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Rothenburg, Germany

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Today we drove and spent the day in the mideval town of Rothenburg on the Tauber river. We got to Old Town Rothenburg around lunch time, it is about a 3 hour drive from Munich and we ran into construction traffic. We had packed a sack lunch, so we picnicked in the card before we headed into the city. You can actually drive in the city walls but it is narrow and cramped so we took advantage of the parking areas outside the gates, and walked into the city, we entered though the big fortified entrances with the large doors. It was like walking back in time, the street are cobblestone and the old city is actually inside the wall, we climbed the wall to be able to see the town and even walked along the top of the wall for a ways looking at the cutouts where they used to stick their candles for light and where the turrets that they fired from. It was really impressive and really high and somewhat narrow. Next after braving the wall we made our way to the market square where there is a Christmas market in full swing. It was really cold so we warmed up with some mulled wine and apple cider for the kids. In the stated they would have served this in Styrofoam cups, however in Germany in these markets they use real mugs and you put down a 1,50 euro deposit down and when you return the cup to the return agent you get your 1,50 euro back. It makes for a very nice experience sipping form a warm steaming mug. Of course to go with it we bought some warm sugar coated macadamia nuts.

From there we wandered the square looking at the booths and decorations until David took me to a store he had been wanting me to see you 10 years, the Chriskindlmarkt. I will be the first to say I was flabbergasted when I walked in, Imagine a good size walmart filled with everything Christmas, from ornaments, lace and table coverings, candles, smoke men, steins, cuckoo clocks, ceramic villages, propellers, trains, and so much more. I really couldn't believe what I was seeing. I have been in many Christmas stores but nothing like this. I definitely need a bigger shopping budget.

Next came our historical walking tour, we went west through the old city and stopped in a gothic Franciscan church along the way the Franziskanerkirche with a former monastery on the other side. This is an example of a very simple church founded in 1309. The church still houses the wooden breasting that separate the former seating for the monks. This area is now used for the choir and separates them from the rest of the congregation. On the walls are faded 14th century paintings depicting Christ's walk to the cross. There are also many gravestones, bronze coats of arms that depict the burial of some of Rothenburg's founding families.

From there we made our way to the park where the old Frankish Castle of the courts of Rothenburg used to stand built around the 1oth century, they think that around 500 years ago an earthquake destroyed the castle but there is no record of it. walking along this wall you can see the valley below where they used to terrace farm and the river running through, you can even get a view of the mayors house. this castle like structure was built in 1388 for mayor Heinrich Toppler. The mayor made the area around the walled fortress safe and it is said that he wanted to prove it so be built his summer house outside  the town walls.

From there we went back trough the wall gates, meandered through the city street a to the criminal history museum but it was already closed. We came to the Weisser turn, which is part of the oldest inner tower fortifications from the 12th century. We continued on to the other side of town to were the entry gates were these gates were they allowed the enemy to enter one section trapping them behind another set of gates and then solider were able to fire from safe turret within the city wall. David and the boys went into these turrets and followed along the top of the wall back around most of the city.

This is a place that we will definitely have to come back to, one day is not enough.

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Germany

Rothenburg on the Tauber

Date taken: 2008 07 02 13:47 Wednesday

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