KATHE WOHLFAHRT STORES ARE THEMSELVES A TOURIST ATTRACTION:
Rothenburg ob der Tauber was one of the stops on our German Christmas Markets tour. We like this medieval walled city very much and so we were thrilled to be making a stop in this city. There are lots to see and do in Rothenburg, but the city also happens to be the head office of Käthe Wohlfahrt.
A Christmas Experience
For lovers of Christmas decorations and those who take their Christmas decorating to a fine art, the Käthe Wohlfahrt name brings with it a lot of shopping excitement. At the Käthe Wohlfahrt stores you can enjoy a Christmas experience any time of the year, but to visit at Christmas time itself is special.
The last time we came to Rothenburg in summer (albeit a rainy one), we missed visiting the Käthe Wohlfahrt shop as we had run out of time – it’s easy to lose track of time when exploring this medieval walled city. So on this visit, we made Käthe Wohlfahrt our first port of call, in spite of the Christmas markets being in operation.
Käthe Wohlfahrt Weihnachtsdorf
There are several Käthe Wohlfahrt stores in Rothenburg, and we visited the Weihnachtsdorf (Christmas Village) which is just off the main square at Herrngasse 1.
In front of the store, is the Käthe Wohlfahrt Gift Express. Although this vintage car, stacked with gift boxes, will not deliver your shopping for you, the publicity vehicle makes for a nice photo souvenir. It certainly is very popular with visitors, all wanting to pose next to it.
The Christmas Village
Guarding the entrance to the Christmas Village is a giant nutcracker by the name of Christian I and his brother Christian II is inside, welcoming visitors to the store. One look inside the Christmas
Village and it was easy to be swept into the spirit of Christmas shopping. Designed to look like a Franconian village, the snow-covered houses under the stars, contain displays of all kinds of Christmas decorations. In the centre of the village stands a 16 ft white revolving Christmas tree laden with 1,000 glass baubles and thousands of sparkling lights. As the tree revolves, the baubles catch the light from the stars and it is a sparkling sight.
Down at the village, its winding “cobbled streets” lead us through the Aladdin’s Cave of Christmas decorations. There are alcoves and shelves stacked with nutcrackers, pyramids, glass ornaments, wooden incense smokers, cuckoo clocks, table linen, pewter and more. If you’re buying a gift for someone special, the Käthe Wohlfahrt craftsman is on hand to engrave your special message for you.
The toy medieval village is a hive of activity and a sure attraction for children. Cuddly bears, fluffy rabbits and monkeys are all busy preparing for Christmas. Some are house-cleaning, while others are doing their daily chores on the balconies. Kermit for one is hanging out his washing.
What to Buy at Käthe Wohlfahrt
There are 16,000 sq ft of Christmas decorations at the Christmas Village, so there’s no shortage of choices here. Although some of the products may appear pricey, they are quality products from specially selected suppliers – you won’t find any cheap imports here. There are some seriously expensive pyramids and Tony took fright at some of the price tags.
Much as I love the colourful glass ornaments, I have to settle for Christmas table linen and other table decorations as gifts for relatives – they at least will not break in our already overweight bags. At Käthe Wohlfahrt, it’s not a case of what to buy, but how much your luggage can take!
All too soon it’s time to leave and we didn’t even have time to visit the German Christmas Museum (inside the Käthe Wohlfahrt Christmas Village). Oh well, we’ll just have to come back again. You can buy Käthe Wohlfahrt Christmas decorations online or at many of the Christmas markets, but the in-store Christmas experience is just magic.
Käthe Wohlfahrt offers tax-free shopping and the sales assistants will efficiently generate the Tax Refund Cheque for you. In Germany, you only have to spend Euro 30, in the one receipt, to be eligible for VAT refund, that is if you’re from a non-EU country.
91541 Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Map of Rothenburg: