The town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber in Franconia in Germany witnessed a rich and eventful history. As an imperial town, it flourished during the 15th and 16th centuries when many magnificent buildings were built and mills were constructed along the Tauber Valley, some of which still stand today. Although the town was damaged during WWII, the alleys and squares still retain their medieval charm. You can expect to see quaint half-timbered houses, strong city walls, medieval bastions, and impressive buildings on your journey through time in Rothenburg ob der Tauber.
In the heart of the picturesque old town, stands the town hall in the market square, which is the starting point of all six hikes in this Collection. Depending on which route you choose, you travel from the square to idyllic valleys, glistening lakes, and small towns. You walk through the valley of mills which would once have supplied leather, tools, and paper to the town.
On the Panorama Trail, you can enjoy completely new perspectives from Rothenburg’s countless towers whilst the W12 Trail takes you to the dreamy little village of Gebsattel. If you are looking for peace and nature, then the hike through the wild and calm Steinbachtal valley is for you. The Schandtaubertal valley also enchants visitors with its dense greenery, ancient trees, and old mills. Birdwatchers will love Lindleinsee Lake, a protected area surrounded by reed beds which is a haven for birds.
Each of the six hikes is a great combination of culture and nature. You first stroll through the narrow alleys of the old town before venturing into the surrounding area of Rothenburg.
It is possible to shorten, lengthen, or combine some of the day Tours. You can find more information in the individual Tour descriptions. Furthermore, Rothenburg is connected to the rail network so you can arrive by train. So pack your hiking boots and step back in time in Rothenburg ob der Tauber!
As with all hikes in this collection, you start at the market square in Rothenburg. Pass the meat shop on the left, follow Hofbronnengasse and soon walk along the impressive city wall. You leave the old town through the Sieberstor and reach the well-fortified Spitaltorbastei from the 16th century. On the Tauberhang it goes down to the upper fulling mill, where textiles and leather used to be processed (milled). Afterwards you change to the Taubertalweg, which leads over the shimmering Tauber. Slightly uphill, you hike through the forest into the natural Schandtaubertal.At the hammer mill, where metal tools used to be made, keep to the right and follow the path of the Schandtauber. Upstream it goes along the water to the smelting mill. At the Tauber you cross the imposing double bridge (built around 1330) and enjoy a wonderful city panorama. A curious highlight awaits you at the Fuchsmühle: the light blue Topplerschlösschen can be visited by appointment.In Detwang you switch to the other bank of the Tauber and hike back towards Rothenburg. Finally, at the Bronnenmühle, the meadow tavern “Unter den Linden” invites you to take a break. Strengthened you climb the Kurzen Steig to the city wall and you are back in the old town of Rothenburg.
From the splendid market square, it is worth taking a detour to the Markus Tower, on the top of which a pair of storks nests in spring. Then it goes south past the Plönlein and Sieberstor. In front of the swimming pool, turn right onto the Walkmühlsteig, which leads you into the Taubertal.You walk past the Upper Fulling Mill, one of countless mills around Rothenburg. Textiles and leather used to be processed (milled) here. After three and a half kilometers, the path branches off to the right and takes you to a lookout point at Eckhartshof. You continue down to Gebsattel, where you can visit the St. Laurentius Church and stop at the Gasthof Schwarzen Adler.Strengthened you cross the Tauber and hike back towards Rothenburg. On the way back you will pass two more mills, the Siechenmühle and the Haltmühle. Following the footpath, you get back to the picturesque old town of Rothenburg and then to your starting point.
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This circular hike takes you north into the idyllic, beautiful Steinbachtal. The abbreviation W9a remains in the valley and runs along the Tauber. The alternative W9b branches off into the green Ruhbachtal and extends the route a little.This tour also starts at the market square. The picturesque alleys lead to the Gallows Gate or Würzburger Tor, the highest point in the old town. You step through the gate and follow the tour north. You will soon reach the edge of the settlement. From there you hike on a path lined with fruit trees through meadows and fields - your gaze sweeps over the Baden-Württemberg Hohenlohe plain, the Steinbachtal and the Frankenhöhe with the Endseer Berg in front.Then you walk into the shady Steinbachtal, next to the path moss-covered elder bushes create a mystical atmosphere. In a gentle up and down it goes through a green forest and meadow landscape to Bettwar. In the small village you can treat yourself to a rest at the Alte Schreinerei inn or you can start your way back. The path in the Taubertal takes you to the Malerwinkel, where you can enjoy a wonderful view.You will then come to the junction to Steinbach, which you follow to the left to cross the bridge over the Steinbach at the next possibility. On a steep path, known as the “knee breaker”, you will make up a few meters in altitude. With hopefully sound knees you then follow the slope path back to Rothenburg. Through the Klingentor you come to the Klingentorbastei with the fortified church of St. Wolfgang, the shepherd's dance museum and the casemates. The Klingengasse brings you to the impressive Jakobskirche and from here it is not far to your destination and starting point, the market square.
As the name suggests, this circular route offers you fabulous views of Rothenburg. With the abbreviation W6a over the Fuchssteige or the alternative extension W6b over the Schandhofhöhe you can adapt this tour to your taste.The starting point is on the market square with the impressive town hall. From there you follow Schmiedgasse out of town to switch to Medersteig at the Spitalbastei. After you have passed the gypsum mill, you change to the other bank of the Tauber and hike to the Schwabenmühle. There are countless mills in the Taubertal that used to make tools, paper, gunpowder and much more. We continue along the wild and romantic Blinkbach up to the American woods. The name comes from the North American Douglas firs that were planted there around 1900.The peaks of the Rothenburg towers slowly emerge past the climbing forest. The Engelburg viewpoint opens on the right-hand side, where the Rothenburg ski jump used to be - here you can look forward to a wonderful view of the city, the Taubertal and the Burggarten. You hike back to the valley with great views and cross the Tauber on the Barbarossa Bridge.At the Bronnenmühle with the meadow tavern “Unter den Linden” you can quench your thirst before you return to the old town via the Kurzen Steig. You walk along the mighty city wall to the castle garden with its colorful flower beds. With a view of the Taubertal with double bridge, Kobolzeller church and some mills, you get back to the starting point at the market square.
The hike takes you to the Lindleinsee northeast of Rothenburg, which is a regionally important bird sanctuary. The reed belts and the extensive silting zones are an important habitat for many bird species.This tour also starts at the market square and initially takes you along Galgengasse to the Galgentor, through which you leave the city. Soon you will leave the last houses behind you and follow the Seegrabenweg. Along the Seegraben, a small stream, you walk past wide fields and meadows. The Seegraben flows into the Großer Lindleinsee and thus brings you directly to the lake shore. The entire area is under nature protection in order to offer various bird species undisturbed breeding and resting places.You walk along the reed belt until you turn right onto a path that leads over the dam through thick green. Then a wide view of the lake opens up, the ideal place for a short break. The path then runs along with the Franconian Way of St. James along the Kleiner Lindleinsee to the country road. There is the Chausseehaus, a former customs house that now houses a pottery.At the Chauseehaus you turn into the wild and romantic Saubachtal and follow the rippling water. An idyllic section that lets you forget the hustle and bustle of the city. It goes back on dirt roads to the outskirts of Rothenburg. You enter the old town through the gate at the fortified Powder Tower and finally get back to the market square.
The picturesque Schandtaubertal characterizes this circular hiking trail, which takes you to Bettenfeld in the southwest of Rothenburg. On this route he follows the Franconian-Swabian Way of St. James. At the hammer mill you can take the shortcut W5a over the Schandhofhöhe, which halves the entire route. In Bettenfeld, the alternative W5b leads through the upper Schandtaubertal.From the market square it goes south to the Plönlein and on to the mighty Spitaltorbastei. Outside the city walls, you hike down the Medersteig into the Taubertal. Past the Gipsmühle, cross the Tauber on the Schmelzmühlensteig and immerse yourself in the natural Schandtaubertal. Accompanied by historic mills, gnarled trees and gravel banks, you follow the path through the forest.The stream takes you to Bettenfeld, whose landmark is the 30 meter high defense tower of St. Wendelin's Church. In the village you will pass the Schandtauberquelle and after a rest in one of the inns you will turn back to Rothenburg. On dirt roads and with alternating views of the Rothenburg towers, you continue hiking. After a good eleven kilometers, turn left and cross the country road.Then it goes to the edge of the American forest, which owes its name to the North American Douglas firs, to the Blinkbach. You hike through the natural Blinktal to the Schwabenmühle, where you cross the Tauber. You pass the Wildbad and soon afterwards enjoy a great view of the double bridge.Now it goes below the Kohlturm over the Kobolzeller Steige up to the bastion of the same name, through which you get back into the city. Before you walk back to the starting point, you can visit the exciting Medieval Crime Museum.