Rothenburg ob der Tauber (map). It is well known for its well-preserved medieval old town, a destination for tourists from around the world. It is part of the popular Romantic Road through southern Germany.
Much of the eastern portion of Rothenburg was destroyed or damaged in World War II and was later restored. The older western section from which the medieval town originated and contains most of the town’s historic monuments, did not suffer from the bombing. Thus, most of the buildings in the west and the south of Rothenburg still exist today in their original medieval or prewar state.
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The Rathaus (town hall, map) is a notable renaissance building. The rear Gothic part of the building dates from 1250, and the attached front Renaissance building was started in 1572.
St. James’s Church (map). The church was built between 1311-1484.
While buildings within the walled city reflect the city’s medieval history, this part of the city is in many ways a normal, modern German town with some concession to the tourist trade. Many stores and hotels catering to tourists are clustered around the Town Hall Square (map) and along several major streets (such as Herrngasse, Schmiedgasse).
Also in the town is a Criminal Museum (map), gives an insight into judicial punishment over the last 1000 years. Exhibits include instruments of torture, shrew’s fiddles, scold’s bridles, medieval legal texts, and guidance on witch trials. RothenburgMuseum (map) with the municipal collections and a weapon collection.
Christmas Museum (Weihnachtsmuseum “Käthe Wohlfahrt”, map). Käthe Wohlfahrt is a German company that sells Christmas decorations and articles. Its head office is in Rothenburg ob der Tauber. According to the tourism site for the state of Bavaria, “the unique Christmas store with more than 30,000 traditional German Christmas decorations … has attracted millions of tourists from all over the world.”
From Rothenburg ob der Tauber you can start a popular bicycle tour by the “Lovely Tauber valley” (also “Charming Tauber valley”, wiki), about Weikersheim, Bad Mergentheim, Lauda and Tauberbischofsheim, till you reach just 100 km from Wertheim. Recommended daily stages of the route “Charming Tauber Valley (Classic)”