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Day 7: Rothenberg/Wurzburg, Germany

All in all, you're just another brick in the wall...lyrics from the song "Another Brick in the Wall" by the band Pink Floyd

sunny 29 °C

Up early this morning, this was a two-part, full day adventure. After an early breakfast, we headed off to the town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Apparently, there are a number of cities named Rothenburg so this one is identified by the river that runs next to it. The translation of the name means the "Red Fortress above the Tauber". This is one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Germany, a complete walled museum. Legend has it that the town was the inspiration for the Disney movie "Pinocchio" as you can see on the map!

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We took a longer road to get there affectionally, known as the "Romantic Road". Also referred to as Germany's Festival Road, it has a number of festivals, food and beer establishments, and entertainment from May until Autumn. It is quite picturesque:

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After parking, we headed through an entrance in the wall and began a walking tour of the town. The discussion prior to the actual walk was a high-level overview of the religious history of the town (Catholic, Protestants, and Jewish religions). A few photos of the houses along the way to Saint Jacob's (St. James) Church is included.

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St. James Church was completed in 1322 and serves as a stop on the pilgrimage route to the Church in Santigo de Compostela, Spain. The "High Alter" is said to contain a drop of blood from Jesus.

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We then proceeded into the town center, called Plonein Square,

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where we learned of the legend of a wager made with an invading general and the town's mayor. If the town mayor could drink a massive goblet of wine in one swallow, the town would be spared from total destruction and its inhabitants would be spared. The mayor succeeded in finishing the wine and the town was saved! The clock on the tourist information building commemorates the occasion on the stroke of the hour.

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We broke off from the group at this time and decided to take a walk around the 1.5-mile rampart on the walls that surrounds the town. The walking portion of the rampart does not go around the entire town but nevertheless, it provides some interesting views of the town from above. The wall connects five medieval gates, complete with guard towers.

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We essentially wound up back to where we started our morning walk and used the same route back to the famed Christmas Shop where a wonderland awaited us.

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We wandered the town's avenues for a short time before having lunch and then head back to Wurzburg for a visit to the palace.

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As we arrived late in the afternoon, we had little time to visit the Bishops' Residenz in Wurzburg. The Bishops' Residenz is a UNESCO World Heritage Site built between 1720 and 1744.

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We had only about an hour to visit so we touched upon a few aspects, one of which is the famous grand staircase built by Balthasar Neumann.

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The staircase leads to the massive (largest in the world) fresco entitled "The Four Continents" that was created by the Venetian painter Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. The painting depicts in a series of paintings including the primitive lands of the Americas (female native American beheading people and eating their flesh) up to the sophisticated lands of Europe.

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There are also additional scenes and sculptures that complete the fresco.

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We then moved into the famed "White Room" where the palace guards and troops were reviewed (white so you would focus on the troops and not the room),

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We strolled around the palace for 10 minutes and then headed back to the ship. We were called down to the lounge where we learned that our ship could not complete the entire journey due to low water levels on the river. Rather, we would disembark the ship, visit Nuremburg, and then pick up a sister ship down the river (Viking Vidar). Likewise, the sister ship passengers would do the same and board our ship to complete their journey to Amsterdam.

After dinner, we retired for the evening.

(As we will be in a transition phase for the next few days it is likely the blog entries will be delayed).

Posted by Argenti Travel 19:11 Archived in Germany

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