Friday, September 29, 2006

Rothenburg: Get Medieval-ed

Rothenburg was, by far, the most touristy town that we have visited. But, being the cutest little Medieval town in all of Germany made up for that. The town is actually walled in by a tall stone wall, and the only entrances are through huge draw-bridge like gates. You could almost hear the clicking of horses hooves on the cobblestone. Except there was no cobblestone in the Middle Ages and the clicking is actually of tourist's camera's.

The Night Watchman gave us a tour of medieval Rothenburg, and we learned all sorts of interesting facts about medieval life in Rothenburg on the eerie evening walk. One of the most interesting stories is that of how the best preserved medieval town in Germany has remained preserved all this time. Legend has it after the town had been taken over by the enemy, the General of the opposing army said that he would spare the town if one of the town councillors would chug a 3.25L barrel of wine. The mayor himself stepped up to the challenge and Hurray! Rothenburg was save! Two windows on either side of the clock in the main square commenmorates the mayor every hour, on the hour, when they spring open, and out pops a moving wax-like mayor, drinking the wine. The thing is, this is tale is not true. Rothenburg started out very rich in the middle ages, which is why it is so beautiful in the first place. It was the pee break half way between several major trade routes. However, it was ransacked, pillaged and seized continuously during the Thirty Years War. After the war neither the town nor its occupants could afford to modernize, leaving Rothenburg to sleep for over 250 years. One of Germany's most touristed towns was preserved by poverty. You can see why the other story was created. Nonetheless, Rothenburg is a city rich in history, architecture, and one of the best stops along the Romantic Road.

In Rothenburg we also tried a traditional Rothenburger Schneeballen. A schneeballen (translated snowball) is dough cut into strips, and then woven all together in a ball shape, deep fried, then coated in sugar (or chocolate or nuts etc.). They look a lot better than they taste. When you visit Rothenburg, there is no need to sample one.

One of the best parts of Rothenburg was the train ride in through the Romantic Road. The landscape was dotted with fields of sunflowers, lush gardens, farmer's fields, hills and huge trees. I guess it had a little bit for everyone! Speaking of places that had a little something for everyone: Kathe Wohlfart Christmas Village had the same claim. Now, usually Jonathan and I skip souvenir shops, but a 'Christmas Village' sounded like something that needed to be checked out. Now, they didn't allow cameras, sadly, so I can't show you just how cool this place was. I did, however, smuggle a brochure into our luggage (don't tell Jonathan). The Village had a huge 5.5m tall decorated Christmas tree, surrounded by little German houses, all decorated with garland, lights and snow. Each little house had different kinds of Christmas goodies. Sparkling stars hung from the ceiling and a 3.5m nutcracker supervised everything. The store was atleast 3 floors, and so many toys seemed to move or glow or do something magical! It even smelt like Christmas!

This is me and Jonathan (he got dressed up a little) enjoying the city. Isn't he handsome?


Jessica said...

Great pictures........ How are the shoes?

Mom Mooney said...

Kristen, we always knew Jonathan had the potential to be a knight in shining armour! Haha!

Sarah!! said...

Thanks for the heads up on those doughy pastries, next time in rothenberg i'll keep that in mind for sure. Miss you buddie!!!

Dad P said...


You should have put Kristen in the suit.

Anonymous said...

You can become blind by seeing each day as a similar one. Each day is a different one, each day brings a miracle of its own. It's just a matter of paying attention to this miracle

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the K woman