Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Rothenburg ob der Tauber is an extremely well-preserved medieval town which lies in the county of Ansbach in Middle Franconia. It is one of the top attractions on the famed Romantic Road and along with only Dinkelsbühl and Nördlingen, it shares the distinction of having a completely intact city wall.

the walled wonder: Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Though Celts likely inhabited this location as early as the 1st century and Rothenburg Castle was built in 1070, it wasn’t founded in name until 1170. It rose to prominence as a Free Imperial City about a 100 years later but was captured during the 30 Years War in 1631 and soon after further decimated by the bubonic plague. These events crippled the once powerful town but also were behind preserving its medieval character as development was severely curtailed thereafter.

charming Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Part of Bavaria since 1803, it was heralded as the most German of German towns, unfortunately by Nazi ideologists who romanticized the walled wonder as the perfect environment for what they envisioned “German family” life to be. While this likely led to its being targeted during WWII, its reputation of beauty may have ultimately saved it as US forces used less invasive bombs and successfully approached its leaders for surrender, leaving much of the town relatively intact.

 picturesque Rothenburg ob der Tauber

As you might imagine, the town is blessed with a fair tourist infrastructure and hosts numerous festivals including the medieval themed Meistertrunk. While not exactly a beer destination, the beer traveler won’t go thirsty with numerous restaurants and pubs, serving local Franconian beer from the likes of Landwehr (Reichelshofen) and Goldochsenbrauerei (Spielbach).  Below are some favorites we enjoyed:

Landwehr-Bräu am Turm
half-timbered house, brewery sign, old medieval tower
Unter den Linden (Landwehr-Bräu)
biergarten, dark beer in mug, biergarten
Zum Schwan (Gold-Ochsenbrauerei/Spielbach)
restaurant exterior, old metal sign, biergarten

In case you have the time and desire to visit the actual local brewery and its fine restaurant in nearby Reichelshofen:
brewery hotel, brewery sign, restaurant interior

There is a great walk out to Spielbach if you want to see the countryside and visit a great small local brewery with great food.

My return to Rothenburg was quite dramatic after 25 years. A military assault on Rothenburg ob der Tauber

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