Once a year, the medieval town of Rothenburg transforms itself into a fairytale winter wonderland. Ever since the 15th century, the festive time prior to Christmas has been accompanied by a delightful Christmas market. Looking back on over 500 years of tradition little has changed over the years and the historical customs have been closely followed. Many events take place throughout the duration of the Rothenburg Christmas market, like daily brass band concerts, guided tours through the Old Town or the St. Jacob’s Church and tours with the famous Rothenburg Night Watchman. One of the highlights is the arrival of the “Rothenburger Reiterle” (Rothenburg Horseman), who also gave the market its name (Reiterlesmarkt). The “Reiterle’s” historical origin however stems from dark times long past. Our ancestors believed that he was a descendant of another world who during the winter months glided through the skies with the souls of the deceased. Throughout the centuries however the horseman’s image changed from a ferocious character people feared and dreaded to a warmly welcomed ambassador of the Christmas season who is now loved by young and old alike. Meet the “Rothenburger Reiterle”, when he will open the Christmas market on November 30th at 5pm!
Holding true to traditions the narrow winding streets and picturesque squares around the Rothenburg town hall are lined with around 60 wooden booths, appropriately decorated for the Christmas season. Everything your heart desires can be found at this charming market, may it be the traditional Christmas cookies and pastries or the “Weißer Glühwein” (white mulled wine). Gadgets and treasures as well as lovingly crafted Christmas decoration can be found in a variety of booths and are sure to serve as a token of appreciation for loved ones at home as well as a welcomed reminder of your time spent in Rothenburg.
Enjoy the Christmas Market in the romantic setting of the historical Old Town of Rothenburg, have some hot mulled wine to warm you up, follow the Night Watchman on his tour through the dark alleys (8pm), meet Santa Claus on his daily walk across the market (4.30pm), listen to daily brass band concerts and visit Käthe Wohlfahrt’s famous German Christmas Museum for a wonderful Christmas experience in Rothenburg ob der Tauber!
Opening hours Christmas Market
Monday to Thursday 11.00 am– 07.00 pm
Friday to Sunday 11.00 am– 08.00 pm
02.00 pm Market Square: English Guided Tour (until Dec 23rd)
04.30 pm Christmas Market: Santa Clause visits the Christmas Market
(until Dec 23rd)
05.00 pm Christmas Market: Illumination of the new advent window
(Dec 1st – Dec 23rd)
05.30 pm Christmas Market: Brass band concert (until Dec 23rd)
07.15 pm Market Square: Ghost-tour with the executioner
(except Dec 23rd, 24th, 25th, 26th, 31st)
08.00 pm Market Square: Guided Tour with the Night Watchman
(except Dec, 24th, 31st)