Rothenburg ob der Tauber (German pronunciation: [ˈʁoːtənbʊɐ̯k ɔp deːɐ̯ ˈtaʊbɐ] ( listen)) is a town in the district of Ansbach of Mittelfranken (Middle Franconia), the Franconia region of Bavaria, Germany, well known for its well-preserved medieval old town, a destination for tourists from around the world.
Rothenburg was a Free Imperial City from the late Middle Ages to 1803.
To the left of the picture forming the west side of the town hall square is the Rathaus or town hall. The rear Gothic part of the building dates from 1250, and the attached front Renaissance building was started in 1572. This building served as the seat of government for the city-state during the medieval ages and for the city of Rothenburg since the formation of the federalist government. The town hall tower of Rothenburg ob der Tauber is one of the Roedertor tower at the east end of the city, and is open daily for visitors to climb. It is almost 61 meters tall (200 ft). At the top of the tower, an admission fee of 2 euros is charged to enter the room with a scenic view of almost the entire town. The room also contains manuscripts providing the visitor with historical information about the construction and relevant history of the city wall.
While buildings within the walled city reflect the city's medieval history, this part of the city is in many ways a normal, modern German town with some concession to the tourist trade. Many stores and hotels catering to tourists are clustered around the Town Hall Square and along several major streets (such as Herrngasse, Schmiedgasse). Also in the town is a criminal museum, containing various punishment and torture devices used during the Middle Ages. For authentic Rothenburg ob der Tauber fare, one should have Schneeballen, egg dough fried, covered in either confectioner's sugar or chocolate.
From 1988 until March 2006 Herbert Hachtel (SPD) was the mayor of Rothenburg. He was succeeded by Walter Hartl.