A visit to Rothenburg is worth the effort – any time of the year. There is no “off season” in Rothenburg. Cultural events of all kinds add to Rothenburg’s program throughout the year. Visitors from all over the world travel to the Tauber valley to experience living history, e.g. the “Meistertrunk” festival, the historical “shepherds dance” and the celebration of the Imperial town of Rothenburg. In late summer the focus of attention shifts towards the “Franconian Wine Festival”. In autumn, and also in spring, locals and guests meet for the Hiking weeks. The year ends with the Rothenburg “Fairy Tales” and the enchanting Christmas market, the so-called “Reiterlesmarkt” on the historical market place
Rothenburg Spring Awakening: In late March the town welcomes the first warm days with the traditional Rothenburg Spring Awakening. The region enjoys a very mild climate; spring arrives much earlier than in other Bavarian regions. A great many typical Franconian “spring” traditions have survived till today’s time. A typical example: The “Easter-fountains”, colorfully decorated with Easter eggs, ribbons and flowers. During special theme guided tours visitors can learn a lot about old customs and habits, typical spring traditions – like fasting beer and said Easter-fountains. Also: Culture, family events and exhibitions. Another highlight: The weekend of „Spring atmosphere all over the town”, the “Stadtmoshäre”. The springtime hiking week pleasantly wraps up the Rothenburg Spring Awakening.
Spring atmosphere all over the town, the “Stadtmoshäre”: One weekend in April, the historic town invites to join events for the entire family, with music, art actions and of course delicious foods. On the year’s first Sunday with all shops opened, retailers and service providers invite to indulge in a shopping spree.
Festival “Der Meistertrunk”, the “Master Draught””: Always on Friday before Whitsun General Tilly returns to Rothenburg. For four days, the town above river Tauber celebrates the miraculous rescue from his henchmen during the Thirty Year’s War. The legend has it, that Tilly had decided to burn down the Protestant town in 1631, but refrained from it, all because of hard drinking former Mayor Nusch. Why: When the General marched into the town, the official cellar master welcomed him with a tankard of wine, a full three liter and a quarter. The General promised mercy, if any of the councilors would succeed in downing the tankard in one single gulp. During the festival “Der Meistertrunk”, amateur actors relive the scene on stage, whilst – quite authentically – the hostile armies “rage” in the town’s streets. Every year, the festival’s highlight is the army’s triumphant march on Sunday.
Tauber-Valley Festival: The medieval backdrop makes up the special appeal of the Taubertal-Festival, well known way beyond Rothenburg. Thousands of fans celebrate a huge open-air party on Eiswiese in the valley just underneath the town – the festival has seen celebrities like “Pink”, “Jan Delay” or “die Fantastischen Vier”. Three stages provide the perfect setting for renowned artists – life feeling guaranteed – for almost 20 years by now, an iconic must for rock fans
Rothenburg Wine Festival: During summer time, the “Green Market” – Grüner Markt – in the historic center transforms into the “Rothenburg Wine Festival”. Winegrowers and innkeepers serve Franconian quality wines – from tangy “Silvaner” to dry “Domina” – and of course delicious regional food specialties. The perfect setting for casual get-togethers on warm summer nights
Reichsstadt-Festtage – Celebration of the Imperial Town: Preserve history, relive it – that is loosely translated the motto of the “Imperial Town” celebrations. A thousand players bring the town’s historic past back to life. It all starts out on Friday night when the historic groups parade towards the market place in a torch-lit procession. Fireworks, emphasized by music, illuminate the night skies and the historic facades. Saturday and Sunday is dedicated to a medieval market of craftsmen – add to it jugglers and wrestlers and magicians….. Eventually the whole old center turns into one grand stage for historic scenes; Horseback riders, the “Meistertrunk” spectacle, the “Hans-Sachs” play, music and historic dances attract innumerable visitors. The highlight: Saturday night, the grand fireworks: “Rothenburg Skies ablaze”.
“The spell of fairy tales”: November starts out with the famous words: “Once upon a time…..” Fairy tales, legends, mythology ……. For a whole week Rothenburg hosts the world of fairy tales. The program includes special guided tours, readings, museum events and of course magical culinary attractions. Seminars for adults attempt to fathom the significance behind the tales; special workshops are directed towards children and families. And perhaps, maybe one or the other fairy tale may actually become true in romantic Rothenburg.
“Reiterlesmarkt” – the Christmas Market. Every year Rothenburg transforms into a winter dream – ever since the late medieval ages. Reiterlesmarkt stands for more than 500 years of living tradition. Nowadays it is accompanied by numerous cultural events. The highlight: The appearance of the Rothenburg “Reiterle” (horseman). In former times the “Reiterle” was considered a messenger of another world, carrying the souls of the dead to the other side. However, over the centuries the once so scary spook turned into the friendly guy that opens the Christmas Market every year. Discover more
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