Museum of the Imperial City


A fascinating museum offering insights into the city's rich history.

Museum of the Imperial City

Museum of the Imperial City

Located in the heart of Germany, the town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber features a breathtaking medieval architecture that attracts visitors from around the world. Amongst its many well-preserved and notable sites, the Museum of the Imperial City (Reichsstadtmuseum) is an unmissable marvel. Housing countless centuries of history, art, culture, and civilization, this museum is a vibrant display of German heritage and a fantastic opportunity for any tourist intrigued by the idea of stepping back in time into the tapestry of Europe's rich past.

The Museum of the Imperial City is conveniently housed in the former Dominican convent, a stunning medieval building dating back to 1258. The majesty of the architecture and the peacefulness of the convent's old cloisters create a unique atmosphere that immediately transports visitors back to the Middle Ages. As you roam through the building, you will feel like you have stepped into a time machine lit by the soft glow of history, with each room offering a world of discoveries.

This museum perfectly displays the cultural and historical development of Rothenburg ob der Tauber. It allows you to understand how the city evolved from a small village inhabited by Celtic tribes into an influential Free Imperial City during the Middle Ages, and how it became the appealing tourist destination that it is today. The museum's collections span over 1000 years of this incredible history, from the Middle Ages to days of the romantic painters and the town planning developments of the 19th century.

The exhibits in the Museum of the Imperial City are both diverse and rich, ranging from archeological finds, city models, and historical artifacts, to an astonishing collection of Renaissance and modern artworks. These exhibits take the visitors through various epochs, cultures, and lifestyles, helping them understand the city’s multilayered past.

A highlight of the museum is the Rothenburg Passion, a collection of 12 late-Gothic panels illustrating the Passion of Christ. Created by Martinus Schwarz in 1494, these impressive works are an integral part of the museum's collection, celebrated not only for their historical significance but also for their artistic brilliance.

The museum also houses a monumental stone carving known as the “Holy Blood Altar” by Tilman Riemenschneider, a well-known sculptor from Würzburg. This intricate masterpiece that etches the Last Supper and the Entry to Jerusalem is a beautiful example of the transition period between late Gothic and Renaissance art.

Fans of weaponry and armament will find a haven in the museum's Rothenburg Armory exhibit. Here, you can witness a comprehensive collection of weapons, armors, and flags from the Middle Ages to the Thirty Years' War, allowing you to savor the city's intricate military history.

For those interested in everyday history, the museum also hosts a collection of items used in daily medieval life. From toys, clothing items, and utensils, to furniture and trade goods, these artifacts beautifully depict how life was lived in Rothenburg ob der Tauber throughout the centuries.

One of the perks of visiting this museum is the tower climb. Offering a spectacular panoramic view of the town, the tower is a perfect way to end your exploration of this historic city. The ascent is slightly strenuous, but the reward at the top takes your breath away and provides a priceless photographic opportunity to capture the fairy-tale charm of Rothenburg ob der Tauber.

The Museum of the Imperial City is open all year round and offers guided tours in various languages upon request. It is an absolute must-see for those visiting Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Aside from the enriching cultural and historical experience it provides, the museum is a remarkable reflection of the city’s transformation through the ages. This journey, guided by educational displays and stunning artifacts, is sure to leave you with a deep appreciation for German history and the exciting tale of the Imperial City.