This morning we strolled into the medieval town of Rothenburg. Mark had read last night that it has been a bit spoilt and over commercialised. However, compared with Carcassonne and other tourist towns of a similar age it is actually relatively unspoilt. Within the walls – about the size of the walled area of York – it is almost entirely from the middle ages, save for a few post war buildings filling in a gap that was inexplicably bombed.
We wandered through the market square in and out of a few shops before coming across the oddest shop possible – a combination of a mini supermarket and model railway store. We’re bemused at how they arrived at that combination of goods too.
Further down the road we reached a point where you could get on to the medieval walls and embarked on a walk around the walls, which still completely encircle the old town. They afford a charming view of the town and the surrounding Tauber valley.
In the brochures, the Medieval crime and punishment museum bills itself as a slightly more scholarly version of the London Dungeons. In fact it is quite an interesting introduction to the foundation of the German legal system with a few torture instruments thrown in for good measure. And 1000s of ways to pillory people. The local blacksmiths must have been kept busy making new shame masks to precisely reflect the crimes of the individual – it wasn’t just one set of tongue screws for every gossip in town. And the poor donkeys being used for every form of humiliation because they are such ‘shameful animals’.