A look into the town history of Rothenburg - RothenburgMuseum
Just like the Medieval Crime and Justice Museum, the RothenburgMuseum is housed in a former monastery building in the old quarter of Rothenburg ob der Tauber. The museum promises views into the history of Rothenburg, from the early Middle Ages and the era of an imperial city up to the time of the Nazi dictatorship in Germany and the rebuilding of the destroyed parts of the town after World War II. What is a must-see at the RothenburgMuseum? We think: a lot!
Multifaceted path through the city’s history
The RothenburgMuseum offers a perfect comprehensive view for anyone fascinated by the development of the city over the centuries. The impressive kitchen in the former Dominican Monastery reflects the rich historic heritage of the city. The Baumann weapon collection gives you an impression of the city’s historic wars. The depiction of Rothenburg by romantic painters came at the same time as the rediscovery of the medieval town by tourists in late 19th century.
The Monastery kitchen in the RothenburgMuseum – the oldest one of its kind
The RothenburgMuseum is housed in the buildings of a former Dominican Monastery and a tour through the cloister shows several unique treasures still in their original state – most notably the monastery kitchen from the time the building was constructed around 1240. It’s considered Germany’s oldest preserved monastery kitchen and is even still used now and then, for example when children’s groups learn something about cooking in the Middle Ages as part of an educational program.
Judaica and Christian imagery
The RothenburgMuseum also reflects the shift in how the religions and faiths lived together in Rothenburg ob der Tauber. The Jewish community was once 10 percent of Rothenburg’s population, but there is no longer an active Jewish community as an outcome of Nazi dictatorship and the Shoah. In the Judaica collection at the RothenburgMuseum, you can see historic tombstones and information on Rabbi Meir ben-Baruch, one of the most important Jewish legal scholars of the Middle Ages. The change from the early Christian to the Protestant belief is also covered at the RothenburgMuseum. Statues of saints from the formerly Catholic St. James Church were removed from the church after the city’s shift in faith in 1554 and are now located in the RothenburgMuseum.
Weapons from the age of chivalry and the 30-Year War
The Baumann collection is one of the largest weapon repositories in Europe from various epochs. In addition to knights’ armor, muskets from the 30-year War or lances and swords can be found in this section of the RothenburgMuseum. These are real parade weapons: A hunting rifle that was once given to the French queen Marie Antoinette or pistols for duels handed to the Prince of Metternich. All with high-quality workmanship, although they were probably never used.
Picture Gallery at the RothenburgMuseum: Picturesque Rothenburg
English and American painters discovered Rothenburg ob der Tauber at the end of the 19th century as a sleepy gem that seemed to have fallen out of time. Artists like Arthur Wasse, Elias Bancroft and Klaus Thoma were inspired by the Medieval city and created a large number of picturesque city views from Rothenburg ob der Tauber. The painters thus also helped the city get discovered by visitors. In the Painting Gallery of the RothenburgMuseum, you can find the most famous artworks with views of the St. James Church or across the Tauber Valley, along with scenes from everyday life in Rothenburg’s old quarter, which was oriented towards agriculture at the time.