Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Rothenburg Attractions


The largest museum of crime and punishment in Europe, this one displays about 7,000 instruments of torture - ugly stuff, but it's sure as heck medieval. It's also professionally presented and matter - of-factly labeled in both German and English.

Location: On Burggasse, near Schmiedgasse. For opening times visit the official page here.

Criminal MuseumKriminalmuseum
Kriminalmuseum (Criminal Museum) Rothenburg

Dolls and Toy Museum:

Dolls and Toys Museum

A gem, even if you're not a collector. The evolution of dolls and stuffed animals (including early ones by Steiff) is interesting, but the real scene-stealers are miniature kitchens and replica rooms, the earliest of which were used to teach young girls how to keep house. Reproductions of some of the miniatures are on sale in the museum's tiny shop.

Location: On Hofbronnengasse, just down from Marktplatz.
For opening hours and prices see official page here.

Riemenschneider AltarThe Riemenschneider Altar:

This is a masterpiece in wood, carved by Tilman Riemenschneider between 1499 and 1505. Properly called the Altar of the Holy Blood, it depicts the Last Supper and was commissioned by the Rothenburg city council to display a gold cross holding three drops of Christ's blood, a medieval object of pilgrimage. It stands in the upper west gallery of St. Jacob's Church, a Gothic gem begun in 1311. The 14th - century main altar downstairs is also stunning.

St James’s ChurchSt James’s Church:

A predecessor of the present building existed in the second half of the 12th century and belonged to the parish of Detwang before being transferred to the Teutonic Order in 1258. In 1266 a chapel of the Holy Blood was consecrated. Rothenburg became an independent parish in 1286, and the church was subsequently rebuilt. The lofty proportions, simplicity and clarity of the exterior create a monumental effect, and today the St James’s Church is one of the landmarks of Rothenburg.

City Hall and Rathaus TowerRathaus Tower:

The City Hall is really two buildings, a Baroque one on Marktplatz and an earlier Gothic structure next to it on Herrngasse. The 30-metre tower rises from the older one.

The view is spectacular and shows you, better than any map, how the town is fortified and how strategically it's sited. Entrance on Herrngasse, around the corner from Marktplatz.


ReichsstadtmuseumImperial City MuseumReichsstadtmuseum

The Reichsstadtmuseum is in a former Dominican convent, a big, rambling building dating to 1258. It displays centuries-old furniture, painting, weapons, Jewish relics, farm equipment and what's claimed to be the oldest existing medieval kitchen. You can look into private, walled gardens from the museum's upper windows.

From 1294, Rothenburg was a Free Imperial City, almost a mini-country, a status it kept for nearly 400 years, until after the Thirty Years' War.

The fountains:

Fountain, RothenburgRothenburg fountainFontain, RothenburgSt. George's Statue Fountain, Rothenburg

Walking around the town, it will be hard to miss the fountains. Probably the best known one is the fountain situated at the corner of the town square has a fountain featuring a statue of St George.