Continuing my tour through Germany with my parents back in 1984, we join the “Romantische Strasse” or Romantic Road at Rothenburg ob der Tauber in Bavaria – just west of Nürnberg.
Rothenburg is one of the most famous medieval walled or fortified towns in Germany – and probably the world.
The old city wall still stands today in many places and is in excellent shape, allowing tourists to walk through the covered walkways along the top of the walls from tower to tower.
From a vantage point high above the city, I decided to take this series of panoramic photos of the different views across the many rooftops of Rothenburg.
Rothenburg’s old city center and quaint medieval buildings have given the city a distinctively “fairy tale” feel, transporting visitors back to an earlier time from many centuries ago.
The sea of red roofs are a signature trait of Rothenburg, so much so the color “Rot” or red was incorporated into the city’s name; along with “Burg” – meaning castle or fortification.
What makes many old European city centers so appealing is the fact that only natural and authentic materials are visible to the eye – stone, brick, timber, plaster, tile – and surrounded by the beauty of nature.
The appeal of natural materials and handbuilt construction techniques from centuries ago, is that it strikes a chord with our inner sense of harmony with both our surroundings and the natural world around us.
One of the aspects of modern life that leaves everyone alienated from the more basic and natural elements of life, is the fact that the inventions of the Industrial Age and beyond (although highly useful like this laptop computer) have created an artificial barrier between man and his inner nature – creating an inbalance and loss of inner harmony in mankind that presents challenges for us all to overcome.
I took this picture from my hotel room’s window of the building’s inner courtyard, surrounded by red roof tiles and quaint covered window openings.
“Stadtpfarrkirche St. Jakob” or St. Jakob’s Church in Rothenburg, is famous for the Holy Blood altarpiece – carved by the Würzburg woodcarver Tilman Riemenschneider from 1500 to 1505.
Storefronts display handmade signs that extend gracefully out over the the sidewalk, often incorporating guild symbols to represent what the store makes or sells.
The narrow quaint streets of Rothenburg twist, turn and wind through the walled city like a maze, with new and exciting architectural discoveries to be found around every corner.
This tower is one of many still standing – of all shapes and sizes – around the city of Rothenburg, and was once a main gate controlling access into the walled city.
This historic building sits on the edge of Rothenburg’s main square, where the famous Christmas Market and decorations are displayed during Advent and the Christmas season.
The building on the right is Rothenburg’s Town Hall, where I highly recommend the restaurant in the historic stone cellar; and the entire scene is brimming with classic “Old World” architectural details.
A historic timberframe building in Rothenburg, where after hundreds of years nothing is in square – but the building is beautifully quaint, functional and in great condition for its age.