A Quick Walk around Dinkelsbuhl

We had a very pleasant two nights at Rothenburg and we left this city on the 12th September, 2022 to make our way to the large city of Augsburg. We had a discussion about where we would have a short stop along the Romantic Road and decided that Dinkelsbuhl sounded great. Like Rothenburg, it was a town still surrounded by its medieval walls. Like Rothenburg, it also had a traditional story of being saved from destruction during the Thirty Years war (1618-48), an event celebrated every year with a festival but not by a puppet diorama in the town’s Rathaus. In this case, Dinkelsbuhl was spared from destruction by a group of children who approached the Swedish general begging for mercy for the city. The General had lost his own son and decided to spare the town after hearing the children’s plea. This result was good for Dinkelsbuhl and for visitors like us who had come to see the walls and towers of this beautiful town and perhaps, even more enjoyable, the architecture of the colourful four-storey houses that lined most of the streets.

Our drive from Rothenburg was only 50kms and the road brought us in at the side of the town where the locals had ensured there was a parking lot near one of the entry towers through the city wall (Wornitz Tor). The image to the right of this tower shows that it is decorated by two coats of arms; the one on the left is the town’s official symbol, a shield illustrated by three sheaves of wheat. The other coat of arms is the black eagle with a red beak representative of the German Empire of the late 19th century. It isan ancient symbol originally derived from Germany’s Roman history. It is one of the oldest coats of arms in the world.

We entered through the city wall and immediately found ourselves in a medieval town of wonderful colours, not far from the town’s Cathedral, St George’s Minster. The construction of some parts of this building started in the twelfth century. The current tower of the church had originally been built separately from the church but eventually the church and its tower were merged in the 15th century. We were able to have a good look inside this beautiful church when we circled back here for morning tea in the Markt Platz. Part of this cathedral can be seen in the image to the left below, with the nearby Lowenbrunnen (Lion Fountain).

We decided we would turn left from St Georges Minster along Nordlinger Strasse where we passed another town church called St Pauls Kirche, originally a Carmelite Church that was secularised after the Reformation. It was demolished in 1839 and the current church building was constructed by the evangelical community. (See right, below)

We enjoyed our walk down Nordlinger Strasse, heading towards the next town Gate, Nordlinger Tor. Not knowing the geography of this part of Franconia, I presumed the gates and towers of Dinkelsbuhl were named after nearby significant towns, given that Nordlingen was only a little over 30kms from this town. In a life with plenty of time I would have loved to have visited Nordlingen, making it the third town in Germany that we visited with completely intact medieval walls. Alas it was not on our packed itinerary for the day.

I have rarely enjoyed a walk down a street like Nordlinger Strasse where the enjoyment was simply the style and decoration of the houses and shops on either side of the street (Above left is Apellburg Guesthouse!). The houses were usually the same shape but every house was different in its colours and other decorations…it was bit of a shame when we reached the tower and gate at the end of the street. This was the only point in town where we were actually able to climb a section of the gate and get the photo on the left below, looking back up along Nordlinger Strasse.

The Nordlinger Tower wasn’t the only town attraction at this point. Next door to the tower and gate was a building called the Stadtmühle (the Town Mill), a very old fortified mill that not only ground the area’s grain crops, but it also was built into the walls and served as part of the town’s fortifications. It was built in the late 14th century. It came back into the ownership of the city in 1984 and has been renovated and it now houses the 3rd Dimension Museum. The photo to the right is taken from outside the city walls.

From Nordlinger Gate we walked up the path inside the walls of the town, passing the towers that are illustrated on the section of the town map to the right below. We decided it was time to turn right when we could see the top of St George’s Minster as well as realising that our stomachs were issuing signs that coffee and cake were overdue

On the way down the narrow street (Segringer Strasse)  from the town walls, we noticed two solar clocks on buildings that we passed. One was on the wall of a typical Dinkelsbuhl house that we passed (left below) and the other one was on the side of the bell tower of the Minster.

We spotted a café not far from the door of St George’s Minster but decided that we would visit the inside of the church first before we settled down for some food and drink. This church was built in the second half of the fifteenth century. There is a well-known Pieta in the church which has brought many pilgrims and visitors to view it over the centuries. The gorgeous decorations of the church, particularly the ornate pulpit (below right), were very impressive.

We retired to the perfectly positioned Café Am Munster not far from the door to the church. It had a mural on the front that depicted the town’s most significant historical event, where the local children pleaded with the Swedish general during the 30 years war to spare Dinkelsbuhl from destruction. Both the café and its coffee and cake were a very welcome break in our morning.

When we had finished our late morning tea, for some reason I claimed I knew the direction of our car and suggested my companions should follow me. We headed down Dr Martin-Luther Strasse which was taking us down towards Rothenburger Tor. (We came from Rothenburg so surely the road from Rothenburg led here!) This was the usual gorgeous street but by the time Rothenburg Tor (built 1336) came into view, it didn’t look like the tower that had greeted us when we first arrived at Dinkelsbuhl.

We decided we would have a look at the tower and the area outside the walls and we were well-rewarded for my error. Outside the tower there was some beautiful parkland and a small lake that lapped against the town wall. Other members of the group at this point took over the guiding, took out their phones and suggested we use the walls as our guiding line and head back towards St George’s Minster. When we spotted the church and the town wall in proximity, we knew we would be able to find our car and continue our Romantic Road journey onto Augsburg.


%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close