Germany and Austria '92
Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Rothenburg ob der Tauber got its name from the red (Rot) castle (Burg) that stood above (ob) the Tauber River. Today the Burgtor, the Castle Gate, opens from the wall to the park where the castle once stood. The castle itself has been gone for several hundred years, the victim of an earthquake, but the park is a great place to look out over the Tauber Valley.

The Burgtor in Rothenburg
The door in the gate

In the old doors to the city, the tourist can still see the small doors that were used for limited entry in cases where a resident would be locked out after the city had been secured for the night. No enemy could use this door for access because the entry would be so clumsy that the person using it would be completely at the mercy of the guard until he was completely inside. Today, there are no barriers to entry into Rothenburg; the shopkeepers welcome the tourists with open arms and gladly take their cash!

It's Christmas in July--or August--or any month of the year at Käthe Wohlfahrt,Rothenburg's famous Christmas store. The little Christmas car has become a symbol that is recognized all over Germany. The displays in the stores have become almost as much a tourist attraction as the wall itself! And, it's almost impossible to go in without leaving a little bit of cash. With the great influx of Japanese tourists into Rothenburg during the last few years, many of the stores (including Käthe Wohlfahrt) have hired young Japanese girls to assist these customers; they are really cute in their little dirndls!

Rotheburg's Christmas Car
Rothenburg's Wall

On every trip to Rothenburg, we make an attempt to walk part of the wall. In fact, the whole trip can be made in about an hour and provides some great views of the city. After World War II, someone had the idea that one of the best ways to restore the ancient wall would be to have people from all other the world "sponsor" restoration sections one meter long. Thousands of small acknowledgement plaques from individuals and groups from around the world now mark how successful that effort was.

The Royal Castles - Munich and Salzburg
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