Rothenburg ob der Tauber

   
Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Rothenburg ob der Tauber is an amazingly well-preserved medieval town.

Rothenburg street scene

A busy street in Rothenburg, with a fortification gate at the end of the street

Rothenburg in winter

Rothenburg in winter (vertical).

Rothenburg Cathedral

Rothenburg Cathedral, on the pilgrimage route to St. James, was begun in 1311.

Rothenburg Christmas Market stalls

Rothenburg's mainChristmas Market is on the twon square.

Rothenburg Christmas Market on town square

Rothenburg's Town Hall dates from 1250.

Christmas store in Rothenburg

Käthe Wolfahrt, Rothenburg's famous Christmas store (vertical)

Rothenburg Night Watchman

The Night Watchman leads walking tours through town after dark..

Nuremberg

   
Nuremberg Castle

Nuremberg Castle, once the seat of the Holy Roman Emoerors

Nuremberg Castle

The castle is one of Europe's most formidable medieval fortifications.

Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg

Christkindlesmarkt, Germany's most famous Christmas Market

Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg

Historian believe that the market dates from the early 1600s.

Seiffen

   
Seiffen Germany in winter

Seiffen is a small toy manufacturing town in the Ore Mountains.

Seiffen Germany winter scene

Christmas is an especially important time of year for Seiffen's crafts people.

Folk art shop in Seiffen, Germany

Seiffen Pyramid House is one of the town's folk art workshops, offering ...

Folk art shop in Seiffen, Germany

... pyramids, candle arches, nutcrackers, and miniatures in various designs.

Richard Glasser figures workshop in Seiffen, Germanyr

We tour the Richard Glasser figures workshop, one of the town's largest.

Werner Reifentierefigures workshop in Seiffen, Germany

But there are lots of smaller workshops, like Werner Reifentiere.

Seiffen graveyard in winter

All sorts of figures, toys, and decorations are on offer in Seiffen.

Giant nutcracker, Seiffen

Giant nutcracker.  Most are actually reasonably small.

Store Santa figure, Seiffen

Store Santa.  Very patient.

Candle arch in window, Seiffen

Traditional candle arch

Seiffen graveyard in winter

Seiffen's Christmas market stretches along the town's manin street.

Seiffen graveyard in winter

Seiffen after dark

Seiffen Area

    Winter sunrise near Seiffen, Germany
Winter sunrise near Seiffen, Germany

Winter sunrise

A hamlet north of Seiffen, Germany

A small hamlet north of Seiffen.

Hotel Kreutzanne near Seiffen, Germany

Hotel Kreutzanne just west of Seiffen

Winter scene near Seiffen, Germany

Snow day

Dresden

   
Dresden aerial view

Dresden straddles the Elbe River, and has been called the Florence of the Elbe.

Exterior of restored Frauenkirche, Dresden, Germany

Dresden's majestic Frauenkirche was reconstructed after WW II.

Interior of restored Frauenkirche, Dresden, Germany

The exterior was completed in 2004, the interior a year later.

Frauenkirche altar, Dresden, Germany

Altar of Dresden's Frauenkirche, a Lutheran church

Dresden Christmas Market street scene

Dresden's Christmas Market, one of Germany's oldest, dates back to 1434.

Dresden Christmas Market, central square

The main part of Dresden's Christmas Market is in the heart of the old town.

Dresden Christmas Market booth

The Market is famous for its Stollen, a light fruitcake, and snacks like Baumkuchen.

Dresden Christmas Market at night

The scent of mulled wine and Christmas music spreads across the city.

Prague

   
Prague Castle seen from a distance

The massive Prague Castle, the world's largest, is really a city within a city.

Prague Castle main gates

Prague Castle's main gates, with the 1614 Baroque Mattias Gate inside

Changing of the Guard, Prague Castle

The Changing of the Guard ceremony at Prague Castle's main gates.

St. Vitus Cathedral interior, Prague

St. Vitus Cathedral, Czech Republic's most important, is located in Prague Castle.

St. Vitus Cathedral rosette, Prague

"Creation of the World" rosette over the west portal of St. Vitus Cathedral

Powder Gate, Prague

Powder Gate, guarding the gateway to Old Town, rebuilt beginning in 1475

Prague Astronomical Clock

The amazing Astronomical Clock on the Old Town City Hall, built from 1410 to 1490

Charles Bridge, Prague

The Charles Bridge across the Vitava River was built over 50 years from 1357.

