Rothenburg, Germany – Saturday

Saturday, August 12, 2006

August 12 it was on to Rothenburg! We started out going the wrong way, which we discovered 35 km too late. So back through Wurzburg we went. And then finally arrived after maybe an hour and a half. To get to our hotel, we had to go through two stone gates and up these tiny roads. It was a navigational feat I’m very proud of! We didn’t get turned around once, finding the hotel!

Our hotel, Gastof Griefen (Hotel Griffen) is nearly right in the Marktplatz. They actually do have parking for guest’s cars, which was a plus! It was really tight, but as soon as we showed up, someone popped out the back and helped us park. The staff there was consistently helpful, friendly, and really on-the-ball. I can’t say enough good things!

I marked the location of the hotel on this pic of the town – you can see the parking lot, and how hard it could have been to find! I can’t believe I navigated us right to it!

rothenburg

Anyway – the hotel is really really cool – it’s an old house, from the 1600s – actually, it used to be Toppler’s house – he was mayor and a big hero during the 30 years war. He died in the dungeons right across the street – which we went into. They were creepy!

Here is the Hobbit door to our room!
door

And the view from our door of the floor we were on.
floor

Here’s the view from our window:
rothenburg1

rothenburg2

And our hotel from the outside!
hotel1

rothenburg3

rothenburg4

The hotel is right in the middle of town and the town is so cute. Old buildings, old walls – towers, churches. I love it!

Right across from Gastof Griefen is the Town Hall with its arcades and oriel window.

rothenburg5

rothenburg6

townhall1

townhall2

townhall3

townhall4

townhall5

townhall6

You can go into a courtyard between the town hall buildings. There is a lovely renaissance portal in the inner courtyard.

courtyard1

courtyard2

portal1

portal2

door3

And the Town councillor’s tavern, which has a town clock dating from 1683. Above it is a calendar clock, then imperial eagle, and a sundial. Figures representing the main protagonists in Die Miestertrunk legend from the time of the 30 Year War appear in the two windows at left and right of the clock at 11am, 12 noon, 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, and 10 pm.

tavern1

tavern2

clock1

clock2

Here is the Herterichsbrunnen, or St. George’s Fountain. The fountain was designed in 1608. The half-timbered house next to it, the Jastheimerhaus, now the Marien-Apotheke, was built in 1488 for Mayor Jastheimer. There is a statue of the Virgin Mary under the oriel window.

fountain1

fountain2

fountain3

fountain4

fountain5

fountain6

In the Town Hall courtyard is the Historical Vaults and Dungeons. There are lots of artifacts, and the eerie dungeons and torture chamber. Heinrich Toppler, the mayor whose house we were staying in, actually died here in 1408.
dungeon1

dungeon2

Here is the Old Grammar School, dating to 1589.
school1

school2

And the Jakobskirke, with gothic architecture, and flying buttresses!
jakob1

jakob2

jakob3

jakob4

jakob5

jakob6

jakob7

jakob8

jakob9

jakob10

jakob11

jakob12

jakob13

jakob14

jakob15

jakob16

There is a great deal of art in the church including this Coronation of Mary Altar, circa 1520, probably from the Riemenschneider school.
mary1

mary2

mary3

And the Altar of the Twelve Apostles:
12apostles1

12apostles2

12apostles3

The big work of art is the Holy Blood Altar, one of the most important works of famous sculptor and carver Tilman Riemenschneider. It dates from 1500-1504, and was made as a setting for a Holy Blood relic. The gold plated cross, from 1270 is said to incorporate a rock crystal capsule with three drops of the blood of Jesus.

altar1

altar2

altar3

altar4

altar5

altar6

altar7

We had dinner next door at a cafe, that happened to be downstairs in the Baumeisterhaus, another old building. The food was really good! The Baumeisterhaus, designed by Leonhard Weidmann in the Renaissance sytle in 1596 is considered the most magnificant middle-class house in Rothenburg. The steps of the gable are adorned by scrolls in the form of dragons. The window supoorts of the two upper floors with alternating figures of men and women representing the sevent virtues and the seven vices. In the bottom row, there is kindness, gluttony, motherlines, and fraud.

baum1

baum2

Tags: