Wow, where do I start in the Bavarian town of Rottenburg an der Laaber?
This is really difficult, since the town has not only a long history (think Romans), but a good deal of festivals throughout the year, and is the birth and final resting place of a famous “Knight.”
I’m going for the Knight; and he wasn’t a medieval one either.
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Max von Müller was “knighted” by the Der Orden Pour le Mérite in 1917. Wait, I thought knights were from the Middle Ages, wearing armour, and protecting fair maidens — how did von Müller get this “coveted” title?
Well, it wasn’t so easy… He got it by earning the Blue Max, the most prestigious of Prussia’s military honors. Von Müller got it by becoming a World War I Flying Ace, flying 160 combat missions.
His contemporary Manfred von Richthofen (the Red Baron, in case you didn’t know), earned one, as well as did Otto von Bismarck, Paul von Hindenburg, and Erwin Rommel.
Anyway, Rottenburg built a tomb for its decorated son, who died in combat, which you can see while you’re here.
Afterwards, I would suggest a visit to Rottenburg’s Parish Church of St. Georg (built 1860s), the Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall) that’s been here since 1885, and the Brauereigasthof or Brewery Inn on Marktstrasse 19.
Hmm, beer and a place to sleep all in one spot… Heaven!
For something a bit educational mixed with outdoor recreation, check out the Nature Trail. Here you’ll find 10 “stations” that’ll teach you all about the countryside. Guided bike tours are all the rage every August, just in case you want to join in.
You might choose another time to do the nature trail or bike tour if one of Rottenburg’s festivals are going on; and there are plenty of them to boot.
Let’s see… There’s a Village Festival at the end of July, a Summer Festival in August, a City Festival also in August, a Martinimarkt on the last weekend of September, and the obligatory Christmas Market on the 1st weekend of December.
But, for something really special — it’s the Schäfflertanz, a festival that takes place every seven years. It started with the copper guild in the 16th century in Munich — and now many Bavarian towns and villages get in on all the dancing fun.
The one in 2009 was a huge hit with everyone. Can’t wait to see the next ones!