Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Town Wall, Rothenburg ob der Tauber




Rothenburg ob der Tauber is one of the cities on the Romantische Straße (Romantic Road) that has preserved vestiges of its medieval importance into the 21st century. A series of walls and towers defended the city over the ages, and the most recent still stands and surrounds most of the older part of the city. The inner wall (built prior to the 13th century) still remains. Stairwells ascend to the top of the wall at intervals, and the entire wall can be walked. In addition, the Roedertor tower at the east end of the city is open daily to allow a climb up the stairs to the vista from it.
While buildings within the walled city reflect the city's medieval history, this part of the city is in many ways a normal, modern German town with some concession to the tourist trade. In addition to many stores and hotels aimed at tourists, residences and shops also reflect the daily life of modern Germany. Most of the tourist shops cluster around the Town Hall Square and along several major thoroughfares (Herrngasse, Schmiedgasse). Also in the town is a criminal museum, containing various punishment and torture devices as used during the Middle Ages.

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