Sunday, December 12, 2010


Rothenberg was a small walled medieval town that had a friendly feeling to it. We also did a wall walk around part of the wall, and that was cool because of all the names of people who had donated to Rothenberg on the wall. In our short stay, we went to 3 museums. The first museum was some sort of monastery. Embedded in the monastery's wall, there was a halved barrel on a swivel so that the nuns/monks/whoever could anonymously give food to the poor.

For some reason the monastery had somebody's private collection of medieval weaponry inside. The person collected quite an astonishing number of deadly weapons. They had one of the first pen knives there; and it was all eaten away at. They also had gotten hold of Marie Antoinette's hunting rifle set. There were guns, spears, sets of armour, swords, knives, daggers, chainmail, and much more. They had a picture of how they would battle with the swords and daggers, and it looked pretty gruesome. I'm not sure how the monastery managed to obtain the collection, but they did none the less.

The monastery also had a funny statue of Moses with horns because the craftsman thought the description read “cornuta” which means horned instead of “coronata” which means crowned. I laughed out loud when Mom told us this. The other statues the monastery had were probably from the streets around town. Mom found a picture that she liked and I knew the place where the scene was in real life, so I showed everyone and there it was.

This was a fairly big museum with a fairly large variety of objects. It had a device that medieval women would wear because their husband didn’t trust them when he went out of town and wanted them to stay “loyal” to him. The "Chastity Belts" might also be used if the woman just feared for their own safety in a particularly bad town. It looked like a steel lasagne-strapped iron bikini bottom. It was a little odd to be around.

The second museum we went to was the oldest house in town from like, 889 A.D. or 889 years ago, I can't remember which. It was unchanged because it was inhabited by a hermit. The floor was the original; hard clay with rock paving stones. There were 3 floors, and it was made exclusively from wood. On the bottom floor there was an indoor well, and an indoor toilet (what a luxury; It must've been added in later!). There was also some sort of shoemaking room, and a sewing/weaving room. Over the years lots of different people have inhabited the house including Coopers & Weavers.

On the second floor, there were 3 bedrooms; the master bedroom, and two children's rooms. You wouldn't be able to tell they were children's rooms had it not said so until you looked at the beds in one of them (the beds were smaller). There were no toys, and not much entertainment. In an average marketer’s home, you might find 4 or 3 bedrooms. 3 of which are split between 10-15 children. 10-15 children was normal. There may be indoor or outdoor wells or toilets. There would be a definite lack of indoor heating.

On the third floor, the attic, there was a bed in a cupboard inside of a small room. The room's size was about 1/3rd of the size of the attic. When we were there the attic was filled with typical junk you might find in your own attic. The attic wasn't originally used for this purpose though. Almost every house had a beam coming out of the front of the house. The beam was used as a crane to get grain up into the attic for siege storage. The attic was an excellent place for the grain because it was clean, high, dry, and away from the, wet dirty streets.

The third museum was about crime & punishment. There was one of those things that people threw food at you when you were in them. They had funny masks and more chastity belts and cool boxes. They had a spiky chair and a stretcher. They also had a lot of lists of punishments for crimes. There were levels of punishment. They had things that held you in a position that made you look like you were playing the violin. They had a thing that held 2 people together, but it was basically a double violin thing so if there was a couple that weren’t getting along they were put in the thing until they did. They also had thumb presses for torture and jingle boots to alert everyone that the criminal was coming with a funny mask on. They also had a thing for bad musicians. It was like a clarinet, but it didn’t work and you were fixed in a single pose. I think they had the most humiliation masks.


Rhonda Staples said...

Hey Holly, I went to Rothenburg when I was in Germany and I still treasure the Christmas ornaments that I bought from there. Did you buy any xmas ornaments?? I was wondering if you'd go to this cute town; now I know the answer. Rhonda

Holly said...

Mais oui, we bought ornaments. How can you escape without them? The ornaments were not the highlight for us, though. It was all the medieval life information that was so unexpected. The Crime and Punishment museum was really beyond our expectations.

maryanncart said...

Rhys, I loved reading your account of your visit to Rothenberg. Very interesting. Love Grandma Mac