Virtual Tour of Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Schmiedgasse looking north toward the Market Place

The Schmiedgasse (Smithy Lane) is one of the major streets of Rothenburg ob der Tauber. It starts at the eastern corner of the Market Place and goes south to the Plönlein (Little Place) where the name of the street changes to Spitalgasse after you pass through the Siebers Tower. On this street, you will find some of the best shops and restaurants. Note the yellow lines on the sidewalk on each side. These lines alert visitors that there are steps on this street which gently slopes downhill.

Architect Leonhard Weidmann lived in this house

The building in the photo above is the Baumeisterhaus (Master Builder House); it was the home and studio of stonemason Leonhard Weidmann, the architect of the new Rathaus building.

Note the two rows of statues on the front of the building. They depict the seven virtues and seven vices, as shown in the photo below. The second photo below shows the sign over the door which has the date 1596, the year this house was built.

Statues depict seven sins and seven virtues

1596 is the date the Architect's house was built

Today this building houses a restaurant in the former courtyard on the ground floor. You can order the favorite meal of the Baumeister which is a pork steak with bacon and onions served with fried potatoes and a small side salad.

The building on the right in the photo below is the former residence of Rothenburg's most famous mayor Heinrich Toppler, which dates back to 1400. It has a small restaurant with an open kitchen on the ground floor. Toppler was imprisoned in the dungeon of the old Rathaus in 1408 and legend has it that his wife tried to dig a tunnel to the prison to free him.

House where mayor Heinrich Toppler lived is on the right

Tour wagon heading up Schmiedgasse toward the Marktplatz

Every German city has its food speciality, such as Berlin which is famous for its jelly donuts and Nürnberg which has its Nürnberger Bratwurst. Rothenburg ob der Tauber is famous for Schneeballen (Snow balls) which are strips of noodle pastry, formed into a ball and deep-fried for four minutes in hot fat, then dusted with powdered sugar.

The photo below shows the original Schneeballen dusted with powdered sugar on the left; in the center are cinnamon flavored balls, with chocolate covered ones on the right. Note the sign in Japanese for the benefit of the many tourists from Japan.

Schneeballen in bakery window

I ordered a cinnamon flavored Schneeball in a cafe on Schmiedgasse. The snowball was served in a tiny round basket, broken into four pieces, with a fork stuck in the middle. The menu gave the following description: "Schneeballträume made from short pastry deep-fried in butter-fat, served for the first time in 1719 on the occasion of an inspection of a mill."





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