Julia flies to Rothenburg/Tauber

Julia, issued in 1999, was Robert Tonner´s short-lived predecessor to Tyler - a 16" doll representing the heroine of a historical romance novel that originally came with the doll. I got my Julia in 2001 on the secondary market, restyled as a modern girl and repainted by Sarah Pharris. I took her along on our trips to Rothenburg and to the Flachsmarkt in Krefeld but did not take too many actual travel doll pictures before the first member of the Travel Blythe Clan arrived.

Julia hails from the airport.

This is the Cessna we were flying with.

A look at the cockpit...

... and outside!

Rothenburg from above - you can see the medieval city walls surrounding the historical centre.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber in the Franconia region of Bavaria, Germany, is well known for its well-preserved medieval old town, a destination for tourists from around the world.  The name is actually a shortened version of "Rothenburg oberhalb der Tauber", "Rothenburg above the Tauber". The town is located on a plateau overlooking the Tauber river. "Rothenburg", some say is derived from the German words Rot (Red) and Burg (burg, medieval fortified town), referring to the red colour of the roofs. But the name may also refer to the process of retting ("rotten" in German) flax for linen production.

Arrival at Rothenburg´s airport

In October 1631 during the Thirty Years' War, Catholic Count Tilly wanted to quarter his 40,000 troops in Protestant Lutheran Rothenburg. Rather than allow entrance, the town defended itself and intended to withstand a siege. However, Tilly's troops quickly defeated Rothenburg, losing only 300 soldiers. After the winter they left the town poor and nearly empty, and in 1634, the Black Plague killed many more. Without any money or power, Rothenburg stopped growing and preserved its 17th century state.

Since 1803 the town has been a part of Bavaria. Romanticism artists of the 1880s rediscovered Rothenburg, bringing tourism to the town. Soon, laws were created to prevent major changes to the town. Even though the city received damage during the Second World War, it was quickly restored. Donations for the rebuilding were received from all over the world.

Julia is waiting for the taxi to take us into the city centre.

The Old City centre is carfree, so the taxi only took us as far as one of the city gates.

Rothenburg was the film location for the Vulgarian village scenes in "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" in 1968,  and was also the setting for the anime "Tiny Little Snow Fairy Sugar" and the Belgian comic book "Yoko Tsuno: La Frontière de la vie" (The Frontier of Life).  It has inspired the design of (generic) German towns in many other animes - such as "Sailor Moon Super S the Movie" and Lupin III - and was also the inspiration for the Italian village in the Walt Disney movie "Pinocchio". 

The clock of the Ratstrinkstube on Rathausplatz (Town Hall Square) re-enacts the historic "Meistertrunk" (master draught). According to the legend, in 1631 when the walled town was under siege by the Imperial forces of Count Tilly, on a lark, Tilly told the city that he would spare them if anyone could drink a tankard containing about one gallon of wine in one draught. Mayor Nusch took the challenge and was successful, and the city was saved. Rothenburg celebrates this rescue each year on Whitsun with a festival performance, a grand army march, and a field camp.

Rathausplatz. The town hall is the building on the left.

Herrnbrunnen in Herrngasse


White Tower (circa 1172), one of the gates to the original 12th century Rothenburg.

"Bed and Breakfast" (literally: Rooms for strangers) - "Home slaughter"


Completely non-related pictures of Stuttgart - just because I found them in my files and like them.


In 1274, Rothenburg became a Free Imperial City and was at the time one of the 20 largest cities of the Holy Roman Empire. The population was around 5,500 people within the city walls and another 14,000 in the 150 square miles (390 km2) of surrounding territory.