The Rathaus or Town Hall is among the most beautiful buildings in Rothenburg. The rear Gothic part of the building dates from 1250. The attached front Renaissance building was started in 1572.
This building served as the seat of government for the city-state during the medieval ages and for the city of Rothenburg since the formation of the federalist government.
The Master Builder's House (das Baumeisterhaus) is located in the "Obere Schmiedgasse" near the market square.
It is probably Rothenburg's loveliest patrician residence.
It was built in 1596 for the city's Master Builder and demonstrates both the wealth and tastefully cultivated lifestyle of the time.
With its richly ornamented facade, it is one of the most beautiful patrician houses of the city. Dragon-shaped volutes soften the rigidity of the terraced gable. The lintels of the two upper stories show alternating depictions of the seven virtues and the seven vices, such as Kindness alternating with Gluttony, and Motherliness with Fraud.
The best stretch of the Wall to walk is from the massive 16th-century Spitaltor (go through the Siebersturm to the southern tip of the Spitalgasse) to the Klingentor (Klingen Tower).
This takes about a half-hour if you don't stop.
It offers excellent views and photographic opportunities.
The Feuerleinserker - one of the city's quaintest oriel windows is located in the Klingengasse. It was constructed around the year 1600.
The Klingentor (Klingen Tower) was completed around 1400. It is located at the northern tip of the Wall.
The north wall of Rothenburg connects Klingen Tower and Gate on the West with Galgen Tower and Gate (14 century) on the East.
Each tower provides steps up to the top of the wall. In medieval times, public executions took place just outside GalgenTor (Gallows Gate) in front of the tower. The fortifications in St. Wolfgang's Church (circa 1475) within the Klingen Gate are open to the public 10 am -12 noon and 2-6 pm (Easter to October).
You can watch my high resolution photo of Rothenburg ob der Tauber on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 49° 22' 47.49" N 10° 10' 35.92" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Klingen-gasse.
This is what makes Rothenburg ob der Tauber so unique - it still has the old, medieval town-walls and you may even freely walk around the town that way - free of charge, at any time, day and night.
Still today the centre of Rothenburg may be entered through one of the several gates only..
Today the main trafic stays outside, a great parking-system provides plenty of parkings outside the walls - just follow the signs...
In case that your hotel is inside the city-wall, you better check on their homepage for the perfect street to take in order to get there !
The City Councillors' Tavern (1446) (die Ratstrinkstube) - is indeed one of the most famous buildings in Rothenburg.
Especially noteworthy are the various clocks. The main clock was installed in 1683.
The two windows located to the right and left of the town clock open every hour between 11.00 a.m. and 03.00 p.m. and between 08.00 p.m. and 10.00 p.m. to show the legendary "Master Draught" (der Meistertrunk).
“This legend goes back to the year 1631 in the midst of the Thirty Years War when Catholic troops attacked and occupied Protestant Rothenburg. The Catholic general, Tilly, threatened to plunder and destroy the city. On a whim he promised to spare the town from destruction if a Councillor could manage to empty an enormous tankard containing 3 1/4 litres of wine in one draught. The former mayor, Nusch, accomplished this task and by doing so saved his city."
Today this building houses the Tourist Office.
Herrn-gasse in one of the most beautiful streets in Rothenburg. At the end of Herrngasse (Gothic and Renaissance patrician houses) can be seen the town's most beautiful fountain, the Herterich- or St-Georgs-Brunnen (1608).
Farther along the street is the Early Gothic Franciscan Church (fine grave-slabs).
The Herrngasse ends at the Burgtor beside which is the Figurentheater.
The "Jagstheimer House" was built in 1488 for Mayor Jagstheimer. It is located next to the Meat and Dance house on the southern end of the market square. Now it is occupied by the Marienapotheke.
Emperor Maximilian I, the most prominent of the numerous noble guests, stayed here in 1513. The house has a decorative half-timbered gable with a picturesque oriel and a scenic courtyard containing richly ornamented gallery balustrades.
Now privately owned, it is one of Rothenburg's most beautiful patrician houses.
Ploenlein is a small square, where most of the tourists take photos, simply because this is the view you may find on almost every book and postcard about Rothenburg ob der Tauber.
You may get to this place, when you walk down Untere Schmiedgasse from Marktplatz. After about 300 meters you arrive there and may see "Sieberturm" / the old tower on the left of my picture.
From Plönlein another small street (Muehlackersteig) is going down to another old towngate (Kobolzeller Tor), on the right of my picture.
The townhall / Rathaus of Rothenburg ob der Tauber consists of 2 different buildings : The white part, dating back to the Gothic, with the high tower, that offers a great panorama-view for sporty, slim or at least VT-addicted tourists ( read more about this under "Warnings")
The other part of the townhall dates back to the Renaissance and when you intend to climb up the tower of the gothic part, you have to start at the middle-tower of the Renaissance townhall and walk through the roofs of it, before you will get to the panorama-platform.
The tower is open daily 09.30a.m.-12.30noon and 01.00p.m.-05.00p.m.
The entrance-fee is 1 Euro / o,50 Euros for children
The Markus and White Towers (circa 1172) are the gates to the original twelfth century Rothenburg.
Next to the White Tower, you will find the medieval Jewish Dance Hall. The small adjacent garden has ancient Jewish gravestones built into the stone wall.
The Tourist Information Center (Tourismus) is located at Marktplatz 2 in the RATSTRINKSTUBE or Council Tavern building. Here you can get information and brochures about Rothenburg, make room reservations and arrange guided tours.
I went in and got some real nice brochures about the town. They also had a computer where you can access information about Rothenburg.
A series of Walls and Towers defended the city over the ages. The Inner Wall, built prior to the 13th century still remains. Stairwells ascend to the top of the Wall at intervals and the entire Wall can be walked with 3.5 kilometres of covered walkway. Hans and I didn't walk the whole walkway, but we did part of it. We ascended on the stairway which is located to the left of the Roder Tower. From there you can see the Old Forge and many other wonderful views.
The protestant church of St. Jakob is another important sight in the very centre of Rothenburg ob der Tauber. This gothic church dates back to the year 1311 and its construction was'nt finished before the year 1471.
You may enter the church during the day against a small entrance-fee:
The church is open for visitors :
at workingdays : 09.00a.m. - 05.30p.m.
and at sundays : 10.30a.m. - 05.30 p.m.
Photography inside the church is NO problem !!
Entrance-fee is 1,50 Euros / 0,50 Euros for students
Ratstrinkstube is the name of this lovely building on Marktplatz, dating back to the year 1446. In 1683 a special clock was added and each hour on the hour between 11.00a.m. and 03.00p.m. and at 09.00+10.00p.m. that clock shows a scence of the "Meistertrunk"
The ledgend of "Meistertrunk" dates back to the year 1631, when the lord mayor of Rothenburg , Nusch, was able to drink a jug with 3 litres of wine in one draught. That way he saved the town of beeing burned down by the troops of the emperor.