Night Watchman

Rothenburg's legend recounts legends - A city tour with Night Watchman

This man doesn’t just have star potential – he has actually been a star among the city guides in Germany for quite some time. There’s a good reason why some imitators will openly credit the original from Rothenburg ob der Tauber. He “jokes like a Medieval John Cleese (Rick Steves)”.

Stories from Medieval times

Night Watchman Tour

No one else can talk about the tough urban life of the Middle Ages as vibrantly and humorously – and no one looks as much like Robert Plant as Hans-Georg Baumgartner, who makes his rounds as the Night Watchman night after night. Why did people once look at the window openings above you in fear? And why did the Rothenburg residents once pave their streets with the rather uncomfortable cobblestones? The Night Watchman answers all these questions during his entertaining round through Rothenburg. He is armed with his halberd. A black hat and coat along with the horn and lamp are also part of the traditional appearance of Rothenburg’s Night Watchman. It means that many people already recognize him from afar when you wait for him at the Marktplatz to start your tour of the city. And you’ll soon see – even if he looks sinister, Rothenburg’s Night Watchman is one you can touch: snapshots, greetings or just a casual handshake – before starting the tour, he enjoys getting undivided attention on the steps of the city hall. And if you buy one of his “exclusive DVDs”, the Night Watchman will reward you with an especially nice smile.

Highway to hell: The route of the Night Watchman

The tour with the Night Watchman starts at the Market Square of Rothenburg ob der Tauber – right at 8:00 pm for English-speaking guests and at 9:30 pm for the German-language ones. There’s no point in reservations, nor can you buy tickets in advance – Rothenburg’s Night Watchman only accepts cash. The route goes from Marktplatz along Herrngasse, always with a mischievous smile and a witty saying on the tip of his tongue. Those who live along the Night Watchman’s route can set their clocks by him. Long ago, the Night Watchmen in Medieval cities ensured law and order as well as the citizens’ safety. Today their doppelganger in Rothenburg makes sure the atmosphere is pleasant and filled with laughter. He also provides a wealth of information – and this is good, since the Night Watchman also briefly takes you beyond the old quarter towards the Castle Garden. And who would know better than him how to get back through the gates into the city? With him, the guests even go to hell – or actually, to the entrance of the restaurant “Zur Höll”, which is a fixed part of the tour. With a duration of 45 minutes, the fun excursion is also educational and entertaining for children visiting the city.

Castle Gate in Rothenburg ob der Tauber at night

The private Night Watchman: Singing or traditional

You can also get a Night Watchman all to yourself: Groups can book a private tour with one of the Night Watchmen (but not the original Hans Georg Baumgartner himself) through the old quarter of Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Because Rothenburg’s Night Watchman actually has six brave accomplices, who can tell his anecdotes with an equally lively spirit. You can even book a singing Night Watchman group for surprise visits at a restaurant – an experience which the family or group will always remember. For private tours as well, Night Watchmen prefer to move in the evening, because only then do the legends from the dark ages really go into effect.

Schedule for the Nightwatchman Tour in Rothenburg (English tour):

1.1. – 6.1.: daily at 8pm
12.1. – 9.3.: Saturdays at 8pm
16.3. – 30.12.: daily at 8pm (except 24.12.)

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