Wednesday 21st September
Yesterday we only visited the High Street so today we thought we would give the city walls a visit. Our guide said that the walls were about a mile in length but we can assure you that it is far, far further than that.
Most of the city walls were built in the 13th century but at one end is the bastion, a double doughnut forming a figure of eight which was built in the mid 15th century. Here we are inside, the openings on the right are for cannons.
Up on the walls and you can walk around most of the city. Two things to note are the low beams meaning that I had to duck most of the way around and the plaques embedded into the wall on the left. We think that each plaque was put up by a sponsor for the rebuilding, some of them denote a length of wall sponsored, some are from companies and others individuals.
All I know that this one wasn’t put up by any member of my family, but it’s close.
he views from the wall are fantastic, lots of very steeply sloping roofs and church spires.
One of the city gates. This is the Roder gate, there is an arch through the main city wall just below us and an outer gate under the half timbered building in the centre.
Another tower guarding the Gallows Gate.
After walking along the wall for a good half hour we get to the first corner.
This is St Wolfgangs Church. To the left of the church is another outer gate and the city wall gate is to our right.
I think this is the Prisoners Tower, there were just so many towers.
The early 16th Century was the time when Martin Luther was just coming to prominence. He lived and worked in this area and he famously nailed his 95 Theses to the church door in Wittenberg which is only 30 miles away. One of his contemporaries hid in this building protected from the Catholic Church because of his heresy.
Yet another city gate. This leads onto a large castle garden which is long and fairly narrow and offered magnificent views into the valley below.
From the gardens looking back to part of the town.
And the other side showing how large this place really is. I can see five towers, all within or on the city walls, even that little one to the far right is part of the town.
And looking down into the Tauber valley. Top left is part of the city wall, down below you can see a bridge over the river and on the left is the Church of our Dear Lady.
Rothenburg was a symbol of the perfect German town and featured in lots of Nazi propaganda and many day trips were organised for Nazi sympathisers. In March 1945 bombs were dropped destroying 300 houses and 2000 feet of the walls but the American Assistant Secretary of War, John J. McCloy knew about the historic importance and beauty and ordered General Jacob L. Devers not to use any artillery. Instead he sent a small detachment of men to make an offer to the defending Germans to surrender and protect the town from any further damage. The local military commander, General Thomas ignored orders from Hitler and thereby saved it.
We have barely scratched the surface of Rothenburg and could easily spend another day here.