Rothenburg & Augsburg

September 24

See pictures below the day's summary

We loaded the bus at 9am and headed to Rothenburg (pronounced without the "h" - like Rotenburg).

So Rothenburg is a "quaint medieval town". That's how it's described in books.      I would say it was definitely geared onward the shoppers! I got my shot glass and some postcards, so thats all I needed.      Several of the ladies on the bus bought a lot though! Dad got a cool thing - it's like a clip-on beer stein pewter lid for your beer bottle! Pointed lid and everything. Josef, our bus driver, sells beer in the bus for 1.50€ and the next time Dad buys one, he's going to use the clip-on lid and make some of the guys jealous! It should be fun.   

Our tour guide in Rothenburg was named Wolfgang. He smoked, but walked far ahead of us before doing it. The tour was good, but a little disappointing because our documents said we would have the Kriminal Museum and a Christmas Shop as part of our tour, but Wolfgang said it wasn't. Dad and I would have loved to have seen the Kriminal Museum, but we just didn't have time. (That seems to be a theme on this tour!!) Anyway, the Kriminal Museum showed instruments of medieval torture, but we only got to see a couple of contraptions outside the museum and missed the entire inside. We didn't really care if we missed the Christmas shop.   

Our guide said that Rothenburg is a walled city with a marketplace/square, so there's only 2 ways to go - either toward the market or toward the wall!

The clock in the market square was kind of like a cuckoo clock and at the top of each hour it shows 2 guys demonstrating the history of Rothenburg: Supposedly some guy came to conquer the city, but said he would spare it if someone would drink a large bottle of wine (about 3/4 gallon) in one quick drink. So the Lord Mayor of the town volunteered to do it - and was successful. He drank it in 10 minutes and then needed 3 days & nights to recover!      Our guide told us that this was not true, but to not say that to any of the current population. The story has been told so often that it's become a proud part of their history.   

There was a nunnery in town that gave food to the poor on a revolving tray in an open window (of course, no glass back then). No one was allowed in the nunnery, so this was how they helped the poor. This nunnery also had a unique school - it was for girls only, not boys. Very strange for the times. So the children of the noble people went there. Well, the daughters anyway. There must have been another school for the sons.   

In the garden of the nunnery there was a miespel tree. Some kind of fruit. Apparently rare - you don't find them very often. You don't just eat the miespels - you make jam or marmalade with them. They were about the size of an apricot, maybe a little smaller.

The City Garden is where the castle used to stand. The castle was destroyed in the 1300's by an earthquake that originated in Switzerland (I think). Must have been a big one! The castle was never rebuilt because the stones were re-used to build churches and homes. It was a financial decision because stones were so expensive.

The official name of Rothenburg is Rothenburg ob der Tauber. It means "Rothenburg above the river Tauber". And for Rothenburg, the word Rothen is a verb that means "to clear" and Burg means "castle". So Rothenburg was where they cleared out the land and built a castle.

And, on a side note, the movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (from the 60's) was filmed here. I'm not sure if it as filmed in town, or just with the background of the town.

After our tour, Dad and I went to an ice cream store that Josef had told us had the best cappuccinos and ice cream. The scoops were very small, so I even got to get one.      I had cherry creme flavor and it was yummy. Dad had a scoop of chocolate and a scoop of walnut. Sounds gross to me, but he seemed to enjoy it.   

Then we looked around for some place to get a sausage for lunch. One had been recommended to us by Glenn & Cathy, but we couldn't find it. We were just ready to give up and find something else when we ran into them in the square. They couldn't find the ice cream shop either.      So, we showed them where the ice cream was and they showed us where the sausages were. It worked out well.      And the sausages were very good! Then we met up with the group to walk to the bus together so we could head to Augsburg.

In Augsburg, we stopped at St. Anna's church. This is where Martin Luther was called to recant his statements before Cardinal Cajetan - but he doesn't recant. He is secretly removed from St. Anna's by his friends because they are afraid he will be taken to Rome and tried & killed as a heretic. (Just for reference, Cardinal Cajetan was the Pope's direct representative). Augsburg is where the Augsburg Confession was read aloud (by a layman) before Emperor Charles V on June 25, 1530. As such, it is where Lutherans got to publicly confess their faith. They also gave the Emperor both a German and a Latin copy of the Confession.

We also think that the Augsburg Confession may have been written at St. Anna's, but we're not sure because all of the signs were in German. Karin was trying to translate, but all the rooms were so small that it was hard to be in with everyone. At any rate, Melanchthon wrote the Augsburg Confession under Martin Luther's guidance - we're just not sure where.   

There was lots of construction/restoration going on at St. Anna's. So kinda hard to see what the church was really like. There was lots of scaffolding everywhere.

