A stunning village is capturing people’s attention after visitors all agreed on one thing – it must be on every list of the world’s prettiest. The beautifully preserved village is a must-visit for those who love magical escapes that are oozing with history and traditional architecture.
Packed full of half-timbered houses that line its many majestic cobblestone streets, this German village is a hugely popular getaway for those in Central Europe.
Rothenburg ob der Tauber – which translates as Red Castle above the (River) Tauber – is nestled within the historic state of Bavaria, not too far from Munich, Nuremberg and Frankfurt.
Steeped in history, the village has been around for more than a thousand years – since the 9th Century – mainly as an imperial city of the Holy Roman Empire.
After about 1803, Napoleon grabbed it and made it part of Bavaria.
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Visitors are urged to do a number of things – not least strolling along its still-intact city walls in the Old Quarter. You can also nip to the old town’s bustling main square – Marktplatz – for a wonderful atmosphere where there is a mixture of architectural and historical gems.
Among these include the Gothic Town Hall, beneath which you can venture down to the chillingly preserved medieval dungeons.
Rothenburg ob der Tauber’s remarkable Renaissance-style tower is also a must-see (and must-do) as you can clamber to the top of its 220-step staircase for unrivalled birds-eye views of the town.
Oddly, there is a Ratstrinkstube – also known as the Councillor’s Tavern – which has a well-known clock face depicting the former legendary mayor who supposedly saved the village during the Thirty Years War by agreeing to chug a tankard of wine.
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The village is full of beautiful food in winter, such as its gorgeous Gluhwein which fills the air, matched perfectly with hot roasted chestnuts.
It’s nigh on impossible to get lost – just pick a direction and wander – you’ll always find something interesting.
The main photo stop in the village has a famous literature and film link – the crooked yellow house next to the bell tower is supposedly the inspiration for Geppetto’s home in Walt Disney’s Pinocchio.
Rothenburg ob der Tauber is part of the Romantic Road trail – a 460km route between southern Germany’s most magical small towns – including the (literally) sparkling village of Nordlingen, as well as the famous Neuschwanstein with its iconic, Disney-inspiring castle.
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