Käthe Wohlfahrt Christmas Museum

How do we celebrate Christmas – Rothenburg’s Christmas Museum

Why is Rothenburg ob der Tauber also considered Germany’s Christmas capital? The Christmas market in the old town center during the Advent period certainly plays a big role. But it’s due to Käthe Wohlfahrt’s Christmas Museum that this claim can hold its own all year. On Herrngasse above the Christmas shop of Käthe Wohlfahrt, it shows the creation and development of Christmas customs. Here you can see historic Christmas trees, tree decorations and candle arches. At the entrance to the Christmas village, an oversized nutcracker and a red historic bus with gifts invite you to stop for a snapshot.

The Christmas celebration and how it originated

The Christmas Museum in Rothenburg ob der Tauber explains how Christmas was once celebrated in Germany and how certain customs developed in various regions of the country. There are also insights into the craftsmen’s traditions that accompany the specific form of German Christmas decor – wood carvings and mouth blown glass. The geographic centers of these crafts can mostly be found in Thuringia, the Erzgebirge mountains or the Bavarian forest. The company founder Wilhelm Wohlfahrt, who was born in Vogtland, once imported the merchandise across the inner-German border to sell them from Rothenburg ob der Tauber to clients and guests from all over the world. Today about 200 permanent employees work at Käthe Wohlfahrt.

Christmas – a German celebration

Ploenlein in Rothenburg - Pfitzinger

The exhibition in the Christmas museum focuses on Christmas as a German celebration. When were the first Christmas trees used? Where does the tradition of the Christmas tree even come from? And did you know that Santa Claus wasn’t always a friendly contemporary who brought presents for children? At the Christmas Museum in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, you learn: this was shaped not only by time-honored traditions but also thanks to advertising industry and a commercialization of Santa Claus. This also becomes clear when visiting the Christmas Museum: the decor on the Christmas tree and the festive ornaments, such as the nutcracker, are often disassociated from the original meaning.

After the museum, the next stop is the Christmas village

For many museum visitors, going to the Christmas village at Käthe Wohlfahrt is a fixed component of a visit to Rothenburg. The Christmas shopping paradise is directly below the museum rooms, where over 12,000 items for the Christmas tree or a festively decorated table can be found.