christianity swept through Europe, the figure developed from a wild man into a loving, gentle man who gave gifts to all people on earth.
While Christmas decorations can be bought all year long in Rothenburg, the Christmas holidays are a special time to view the city and the market in its illuminated splendour.
A local specialty that shouldn’t be missed is the "Schneeball" or snow ball, made from strips of sweet dough fried and covered with powdered sugar or chocolate. Rothenburg ob der Tauber is also home to the German Christmas Museum.
To complement this winter fairytale, a varied programme of entertainment runs until the
new year. Also, don’t miss a visit to the allyear-round Christmas Museum.
Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a medieval extravaganza which takes the visitor effortlessly back in time. It stands today exactly as it had in the 11th century, it's steep-roofed gabled houses, balconies, soaring spires and narrow cobble streets still remain. The city's imposing gateway, towers and city walls never fail to impress.
The town walls with their battlements and mighty bastions form a protective circle around the precious relics of bygone ages. The Spitalbastei at the southern gate is particularly impressive. Its towers are not the only outstanding feature of St. James's Church; the interior is equally impressive, with three altars by Tilman Riemenschneider, the renowned woodcarver.
An other star attraction for Rothenburg is the Crime Museum where visitors can see historical objects relating to the law, instruments of torture, drawings, documents and seals dating back seven centuries.
On a lighter note the Christmas Museum illustrates the history of traditional German family Christmas celebrations and the Doll and Toy Museum features the history of playthings.