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Rothenburg’s Medieval golden age 2023

The event starts at

1 September 2023

 - 

The event ends at

3 September 2023

Event's location
Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

On the first weekend of September each year, the Imperial City Festival transports visitors to Rothenburg’s old city to the district’s golden age. The entire old city becomes one huge Medieval camp.

Historical groups from different epochs of Rothenburg’s history come together for the Imperial City Festival. A host of knights camp in tents in front of the Rödertor, while the Meistertrunk troops from the Thirty Years’ War range through the city. In Herrngasse you’ll come across Medieval townsfolk and Schillingsfürst peasants. Dive into the past as a visitor. Entry is free.

27 different historical groups take part in the Imperial City festival. They are found both in the old city and directly outside the city walls, such as on the Festwiese or at Kummereck.

Friday and Saturday evenings are especially atmospheric. On Friday, all the groups make a torchlight* march from the Doppelbrücke in the Tauber valley through the old city to the marketplace, where the evening is crowned with an amazing fireworks display in front of the city hall. On Saturday, the best location to watch the Burning Town fireworks display is from the Tauber valley.

Here are the steps to plan your trip

1. Go to the official website and double check the event availability, prices and regulations.

2. Check below the accommodations in hotels in Rothenburg ob der Tauber available during the the event. ⤵︎

How to find best prices for hotels

2.1. Pick a hotel room by location and by price.

2.2. The search is done for 1 guest and the entire duration of the event. Click on the 'Filter', 'Guests', and 'Dates' buttons to adjust the search.

🏨 In the 'Filters' section, you can tell if you are looking for hotels or vacation homes. Here, you can filter the results by stars, review ratings, and budget.

👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 In this section, you can specify the number of guests (adults and children) and the number of rooms you want to book.

📆 Finally, you can change the date of your stay.

2.3. Save more money! Some hotel rooms are provided by multiple hotel booking websites. You will see them on the top of the hotel room details when you hover the mouse over the room.Be it Booking.com, Expedia, Trivago, Opodo, or other providers, select the best price provider for the room during the chosen period.

2.4. If hotel rooms are not available around the event location, you can zoom out or search by a nearby city/town name. If you have a specific hotel in mind, you can even search the particular hotel name.

2.5. Bonus tip: Switch to Experiences search. Perhaps you will find great tours and activities!

2.6. Pro tip: The map of the experiences may help you find the most vibrant areas in the city and the best locations where you can look for accommodations for your stay.

3. Check the flight, bus, and train travel options to the event location

4. If everything is fine you can buy all the tickets

Free Imperial City Status

Rathaus building in Rothenburg ob der TauberPhoto by

Free Imperial City Status

Every September since 1974, Rothenburg celebrates the Imperial City Days.

This weekend-long festival brings you back to Rothenburg’s Medieval golden age as a city-wide Renaissance fair. The events of the weekend are strengthened by the location in one of Europe’s best-preserved Medieval towns and with the help of near 1,000 costumed reenactors who take the village over for 3 days.

From peasant communes to parading nobles and knights on horseback, the Imperial City Days feels like you have stepped back in time to the Middle Ages.

Having gained Free Imperial City Status on May 15th, 1274 by the King of Germany Rudolf I (House Habsburg), Rothenburg grew to be a social and economic powerhouse. Out of 4,000 towns in the Holy Roman Empire, less than 200 gained this status in the Middle Ages and only 50 kept their rights for any real period of time. This helped Rothenburg grow to one of the largest and most important cities in the old empire with a population of 6,000 in the year 1400, but it was eventually frozen in time during the 30 Years War in 1631.

The Imperial City Days was established on the 700th anniversary of Rothenburg imperialization and has become one of the best celebrations in Europe.

During the festival, you can experience historic plays covering the events of 1274, the Peasants Revolt of 1525, the Reformation, the 30 Years War, the Shepards’ Dance, and their annexation into Bavaria in 1802 which ended Rothenburg’s Imperial City status.

There are hands-on demonstrations, dancing, music from every corner of the village, fireworks, and our favorite event known as the Torchlight Procession.

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