Monday, 20 August 2012

A medieval town

Sorry for that one-day-lapse in my holiday story. The weekend was hot, sunny and busy, yet again, which I’ll write about (I promise) some other time, when I’m already done with the holiday series. And there’s still a lot to write about (sorry).

We’ve already visited Saxony, Dresden and Bastei in particular. As I promised, it’s time to move south west to the wonderful state of Bavaria. To me, Bavaria is one of the most beautiful and magical of all German states. Well, it’s also the only one I’ve been to before, but shush! about that. Nobody has to know that…

Bavaria also seems very romantic. Yup, the fact that the first trip abroad with my fiancé was to Bavaria might have some influence on my judgement. That’s true. But that’s not just my opinion. And I have a proof of that! The Romantic Road (Romantische Straße) is what can be found there. Sounds nice, catchy, intriguing and enhancing you to come and check it out for yourself? Then it plays its role perfectly well. The Romantic Road is a 350 km long highway stretched between Würzburg and Füssen (southern Germany), coined by travel agents in the 1950s. Just to attract tourists to come and visit this (indeed) charming and neglected part of the country. In medieval times it was simply a trade route connecting the centre with the south. Thanks to that, the towns and cities on the road are what you might associate with quintessentially German scenery and culture (or so it’s advertised).

And it’s one of the towns on the Romantic Road that we’re visiting today. And let me tell you, if half of the places on the way are as near or as beautiful as this one, it’s worth visiting all of them!

Do you remember me writing about Bastei and how I got to know of it from my belovedguidebook? That same guidebook opened to my imagination the gates to the medieval town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber.

It was a really hot and sunny day, so it wasn’t until mid afternoon that we decided to get into the car and drive to Rothenburg. We parked our car at one of many car parks along the city walls, looked around, took a few deep breaths and through one of the gates (the one closest to us, of course) we entered the world we wanted to visit.

Luckily enough, it turned out that we entered the old town right by a church. A church that was hardly visible from outside, at least from the place where we parked. A fortified church, I might add, that is one that was supposed to help defend the town in case of a war. St. Wolfgang’s Church. We probably wouldn’t have been looking for it if we hadn’t bumped into it by chance. Yet a great experience it was. I’ve been to many different churches in many countries but have never experienced anything like that before. The church itself is quite tiny, all whitish-greyish inside (or these are the colours that come to my mind when I think of it), of a very simple design. But you know what the most fun is? You get to walk its corridors! And I really mean what I’m writing! You can enter the underground corridors, you can enter the attic corridors, you can enter the city walls right from the church. There’s also a bonus inside – an exhibition on the lives of local shepherds.

When we left the church, we meant to head directly towards another church, visible from every part of the town. We didn’t know what it was, yet we knew we wanted to get there. We could take the shorter and simpler route right across the town, through its narrow streets. But we decided that easy is not for us. Instead we took a walk on the city walls. The city walls were built somewhere in the thirteenth century and you could so tell that. The stairs leading onto the walls were steep, irregular and each single step was way too high. The holes in the walls, now used to sneak a peak at the new town, back then were used by town defenders to observe the neighbourhood and kill the attackers. All nicely shaped, some already destroyed, but are still charming. And the view of the old town! Breathtaking!

If you happen to visit Rothenburg, you definitely should take that walk on the city walls. And then, just like us, decide to step down and stroll down Rothenburg’s narrow, feels-so-like-Italy, colourful streets heading towards the town hall and the main market square.

 The underground corridors

 The attic corridors

 This reminds me a bit of Casa de los Balcones

No comments:

Post a Comment