The Reiterlesmarkt of Rothenburg ob der TauberMassive stone town walls studded with 42 towers; half-timbered houses with red-tiled roofs; cobblestone streets and flower-filled window boxes: That is Rothenburg ob der Tauber, located on the famous Romantic Road. One of Europe´s most beautiful medieval town looks like a movie set – but it is all real! The silhouette of gate and defense towers conveys the aura of a fairy tale. As you enter through one of the old gates, you will immediately feel secure within the time-honored walls of this romantic place. Rothenburg´s enchantment has prevailed over the past 1,000 years and is continuing to cast its spell onto the international visitors.
Rothenburg is a delight at any time of year, but in winter, the snow turns spires and rooftops into a living Christmas card. Once a year, the medieval town of Rothenburg transforms itself into a winter wonderland. Since the 15th century, a wonderful Christmas market has always been a feature of the festive Christmas season. This market can look back on a 500-year tradition, and since this time it has wisely changed very little from its historical origins. Numerous cultural events are held in conjunction with this market. The highlight of the market, however, is the appearance of the ‘Rothenburg Riders’, who also gave this market its name. The historical origin of the ‘riders’ comes to us from the dim and distant past. Our ancestors believed that they were messengers from another world, who floated through the skies with the souls of the dead in wintertime. But the image of this mythical character has changed over the centuries. Whereas one used to tremble in fear before this eerie figure, today, young and old look forward to his return. The wild horseman has become a friendly messenger.
Today too, the narrow and winding streets and the squares around the town hall, its archways and the marketplace are still lined with stalls where one can find everything the heart and taste buds desire: old German Christmas pastries, ‘white’ mulled wine, large or small handcrafted treasures as souvenirs or gifts. On Fridays and Saturdays until 8 pm you can enjoy the marvelous view over the ‘Reiterlesmarkt’ from the town hall tower.
And so the Rothenburg ‘Reiterlesmarkt’ is today the symbol of the peaceful Christmas market as it has grown over centuries, and the city’s decorations for the Christmas holidays lend it a truly romantic character.
Mon. - Thurs.: 11 am – 7 pm
Fri. - Sun.: 11 am – 8 pm