Our trip to Germany ended with a stop in Munich and Rothenburg ob der Tauber.
Eric and I took a trip to Austria and Germany in May for 11 days. Click here for Part 1 in Austria and here for Part 2 including castles throughout Bavaria. See below for the final, Part 3, of our trip.
The city of Rothenburg was founded in 1170. Walls and towers were built in the 13th century.
If you plan on traveling to Southern Germany, I highly recommend spending a night in Rothenburg. It is now one of my favorite places in the world. It’s so incredibly charming and magical.
Doesn’t it look like at any moment little elves are going to open this door and start singing?
One of my favorite things we did was the Night Watchman’s Tour. Rick Steves says, “For a thoroughly fun hour of medieval wonderment, take the Night Watchman’s Tour. The watchman jokes like a medieval Jerry Seinfeld as he stokes his lamp and takes tourists on his rounds, all the while telling slice-of-gritty-life tales.”
Towards the end of WWII, in March of 1945, Rothenburg was bombed. The city would have been completely destroyed if it had not been for two brave opposing officers. The American soldier, John J. McCloy, was deputy secretary of state and knew the beauty of Rothenburg. He grew up hearing the stories of the enchanting medieval town from his mother who had loved the city as a tourist and hung a painting of it in their home. He ordered the US troops not to use artillery in taking Rothenburg. The local German military commander, Major Thömmes, was given the option to leave and hand over the city. He gave up the town, ignoring the orders from Hitler for all towns to fight to the end.
Five weeks later the war was over and Rothenburg was still standing. As the night watchman says, “We lost a part of it, but not the heart of it.” After the war, the city sent out articles asking for anyone around the world to symbolically buy a meter of the wall to help restore the city. To this day you can walk the wall and see all the names of people who donated.
Rothenburg has appeared in several films, notably fantasies. The city was the inspiration for the village in the 1940 Walt Disney movie Pinocchio. Filming took place here for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 (2010) and Part 2 (2011).
Rothenburg was all about charm, Munich is all about beer and brats! Cheers or PROST! from the Haufbrauhaus.
Special thanks to my mom for getting these great shots of me and Eric!
I Instagrammed a lot while we were away. Here are some of my favorites from this part of the trip.