Our hotel is very close to St. Anna's. It's called Dorint. It's probably 20+ stories tall and is two round towers. Room is nice and big and has a balcony. Dad's outside writing right now. But it's gray, cloudy, and windy and since I'm in capris and short sleeves, I'm sitting inside writing.   

The weather has been incredible this trip! Sunny and warm (like in the 70's) - at least in the afternoons. Mornings are a bit chilly.      But, it looks like "bad" weather is moving in, so it will be jeans & a sweater for tomorrow. We are going to the highest mountain in Germany tomorrow and they say there's always snow up there. I hope I brought warm enough clothes! And with the clouds coming in, I suppose it will be snowing, which would be kind of cool, I'm just not dressed for it!

We also get to see Neuschwanstein Castle tomorrow. I'm looking forward to that, but I think we have a tour and then only an hour there. Hopefully enough time to get a shot glass and some postcards.      Early morning tomorrow - breakfast at 6:30am and we leave at 7:30am. I hope I sleep good tonight!


We're not quite in Rothenburg yet. This is a church in our overnight city of Wurzburg. It was near our hotel and was a very striking church with the bright red steeple. Our hotel is the white building with the red roof in the center. The hotel spanned both sides though, and what you see here was a walkway between the two sides. Rothenburg - here we come!
One of the towers around the walled city of Rothenburg Rothenburg was a quaint little town with lots of little shops on every street downtown Angie in Rothenburg
The clock tower was the entrance/exit to Rothenburg The brown building in front was the Rathaus (government building) and the white building next to it is a church This was the fountain where we met before & after our tour. To the right (out of the picture) is the government building.
Angie in front of the Rathaus Bruce in front of the Rathaus A clock in the center of town
The men in the windows came out at the top of the hour This guy on the right came to conquer the city, but said he would spare it if anyone could drink a large amount of wine (3/4 gallon) inone quick drink. The guy on this side was the Lord Mayor of Rothenburg, and he successfully spared the town by drinking all the wine.
The government building taken from the side The steeple of the church and the tower of the Rathaus This was how they built the buildings in Rothenburg, with the X cross-beams. Lots of the buildings here still had that style.
The man in the black jacket is our Rothenburg guide, Wolfgang The three vertical bars running along the archway were ways to measure things, so that trades could be made fairly. Set up right in the center of town so everyone had access to them. This was like a covered alleyway. When originally built, it had stores on both sides.
A nice sculpture in front of one of the windows of a church The Church of St. Jacob in Rothenburg - it is the largest church in the city An older example of the X cross-beam architecture
A cute little house - I love the rounded corner room Looking down a street of Rothenburg, towards the entrance/exit at the clock tower Some neat plants overhanging one of the walls around a house. Everyone in Germany has beautiful plantwork in their yards!
Some more floral decor in front of a house - it's beautiful Our guide explaining that at this nunnery, the nuns would hand food out this window as their way of giving to the poor A beautiful garden behind the nunnery
You can see part of the city wall at the far edge of the garden A fruit tree in the nunnery garden This is a rare tree - the fruit is called misspell. You don't eat them plain, but you make jam or marmalade with them.
Our guide, Wolfgang, explaining about the entrance/exit door through the city gate The door was built in 1555. Wow! This little door was used when an army was invading Rothenburg - it allowed the passage of one person at a time, but no animals or weapons
A picture of the whole door We're just through the gate, on the way to the town garden Waiting for everyone to finish their bathroom break
The tower above the wooden door. Note the face above the entrance - in medieval times, they would pour hot tar out the face to stop the invading army. The city garden Angie & Bruce
Another view of the tower & gate at Rothenburg View from the wall around Rothenburg Cute little village down the hill
Bill & Glenn waiting for the rest of the group to show up The Criminal Museum - displayed instruments of medieval torture. Unfortunately, we didn't get to go inside. This was on display outside - some sort of hanging cage
Also on display outside - some sort of wagon to transport prisoners, no doubt. Another view down a street in Rothenburg The road out of town split here, but I don't remember the significance of the lower road.
On our way to Augsburg A sign at the entrance to St. Anna's Church. Luther stayed here for a while after he did not recant his statements before Cardinal Cajetan. Another sign at the entrance to St. Anna's Church. It is a Lutheran Church.
The altar at St. Anna's Church A closer shot of the altar & artwork Lutherstiege = The Luther Staircase. It leads to the museum upstairs and the actual room where Luther stayed.
The Luther Staircase Luther books - I'm not sure if he used them or wrote them!    Martin Luther and his audience before Cardinal Cajetan
A copy of the 95 Thesis Back down the Luther Staircase Dad enjoying a beer back at our hotel. Note the pewter stein cap that we found for his beer bottle today.   
Almost there... Ah, some good German beer... Close-up picture of the closed stein cap
Close-up picture of the open stein cap. View of Augsburg from our hotel