When I agreed to go to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, I hadn’t done any research on the place. A quick Google showed me that the place looked pretty and that was all I needed to know! Just over an hour from Nuremburg, this medieval German town is the tourist destination you’ve probably never heard of – but I’m sure you’ll want to go by the end of this post.
The journey from Nuremburg was simpler than it sounds – a 20 Euro ticket to share between the two of us and three trains from the main train station in Nuremburg, taking just over an hour in total to reach Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Following the signs, we made the brief five minute walk to the old city walls and headed down the cobbled street into a pastel, medieval paradise. It’s a busy town, full of tourists on the Sunday afternoon we visited, but charming nonetheless.
Rothenburg ob der Tauber is best known as the village in Vulgaria in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The shops are filled with Christmas decorations, tiny figurines, music boxes and cuckoo clocks – you can imagine the Child Catcher roaming the streets! Try the famous local treat Schneeball, a ball-like shortcrust pastry covered in sugar, cinnamon or chocolate and head to Hotel Reichskuechenmeister for local bratwurst or Flammkuchen, a crispy thinly rolled dough covered with cheese, onions and lardons which is a local specialty. It’s the perfect place to potter around, exploring shops and bakeries and admiring the beautiful pastel buildings. If you're going to visit anywhere, head to the famous Plonein or "Little Square" for the most postcard perfect crooked buildings, beams and cobbled streets.
Obviously, because I am obsessed with Harry Potter, I had to find a connection to the boy wizard. The town features in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows as the home of Gregorovitch. Blink and you’ll miss it, but the scene where Gellert Grindelwald steals the Elder Wand was filmed in Rothenburg ob der Tauber – I’m going to be keeping my eyes peeled when I next watch the movie!
It also has a darker past as a symbol of Nazi Germany as the “most German of German towns.” It was seen to represent all that was quintessentially German that the Nazis sought to promote and a result, many residents of the town were some of the Nazi’s staunchest supporters. During World War II, soldiers were stationed to defend this significant town but it was still bombed by the Allies. I loved that the city didn’t shy away from this but it also didn’t let this element of its past overshadow the town and its heritage – something I saw throughout my trip to Germany. In fact, after World War II, donations poured in from all over the world to restore the town to its former glory and this kick-started its popularity as a tourist attraction.
If you’re heading to Nuremburg or exploring Bavaria in Germany, make sure you visit Rothenburg ob der Tauber. It’s well worth the visit!
Have you ever visited Rothenburg ob der Tauber? Make sure you check out my Instagram for some more snaps from my day there!