Market Square

A lively square surrounded by colourful houses, historic buildings, and cafes.

Market Square

Market Square

Rothenburg ob der Tauber is one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Germany, and its centerpiece is the historic Market Square, also known as the Marktplatz. This picturesque spot is an essential visit for any traveler. An amalgamation of tradition, architecture, and beauty, Marktplatz is an embodiment of the essence of Rothenburg ob der Tauber.

Marktplatz is surrounded by beautiful buildings dating back to the 13th century, their stunning architecture a testament to the rich history of the area. These restored structures paint an extraordinary picture of the city's past, offering a mesmerizing experience that takes you back in time.

One of the city's main attractions, located on the west side of Marktplatz, is the magnificent Renaissance-style Town Hall (Rathaus). A visual spectacle in itself, the Rathaus is built in two parts. The Gothic-fronted white building is the old section, while the larger, impressively ornate part to the rear, with its arcades and tower, reflects the style of the Renaissance.

Standing in the market square, it's hard to ignore the dominant presence of The Ratstrinkstube Clock Tower located on the Town Hall's facade. This historic clock dates back to 1683 and attracts visitors with a little spectacle at every hour. Figures emerge from the clock and re-enact a historical event - the local governor drinking a three-liter tankard of wine in one gulp to save the town from invaders.

Across from the Rathaus, there's a row of beautiful historical buildings housing boutique stores, souvenir shops, and lovely outdoor cafés. Shoppers and food lovers will have a gala time exploring these establishments; you can breeze through fascinating bookstores, stop in at a local jeweler, or take a break at a charming cafe for coffee and a taste of the famous local pastry known as the Schneeballen.

Adding to the historical architecture in Marktplatz, the center boasts of a Gothic-styled fountain known as Georgsbrunnen. It's considered one of the oldest fountains in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, adding a unique charm to the square.

The Market Square also serves as a stage for several local festivals and events throughout the year. The most popular one among them is the Christmas Market, known as the "Rothenburger Reiterlesmarkt." As the festive season approaches, the entire Marktplatz transforms into a winter wonderland exuding warmth and joy. Here, you can find everything from traditional Christmas decorations to delicious local food and drinks.

Another flagship event is the Imperial City Festival held in September. During this time, the square is adorned with medieval decorations, and the event includes historical processions, knight's tournaments, traditional music, and theatrical performances. Wherever you look, you'll see entrancing scenes like horse-drawn carriage rides and city folk dressed in traditional costumes.

For the quintessential view of Marktplatz, head to one of the many timbered homes that encircle the square, which have been transformed into hotels and inns. Many of them have rooms overlooking the plaza, providing a splendid panoramic view. Imagine waking up to the picturesque sight of the Market Square, all aglow with the morning sun, or going to bed after enjoying a captivating sunset over historic Rothenburg.

In conclusion, Marktplatz in Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a place where history, culture, and community come together. Its iconic medieval buildings, year-round festivities, and thriving local shops and eateries make it a must-visit destination for any Rothenburg itinerary. Whether you choose to go on a leisurely stroll through the square, stop at an outdoor café, watch a clock tower spectacle, or partake in a festival, the charm and allure of Marktplatz will leave you both mesmerized and delighted.