Prague Christmas Market scene

Prague's main Christmas Market is located in the central Old Town Square.

Prague Christmas Market scene

There are also markets at Wenceslas Square and at Prague castle.

Prague Christmas Market booth

The most popular treats are spicy meats, gingerbread, and sweet cakes.

Prague Christmas Market scene

The Old Town Square's Christmas tree is from the Republic's Liberec region.

Weimar

   
Statues of Goethe and Schiller, Weimar

Enlightened Weimar was the home of German writers Goethe and Schiller.

Statues of Goethe and Schiller, Weimar

Statue of Goethe and Schiller in front of the German National Theastre

Goethe House, Weimar

Goethe's house is now the main location of the Goethe-Nationalmuseum.

Church of Saints Peter and Paul exterior, Weimar

The Church of Sts Peter and Paul, Lutheran since 1525, after the Reformation.

Church of Saints Peter and Paul interior, Weimar

Martin Luther gave sermons and J.S. Bach often played at this church.

Church of Saints Peter and Paul altar, Weimar

The altar's triptych image, Christus am Kreuz, dates from the mid 1500s.

Weimar Christmas Market scene

The Christmas Market features glass art and wooden and tin toys.

Weimar Christmas Market booth

Favourite treats include roasted almonds and fresh Stollen cake.

Erfurt

   
Skyline of Erfurt, Germany

Erfurt's old towm is one of the best-preserved medieval city centres in Germany.

Half-timbered townhouses, Erfurt, Germany

Restored half-timbered medieval townhouses in Erfurt's city centre

St. Augustine's Monastery exterior, Erfurt, Germany

St. Augustine's Monastery is famous as the former home of Martin Luther.

St. Augustine's Monastery interior, Erfurt, Germany

Luther, the father of the Reformation, lived here as a monk from 1505 until 1511.

St. Augustine's Monastery stained glass windows, Erfurt, Germany

After the Reformation, from 1525 the church was used by a Lutheran congregation.

Erfurt Christmas Market entrance

Erfurt's Christmas Market features 200 wooden huts with gifts and tasty treats.

Erfurt Christmas Market scene

Christmas wares, traditional blue-dyed fabrics, pottery, and crafts are on offer.

Erfurt Christmas Market booths

Favourite snacks are Thuringian bratwurst and Erfurt schittchen, a stollen.

Eisenach:  Wartburg Castle

   
Wartburg Castle, Eisenach

Wartburg Castle is perched on a cliff 400 m / 1300 ft above the countryside.

Wartburg Castle architecture

Martin Luther translated the bible into German while hiding here in 1521-22.

Wartburg Castle architecture

The location provides a commanding view of Eisenach and the valley.

Wartburg Castle architecture

The foundation of this UNESCO World Heritage Site dates from 1067.

Martin Luther's desk in Wartburg Castle

The castle's Palas (Great Hall) was built between 1157 and 1170.

Martin Luther's desk in Wartburg Castle

A dining area at Wartburg Castle

Martin Luther's desk in Wartburg Castle

Luther completed his translation in just 10 weeks.  This was his writing desk.

Martin Luther's desk in Wartburg Castle

This Complete German Bible was printed by Hans Luft in 1541.

Frankfurt

   
Frankfurt am Main aerial view

Frankfurt am Main (on the Main River),tour origination and termination point

Main River traffic, Frankfurt

The Main River, a tributary of the Rhine, is a busy freight route..

Bank towers, Frankfurt

Frankfurt has emnerged as the major financial centre of the European continent.

Old Opera House, Frankfurt

The Old Opera House, destroyed in WW II, was rebuilt from 1976 to 1981.

Neuschwanstein from below

Römerberg square is the historic heart of Frankfurt's medieval Altstadt (old town).

Neuschwanstein from below

Römerberg has been the seat of Frankfurt's civic government since 1405..

Neuschwanstein from below

Frankfurt's Christmas Market is centered on the Römerburg square.

Neuschwanstein from below

The origins of the Frankfurt Christmas Market date back to 1393.

Neuschwanstein from below

All manor of trinkets are on offer ...

Neuschwanstein from below

... as well as treats both sweet and savory.

Neuschwanstein from below

Käthe Wohlfahrt, based in Rothenburg, is everywhere, even internationally.

Lufthanse jet, Frankfurt Airport

Time to head home.
Auf wiedersehen.