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A day to Rothenburg and then to Schönbrunn


Home -> Europe -> Germany -> Travelogue Germany -> 21 & 22 September 2012

Friday 21 September, a day to Rothenburg and then to Schönbrunn

Last winter we bought a cheap trip to Germany with an auction, 4 nights for € 46. But we were so busy that we lost sight of the latest date and the holiday was gone ... In recent years, we have not been away together too often because we also spend two or three times a year for a week or more with our granddaughter Esmëe and we have little time for other trips. We have not even been to Scotland this year where we usually go every year. So we thought at the end of the summer that we had to go on a trip and booked a house for a week at Schönbrunn in Thuringen
City gate Rothenburg ob der Tauber Rothenburg ob der TauerBut we have booked an extra night in a hotel in Rothenburg ob der Tauer. We once had a short visit here and found the town so beautiful that we wanted to see more of it. It is located on the so-called Romantic Street, a popular tourist route through Germany, 385 kilometers long, passing through beautiful towns and nice landscapes. There are also routes for cyclists and hikers. We drive directly from home to Rothenburg, about 635 kilometers, and we arrive at the end of the afternoon.
The city is completely walled in and as soon as you enter one of the gates you feel like you were in the Middle Ages.
Square in Rothenburg ob der Tauer Art exhibition Rothenburg ob der TauerAround the year 1000 a castle was built here and soon a village grew around it that got city rights in the 13th century. Most of the current city was built in the Middle Ages except for the eastern part that was bombed at the end of the 2nd World War in 1945. Most monuments, however, were spared and the destroyed buildings were completely rebuilt in the old styles.

Characteristic are the many half-timbered houses where you can see the beams that were used for the construction and were filled with loam or other building materials. Often this happened in areas where it was hard to get to stone or where stone building materials were too expensive. The beams are sometimes black-tarred or dark-painted so they stand out extra.
Market square Rothenburg ob der Tauer Center of Rothenburg ob der TauerIn the 19th century, Rothenburg ob der Tauer was an example of old-German architecture and tourism was already under way, especially thanks to the paintings of Romantic painters who loved the town. It is nowadays one of the most visited towns in Thuringen. With only 10,000 inhabitants it is more a big village than a town.
The center is quite compact but it is still large enough to wander around the squares and medieval streets for hours. It is a pity that the center was not made car-free, that would make the atmosphere even better. Around the market square you will find the most historic buildings.
View from our hotel, Rothenburg ob der Tauer City walls Rothenburg ob der TauerWe walk around for a while and then look for a restaurant to eat something. And then we go to our hotel because tomorrow we do not have to drive that far and we can spend more time in Rohhenburg.
After a good night's sleep and a nice breakfast, we first climb the city walls. There is an inner and outer ring wall and you can walk them from gate to gate. The walls were partly damaged in the 2nd World War but have been completely restored.
Gateway Rothenburg ob der Tauer Sieberstower, Rothenburg ob der TauerAt each gate you can walk up a staircase and then walk around a narrow balustrade. In the walls facing the outside there are peepholes. The walls have been restored thanks to donations from all over the world and everyone who has contributed money has received a plaque somewhere in the wall as a thank-you.
In fact, every building in the center is a monument and certainly also the gates and towers that are all different. On rothenburg.de you can find some nice informative videos about a number of towers. The tower on the right, the Kobolzeller or Siebertor, is one of the most photographed spots in the city.
Half-timbered house Rothenburg ob der Tauer Half-timbered house Rothenburg ob der TauerĚt takes us quite some time to walk all the city walls and occasionally a museum visit because there are several museums, such as the medieval crime museum where much information and many objects from the past can be seen that have to do with crime like many medieval torture instruments. Awful things but also fascinating to see how people were able (and still are) to hurt each other so much.
Rothenburg ob der Tauer knows how to use its historical charisma and there are also held two medieval festivals every year with real knights and markets.
Jagstheimerhaus, Half-timbered house Rothenburg ob der Tauer Market square Rothenburg ob der TauerA black page in the history of the town is the violent expulsion of the Jewish community from Rothenburg, before the infamous Kristallnacht. However, it was not the first time, in 1520 Jews were forbidden to enter the city and those who lived there had to flee. More information can be found in the Reichstadtmuseum.
In 2013, in all buildings where Jews lived in 1938, a plaque was bricked in with the names of those in memory.
Terrace in Rothenburg ob der TauerIn the course of the afternoon we look for a terrace. It is not very warm but nice enough to sit outside. We could walk around for hours on end through this fascinating town with its beautiful buildings but for today we have seen enough and we have to drive another 200 kilometers to Schönbronn near the Thuringian Wald and Schleusegrund.
Our cottage in Schönbrunn Read outside for a whileIt is quite a search for the house of the owners where we can pick up the key but in the end we are kindly welcomed by a somewhat older couple. We get a tour of the whole house that is built against a mountain slope. It is very spacious for the tow of us and we have a beautiful view of the area. I can even sit outside reading for a while.
When we want to put on the heating we realise that vwe didn't pay enough attention to the explanation of the owner and it is a complete different systen than we are used to. So I have to get the owner to get it started, but in the end we are in a nice warm house.

 


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