Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Rothenburg Christmas

Christmas in RothenburgThe Weihnachtsmarkt is one of many Christmas fairs held across Germany during Advent each year.

Rothenburg's is not one of the largest, but its medieval setting - in a square beside the Rathaus - makes it one of the most charming.

Unlike the giant fairs in Nurnberg and Munich, this one feels small-town.

Booths sell hand-made ornaments, small gifts and traditional Christmas Christmas shopfoods - hard candies, gingerbread, bratwurst, mugs of mulled spiced wine called gluhwein, and a local specialty, leberkase - a kind of homemade SPAM in a bun.

Food prices are low, so a strolling meal at the Christmas market is a bargain as well as a winter delight.

Don't miss Kathe Wohlfahrt's Christmas stores, which face each other across the Herrngasse about a block from the Marktplatz.

Rothenburg ChristmasThese stores, the larger focused on glass ornaments, the smaller on traditional woodcarvings, are virtual museums of German Christmas-iana, worth seeing even if you don't buy.

The owners pioneered year-round Christmas merchandising in Germany, and their Rothenburg Christmas stores remain the country's most extensive. Prices are high but the goods are top quality.

Christmas Market
Rothenburg - Christmas Market