A romantic Rothenburg Christmas at the Reiterlesmarkt
Stars and Stripes November 14, 2023
The unique wonder of this town with its fairytale silhouette is especially noticeable in winter, when silence falls with the snow over Rothenburg and the town radiates in a soft light.
The festive Advent period in Rothenburg ob der Tauber has been accompanied by a wonderful Christmas market since the 15th century. Besides a whole host of cultural events, it is the appearance of the “Rothenburg Reiterle” that represents the highlight of the Christmas market.
The origins of the Reiterle (little horse rider), who gives the market its name, lie in the dim and distant past. It was once an emissary from another world, who floated through the air with the souls of the dead during wintertime. Over the centuries, the image of this mythical creature changed.
In years gone by, children used to fear his presence. Now both children and adults look forward to his appearance, which is as much a part of the Reiterlesmarkt as the smell of roasted almonds, mulled wine and traditional German Christmas biscuits. He is just as expected as the sounds of Christmas and hand-crafted goodies from the decorated stalls.
The engaging Christmas scenery and the impressive sea of lights around the town hall and the market square are best enjoyed from the Town Hall Tower, which is open daily.
But it is always the festive season in Rothenburg. The German Christmas Museum ensures as much. It describes the history of the Christmas festival using traditional Christmas tree decorations, light figures and Christmas pyramids.
Winding alleys, beautiful views over the white rooftops and the scent of white mulled wine, so typical of Franconia – this is how to envisage the most romantic time of the year.
Christmas market opening hours:
December 1-23, 2023