After spending all day Saturday in Nürnberg, David and I decided to drive to a town called Rothenburg on Sunday. Rothenburg is a very old, medieval village in northwestern Bavaria. The town is surrounded by protective stone walls and lined on the inside with cobble stone streets and gothic style architecture. It’s one of the few really old cities in Germany, founded in the year 1170, that was not severely destroyed during the war. Because of this, it’s a very famous tourist attraction. Walking through this village really gives you the feeling that you have been transported back to the Middle Ages in Medieval Europe.
At Christmastime, not only does Rothenburg have it’s own Christkindlmarkt in the town square, but the entire city is decked out in Christmas decorations. Every store, restaurant and house is decorated with lights and garland and on top of every street lamp sits a miniature Christmas tree (or what looks like the top of a Christmas tree cut off) trimmed with lights. Rothenburg is commonly nicknamed as a “Wintermärchen”, which means “Winter Fairytale” when it is covered in snow and decorated for Christmas. It unfortunately wasn’t snowing when we were there, but I definitely still got the fairytale feeling from it.
At the Christmas market, we ate bratwursts in rolls (you can never have too many), Crepes (I got Nutella, David got apple sauce with cinnamon and sugar), and hot chestnuts. In German, they are called “Maroni” and you see them sold fairly often in the fall and winter months in Germany, particularly in city centers where there are food stands. I had never had a hot chestnut before moving here, but I love them now. They are served hot in a paper bag, and you peel the shell away first before eating. The inside is white and has the texture of a boiled potato, and kind of tastes like one, too, but a little sweeter. They sure are satisfying to eat on a cold day, though, and they keep your hands warm, too!
Rothenburg is also famous for a sweet treat called “Schneeballen” or “Snow balls”, which are basically leftover cookie dough scraps, balled together (to look like a snowball), then fried and covered in chocolate or confectioners sugar. They sell them large and small and can be found in almost every shop window. This makes me laugh because it is such a typical German thing, to not want to throw away one piece of food. So why not throw all the leftover scraps together and make a new treat? It’s pretty genius, actually.
David and I had so much fun not only checking out the Christmas market, but also exploring the town and walking along the top of the city walls, taking in the views of both sides. We also explored the outside of a castle, sitting just outside of the town, where our friends are getting married next summer. It was beautiful!
Our day in Rothenburg was awesome and I highly recommend you check it out, if you’re ever in the area 🙂