Rothenburg ob de Tauber is in the northern part of the Romantic Road; an area in Bavaria that stretches from Wurzburg in the north to Füssen in the south. Approximately thirty towns comprise the area but I decided to visit only four: Rothenburg ob de Tauber, Würzburg, Nuremberg and Füssen.
I can vividly remember the date and location when I first heard about Rothenburg ob de Tauber. It was 11 December 2001 and my parents and I were having lunch in Epcot’s Biergarten restaurant. Our server was a lovely girl hailing from Rothenburg ob de Tauber and doing a college exchange program at Disneyworld. I distinctly remember her describing her town, how much she loved it and how to looked like it had jumped straight out of a fairytale and I can recall deciding that “one-day” I will get there.
Rothenburg ob de Tauber does not disappoint. It is the cutest, most charming town I’ve visited and perfect for walking. The town itself is compact and all the sights are accessible by foot.
The cute streets of Rothenburg
During my stay I also visited the Medieval Criminal Museum which is a look at the laws, punishments and torture during that era. It is a very well laid out exhibit with the right balance of education and shock-factor with all the torture devices.
The next stop on my tour was Würzburg. Unfortunately, I visited on a Sunday (so everything was shut) and it was pouring rain to boot. I walked around the town for a few hours taking in the sights but ended up at the hostel bar watching the finale of the Women’s World Cup.
After Würzburg was Nuremberg: famous for its Christmas market and the Nazi Party rally grounds and Nuremberg trials after the war. Unlike the cute sized Rothenburg, Nuremberg is definately a city but still has its charms.
The view from the castle over the Nuremberg skyline
I visited the Rally Grounds that are now a museum and it was quite upsetting. Actually, upsetting is probably the wrong word; it made me angry. It really is a powerful place to visit. The museum sets out Germany's progression from signing the Treaty of Versailles to the rise of Hitler and the Third Reich touching only briefly on the Holocaust.
The final stop on my Romantic Road tour was Füssen; famous for the Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein castles of King Ludwig II. Neuschwanstein is nicknamed the Disney castle as it is reputed that it was the inspiration for Walt Disney’s design for Sleeping Beauty’s castle. The walk between the two castles in about 30 minutes uphill but enjoyable and the views at the top are definitely rewarding.
Side entrance to Hohenschwangau
Hohenschwangau from the uphill walk to Neuschwanstein