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Rothenburg ob der Tauber

June 23, 2008
Filed under: Germany,Study Abroad — Carl Sutherland @ 1:21 pm

Rothenburg ob der Tauber is Germany’s medieval fantasy town.  Catering today mostly to tourists, the city has a pretty interesting history.  I spent this past weekend exploring that during a quick two day trip.

Rothenburg Near Sunset

Rothenburg Near Sunset

This colorful history begins around 1200.  Rothenburg was one of the largest cities in the Holy Roman Empire at this time and one of the few free imperial cities of the empire, governing itself but ruled by the empreror directly.  During the 30 years war Rothenburg, although completely walled and fortified, suffered heavily.

Rothenburg's Western Wall

Rothenburg’s Western Wall

It was occupied several times during the war, most notably by Count Tilly, and afterward suffered plague.  These events cost the city most of its wealth and destroyed most of the economy in the surrounding area.  Rothenburg’s wonderfully preserved modern state is largely to thank for this, as the city was no longer able to grow.

Rothenburg from Röder Tor

Rothenburg from Röder Tor

During the Second World War Rothenburg was bombed destroying much of the newer portions of the city and about 45% of the wall.  A final bombardment and attack was avoided, sparing the rest of the historic town.

Holy Blood Altar (Helig-Blut-Altar)

Holy Blood Altar (Helig-Blut-Altar)

Tauber Valley Farm

Tauber Valley Farm

I did some site seeing in the city and as usual a lot of walking.  Highlights were climbing the Rathaus, seeing the carving in St. Jakobs Kirche, and a sweet walk through the Tauber river valley.  We found a real relaxed beer garden down by the river basically run off someone’s porch and situated in their backyard.  I could see spending a lot of time there!

Rothenburg at Dusk

Rothenburg at Dusk

The Night Watchman of Rothenburg tour was one that was unfortunately a better idea to skip.  I’d heard great reviews, but on weekends at least Rothenburg is swamped with tourists.  The town receives about 2.5 million visitors annually and there may have but upwards of 100 people attending his walking tour.  The city was gorgeous and fun to visit regardless.  A nice escape to some hills and something a little greener than Munich.

New Gallery

June 9, 2008
Filed under: Germany,Website — Carl Sutherland @ 7:00 am

Over the next couple weeks in my spare time I’ll be updating a few of my personal websites, and beginning a hopefully sustained effort to blog more frequently.

First up is a new gallery for my personal photos.  The permanent address of the gallery is http://www.cesutherland.com/gallery2/.  Here I’ll be storing all my travel photos and what-else I don’t know yet.  So far I’ve organized and tagged about a third or more of the photo’s I’ve taken since arriving in Germany last fall.

The software I’ve chosen is the PHP/MySQL powered Gallery2 and is one that I’ve worked with briefly before.  I chose this software because of its long development history, the depth of its photo-managing capabilities, its ease of install, and its extensibility.  My gallery was up, running, and importing photos within a matter of minutes.  Two of the features I have used most successfuly are extensions.  The first is a server-side folder import function, allowing me to upload images to a directory then import them locally.  The second is a replica function allowing me to keep all my originals in one gallery, and make replicas in another gallery, both using the same source image on the disk.  This feature I use to pick and choose a collection of highlights from each gallery.

Gallery2 is very functional and complex software, with a very powerful theme engine.  This engine will allow me to cut it’s current look down to something more minimalist, fitting with my website.  Over the next weeks, I will finish importing my photos from Germany and make these customizations to Gallery2’s look and feel.