Rothenburg ob dere Tauber, Germany – 21 FEB 2011

The name means “Red fortress above the Tauber”. In the middle of the large metropolitan city of Rothenburg is a well-preserved medieval town, completely enclosed by brick walls. Founded in 1170, the walls and towers were built in the 13th century. In the 30’s it was dubbed “the most German of German towns.” It was a two hour drive from Heidelberg; my short 5 hour visit, barely covered a small portion of the walled city as much time was spent in St James’s church, a doll/toy store, a restaurant for lunch and the Imperial City Museum, since it was a bitter cold day, requiring many stops to warm up.

Above and below are views from the parking lot outside of the walled town.

Below is a window shutter latch:

St James’s church (1311-1484) a historic Lutheran church:

Stained glass windows circa 1350:
Twelve Apostles Alter (1499 by Friedrich Herlin):

Holy Blood alterpiece, carved by Tilman Riemenschneider, 1500-05:

This is a very large enclosed place...I'm inside the wall looking across to another part of town still within the walls...and yet, I drove through a very large modern city less than a block from the parking area.

If there is a large bear...Tinky Winky will find him:

Restaurant where I had a great German lunch:
While having lunch, there was a large built-in clock that struck twelve…one side opened and a man raised a horn to this mouth…the other side opened and a man raised a beer mug to his mouth. When I left the restaurant, I notice the same clock on the building across the plaza.
I waited five minutes for it to strike 1 o’ clock…same results!
TW finds some more friends:
Found the Medieval Crime Museum but it didn’t open till 2:00; by then, I was on the other side of town checking out the Imperial City Museum.
Chair used to dunk bakers who made under weight bread loafs:

Even the most German of German towns, has it’s problems:

Heidelberger Schloss, Germany – 20 FEB 2011

I finally made it up to the Hiedelberg Castle. It was built, destroyed, rebuilt, added to & changed over a 300 year period, which is why it reflects many different architectural styles.

It was a long steep walk up to the castle with the tram closed for repairs:
The 30 Years War ended the heyday of the palace, and attempts to rebuild, due to repeated devastation, failed.
The wine cellar holds the world largest wine barrel, built in 1751 and capable of holding 51,514 gallons.

Inside the castle walls is “The German Museum of Pharmacy.” They have the world’s largest stock of “meteria medica” of the 17th-20th century. (Meteria medica stands for the whole of all raw materials which are either medicaments themselves, or which are processed into medicaments.) Below is an 18th century pharmacist's can see a stuffed crocodile, used to impress the visitor with a sense of exotic, strange & mysterious world of apothecary:
In every town I’ve visited in Germany there seems to be an “Apotheke” shop ever few blocks…one in walking distance no matter where you live.

This is a painting with a real stuffed head attached:
Floor of the same room:

This alter is faux marble (painted wood) because the weight of real marble would have been too heavy for the upstairs floor to support: