Festive Rothenburg

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Home Page > Travelogues > Germany > Bayern > Rothenburg o.d. Tauber > Festive Rothenburg!

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State of Bayern (Bavaria)

Oh, the Many Festivities in Rothenburg


State of Bayern (Bavaria)

The city of Rothenburg ob der Tauber had one of the most jam-packed event calendar of anyplace.  This could be expected as tourism was Rothenburg's primary industry.  But for such a small city, it devoted so many resources to displaying traditional events all year round.  Even Munich only flexed its traditional muscle during only a couple major events like the Oktoberfest.  While this story will repeat some of the information offered in the Features section of this site, it was worth consolidating visits to several Rothenburg events into a single photo gallery.  These photos were not necessarily the best, but they provided an excellent sampling of what Rothenburg festivals were like.

Rothenburg festivals had lots and lots of parades and processions.  The former were scheduled events, while the latter seemed impromptu just to gather the attention of the throngs of visitors.  This shows a procession of men and women in a long procession walking up Herrngasse to enter the market square and basically mingle with the tourists.  Some of them engaged in a traditional dance or horseplay. This was another shot on Herrngasse pointed toward the Burgtor.  Shown is another group in traditional military dress with a small wheeled cannon.  This group was getting ready to assemble for a parade to be held as the beginning of the Whitmontag (White Monday) celebrations in early spring.  Many of these types of groups also liked to bring along a barrel mounted on a wagon.  The purpose of the barrel was to hold the Bavarian beer.
Indeed, Herrngasse was used a lot for these events.  Here's a shot of these street during a summer festival, with traditional artisans lining both sides of the streets. This was a scene from inside one of the tents.  Here were three ladies making hardboiled eggs that were going to be decorated like Easter eggs.  We have seen blacksmiths, merchants with old fashioned wooden scales for weighing items, and musicians.
But not everything took place down on the Herrngasse.  This shot was taken at the Ploenlein in the southern end of the city, showing a traditional little organ playing music while the boys sold fruits and vegetables from an ancient wagon.  There was always music and dance.  During a summer festival, this traditional dance troup was delighting crowds with song and dance in the Burggarten.  While the dancers were in lines, the musicians at back left were playing homemade-style instruments.  While we could not vouch for the authenticity of the music, it sure sounded like traditional-style melodies.
20th century-style 'oompah' (brass and flute) bands were also common.  Each city had at least one such band that toured around Bavaria, and several often have gigs at Rothenburger festivals.  This band played at the west end of Herrngasse just above the puppet theater. Such bands were never deterred from cold weather.  Here's another band performing at the main market square during the Christmas Market.  Many of the bands included both seniors and high school students together, which encouraged such music to be preserved in Bavarian tradition.
Rothenburg's festivals were colorful and decorative.  Here was a shot of the main market square during the Christmas Market.  The chapter on Obere Schmiedgasse also showed the Rathaus decorated with flags for the summer market. Rothenburg also had horse carriages available to carry passengers around during festivals.  Some were small two or four passenger buggies while this two-horse carriage handled a dozen easily.

Rothenburg hosted special events every month, but some events were larger than others.  The notable events were the Wittmontag celebration after Pentecost, the Summer festival, the Imperial City Festival in the fall, and the Christmas Market that lasted much of December.  The Wittmontag and Christmas Market are detailed in the Features section of this site.

Seven trips between 1999 and 2006 -- Page last updated 01 September 2006 -- (C) 2006 Tom Galvin


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