June 1, 2010

Rothenberg is this awesome city that appears to be frozen in time. It used to be a major trading stop between two huge roads in the middle ages, and became very rich and strong. So strong, in fact, that it had never been taken over until the Thirty-Years War. The city was so devastated after that war that they were just too poor to modernize until the tourist industry boomed around 1900. The city remained almost entirely intact during WWII because the mother of a high-ranking official in the US once visited there and got her son to convince the generals that destroying such an awesome city would be a huge mistake. This was all learned from the “Night Watchman” from the “Night Watchman’s Tour.”

We went to the crime and punishment museum (I’m only calling it this because it’s a fitting description, not because that’s its name). There were a ton of medieval torture devices showcased there, as well as more humane punishments. My particular favorites are the “shame masks” which someone would have locked to their face when they did something to warrant it. One was a pig’s face that one would have to wear after telling crude jokes. There were a few for gossiping and babbling women. I think we should bring these back into regular use.

A few of us went to the oldest building in town after the night watchman’s tour. This was a pub named “Hell.” Its foundation was from the year 890, and the rest of it was built in the 1500s. We stayed in a pretty cool bed and breakfast whose ceiling over the stairs I hit my head on a few times in the one night.


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