Your enchanting Rothenburg Tour from Frankfurt begins when you meet your guide at Wiesenhüttenstr. 39, (close to Central Station and opposite to Hotel Savoy). Hotel pick-up can be arranged for an extra charge (approx euro 5.00 per person).
You will travel by coach (135 km, 84 miles) to the town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber on the Romantic Road. The Romantic Road was a trade route during the Middle Ages and retains much of its medieval character. The road winds through forgotten stretches of countryside, connecting walled towns and picturesque villages. Travelers enter the town of Rothenburg through an arched gateway complete with guard towers. Inside, you will find Gothic cathedrals, half-timbered houses, beautiful historic hotels and sometimes a medieval festival.
Your first stop is St. Jacob’s, a historic Lutheran church built between 1311 and 1484. The western gallery contains the famous Holy Blood altarpiece by Tilman Riemenschneider, a German sculptor and woodcarver active in the late 15th and early 16th centuries. He was one of the most prolific and versatile sculptors of the transition period between late Gothic and Renaissance and a master in stone and limewood. The altar includes scenes of the entry into Jerusalem, the Lord's Supper with Judas as central figure, and the Mount of Olives.
You’ll next see the various city gates and walls, the earliest of which date from the late 12th century. In medieval times, public executions took place just outside GalgenTor (Gallows Gate) near the north gate. The Markus and White Towers, circa 1172, are the gates to the original 12th century Rothenburg. Next to the White Tower, you will find the medieval Jewish Dance Hall. The small adjacent garden has ancient Jewish gravestones built into the stone wall.
Next you’ll take in the mighty Renaissance town hall or Rathaus. The rear Gothic part of the building dates from 1250, and the attached front Renaissance building was started in 1572. This building served as the seat of government for the city-state during the medieval ages. The town hall tower, nearly 200 feet high, commands an excellent view of the historic district. (Be aware that the climb involves very narrow and steep stairs and is somewhat claustrophobic.)
After your tour of Rothenburg, you can visit the fascinating Crime Museum (Kriminalmuseum), the most important museum of legal history in Germany. It offers an impressive insight into the legal conditions governing life in the medieval period. While it does have its fair share of ugly devices, it isn't just about the gruesome ways people were treated. It also focuses on the justice system as a whole and includes information about how crimes were defined (gossiping, for example, was a crime!) and how investigations, trials, and punishment were carried out. One particularly interesting section includes the seals (and the machines to make them) of a number of officials and royalty of the time.
Your tour price includes admission to one attraction in Rothenburg. Choose whether you would like to use this for one of the churches (St. Jacob’s for example) or a museum such as the Crime Museum.
Your day-tour package also includes a snack and drink which you can eat at an appropriate time during the day, but you should also take advantage of the many lovely restaurants in the town where you enjoy a traditional German meal. You should also try a “Schneeball” (snowball) a local fried dough ball with many different toppings.
Before you leave charming Rothenburg, don’t forget to take a picture at Plönlein, the famous junction. This little square, complete with a crooked, narrow, half-timbered little house, is one of the most photographed spots in the world.
Your tour ends back at the starting point at Wiesenhüttenstr. 39. Hotel drop-off can be arranged for an extra charge (approx €5 per person).