The “Reiterlesmarkt” of Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Rothenburg Christmas Market

Rothenburg Christmas Market - Photo Copyright: Rothenburg Tourismus Service

Once a year, the medieval town of Rothenburg transforms itself into a winter wonderland. Since the 15th century, a wonderful Christmas market has always been a feature of the festive Christmas season. This market can look back on a 500-year tradition, and since this time it has wisely changed very little from its historical origins.

Numerous cultural events are held in conjunction with this market. The highlight of the market, however, is the appearance of the “Rothenburger Reiterle“, who also gave this market its name. The historical origin of the “Reiterle” (rider) comes to us from the dim and distant past. Our ancestors believed that they were messengers from another world, who in wintertime floated through the skies with the souls of the dead. But the image of this mythical character has changed over the centuries. Whereas one used to tremble in fear before this eerie figure, today, young and old look forward to his return. The wild horseman has become a friendly messenger.

Today too, the narrow and winding streets and the squares around the town hall, its archways and the marketplace are still lined with stalls where one can find everything the heart and taste buds desire: old German Christmas pastries, “white” mulled wine, large or small handcrafted treasures as souvenirs or gifts. On Fridays and Saturdays until 8 pm you can enjoy the marvellous view over the “Reiterlesmarkt“ from the town hall tower. Maybe you can hear the “call of the night watchman” or encounter the “Nürnberger Christkind” who has announced it`s visit.

And so the Rothenburg “Reiterlesmarkt” is today the symbol of a peaceful Christmas market as it has grown over centuries, and the city´s decorations for the Christmas holidays lends it a truly romantic character.

2011 Dates: November 25th – December 23rd

Opening hours:

Sunday to Thursday: 11 am – 7 pm
Friday/Saturday: 11 am – 8 pm

Further Information: www.reiterlesmarkt.com (German information, but includes programme of events)

Book German Christmas Market Breaks

  • Flight + Hotel
Adult (19-64):

Book Christmas Market Holidays