Saturday, June 26, 2010

Rothenburg. Yup, that’s it.

A bit of a slow day. We spent last night at the gastof I wrote about yesterday, and the breakfast was delicious – lots of local baked goods, some juice that I could drink (read – not orange) and internet connection over tea. Good times. We left here around 9 and wandered into the castle gardens. Rotheburg is built on top of a big hill, so the views from the garden are quite something into the valley. The castle no longer stands, but the old walls that fenced it in do and the city has put in some nice gardens.

From there, we headed over to the Kriminale Prison to be there when it opened at 10. It’s billed as a torture museum, but it’s really a bit of a hodge-podge. The basement has displays dedicated to torture, the ground floor holds weapons, the second floor holds documents pertaining to the development of laws, and the third floor holds more torture/imprisonment tools. Very interesting, but they’ve got fist-class, ancient documents on display behind glass. The historian in me was just praying that it was light filtering glass so they survive another few hundred years.

After the Kriminale we started walking around the town again, stopped for a drink, then headed to the Rathause to see the burger museum. Rothenburg has a lovely little story in it’s history that the towns people like to celebrate. Gather ‘round boys and girls and hear a tale of tom-foolery and bad decisions. Rothenburg is a free imperial city (think of the old city-states of ancient Greece – in a time when Germany was a collective of principalities and duchies, Rothenburg was an authority unto itself. During the 30 Years War, the mercenary leader, Count Tilley, rolled into town and demanded that Rothenburg surrender to his forces or face the same fate as the last town that refused (at which 30,000 people were slaughtered by his forces). The mayor wasn’t about to let this happen, so made a deal with Tilley: if the mayor could drink 2 liters of the local wine, Tilley would leave the city un-ravished. Tilley agreed, the drinks were poured, and the mayor set to a chuggin.’ And he finished his drink. All of it. Tilley agreed to leave the town alone, and the mayor went and took a 3-day nap to recover. The glockenspiel in town celebrates this story and so does the Rathause museum.

It’s a small museum, so afterwards, Dad and I went off to find lunch. We found a little gastof that was off the beaten path and I feared stomach bugs until I saw the food – I had a jagersnizle which is like a weiner snitzle that’s smothered in mushroom gravy – it was really good. After that, we went and walked around about 1/3 of the surviving city walls, then to the Imperial City museum, which celebrates the history of Rothenburg. Admission cost Dad and I 5 Euros, but if we wanted to take pictures of the interior, it was an extra 3. We walked through about ¾ of it, then decided we were museumed out. We headed back to the hotel to relax, out for dinner around 6, and an early night tonight since we’ve got a road trip to Nurmburg planned for tomorrow. All in all, a relatively light day, but still a long one!

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