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Travel Germanys

By: Pamela Bruce
The Romantic Road follows an old trade route and leads from the city of Würzburg (about 80 miles southeast of Frankfurt) to the foothills of the Alps. Driving along the Romantic Raod, or part of it, gives you a chance to experience medieval towns, baroque palaces and King Ludwig's castle.

You can see a map of the Romantic Road at http://www.romanticroad.com/.

After driving south from Würzburg, your first stop should be the palace in the small town of Weikersheim, with its marvelous baroque gardens. Further along the road, the town of Creglingen offers the Herrgottskirche, a church famous for its altar carved by Tilman Riemenschneider in the early 16th century.

The road then follows the winding Tauber river to Rothenburg (one of the major tourist attractions of Germany).

Take your time to walk around this charming medieval town enclosed by a wall and towers. Among the main tourist attractions are the Crime Museum, St. Jacob's Church (with another altar by Riemenschneider), Käthe Wohlfart's Christmas Village, where you can buy Christmas-related items all year long, and the Doll and Toy Museum.

The nearby town of Dinkelsbühl is similar to Rothenburg, as it has preserved its medieval character, though its is much less overrun by tourists during the summer. Further south, you reach Nördlingen, a walled town dominated by the 270-foot steeple of St. George's Church. Nördlingen is famous for a geological feature, as it is situated in the center of a 15-mile-wide meteor crater. You can learn about it in the Rieskratermuseum.

The city of Augsburg, which was founded by the Romans 2,000 years ago, is the largest city on the Romantic Road, so be prepared for some heavier traffic here. Among the highlights are the town hall, the cathedral and the Fuggerei, a settlement that the rich merchant family Fugger created for poor citizens in the 16th century.

Further south, as you begin approaching the foothills of the Alps, you should visit the Wies Church, a perfect example of the ornate Rococo style. And finally, near the town of Füssen, there is Castle NeuschwansteinFeature Articles, built by Bavarian King Ludwig II in the late 19th century.

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