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Rothenberg ob der Tauber is one of the best preserved medieval walled towns in Germany and it knows it!
From Nördlingen we continued along the romantic road and tried to visit Dinkelsbühl but the road was closed so we continued to Rothenberg ob der Tauber which was to be our penultimate stop of the day anyway.
We parked outside the town walls and we were delighted to find that the trees in the carpark were all apple and pear trees in fruit. We picked enough apples for one each and a couple to spare and wandered through the town gate. The apples were incredibly delicious.
As always we searched immediately for a public toilet and we were amazed to find a clean and free public toilet near the gate, at the site of the original Jewish cemetery (no longer exists).
Our next need was lunch but the prices were high and the presence of multiple languages on the menus put us off so we kept walking until we found ab excellent sausage shop and bought hot sausages on fresh bread rolls for lunch from there.
Our children loved the shops selling weapons, armour and toys. Our son looked for a while at a steel girdle with a steel penis gourd and asked me what it was for. He then went to a suit of knight’s armour and checked if it was wearing one. Fortunately they didn’t ask why the handcuffs had feathers on them or what the chastity belt was for. I’m pretty open to answering questions and being honest but that’s a bit advanced.
I stopped to buy a red felt skirt while my family continued on to berggarten (castle gardens). It’s a handmade skirt made in Rothenberg and it’s beautiful but I did wonder what source of cheap labour they have access to.
Berggarten outside the town walls is a lovely place to step out of the open air museum that is Rothenberg. I enjoyed looking at the view of the beautiful medieval town more than we enjoyed being in the town with the large tour groups.
The gardens have a memorial chapel built using stones from the original castle. The memorial is to the massacre of the Jews of Rothenberg in 1298. It’s a particularly gruesome episode in a dark history.
Rothenberg is a charming and incredibly well preserved town. It was a pleasure to walk through an open air museum of medieval Germany like this but it was shocking to be surrounded by dozens of tourists on guided tours, something that we haven’t encountered in our travels recently and enough to make us hanker for the authenticity that comes in less famous towns, like Günzburg.