Friday, October 30, 2009

Rothenburg, Germany

Rothenburg is pronounced ROE-tehn-burg for us Americans. It is usually full of day-tripping tourists who crowd the town, but it's still worth a visit. A great thing about Rothenburg is that no sights in the town are more than a 15-minute walk away from the train station. Most of the crowds melt away after dark, which makes this a wonderful town to spend a night in. It is Germany's best-preserved medieval walled town. During the medieval period, Rothenburg was Germany's second largest city. Because of it's huge tourist industry, this is one of the best places in Germany to shop for German souvenirs.

Some of the main attractions of Rothenburg are the Medieval Crime and Punishment Museum, the famous wood carvings by Tilman Riemenschneider in St. Jakob's Church, and a walk along the city wall. Tilman Riemenschneider is considered the Michaelangelo of Germany and the St. Jakob's Church is his Sistine Chapel. There are many wonderful wood carvings to be seen there. Plus the church building itself is quite interesting. The Medieval Crime and Punishment Museum is a suppository of medieval criminal justice. There are many torture devices and such to amuse the modern crowd. It's considered the best museum of its type in the world. Walking the city wall makes for a 1.5 mile hike that can be done even in the rain because it's under a roof. It's perfect for getting great pictures of the town.

There are quite a few other things to do in this town. It's got some delectable pastry shops where you can try traditional German baked goods. There are some more sights outside of town. There are several scenic views of the countryside to be had from a couple of places in town. It's a delightful place to visit.

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