Following Jewish footsteps
through medieval Rothenburg

First Synagogue
The first synagogue on the site that is now Kapellenplatz as shown in an 18th century etching.
Source: Rothenburg ob der Tauber town archives
The synagogue on Kapellenplatz (Milchmarkt). Coloured drawing found in one of Rothenburg's chronicles from the 18th century.
Source: Rothenburg ob der Tauber town archives
Kapellenplatz after the bombing in 1945.
Source: Verein Alt-Rothenburg e. V., Rothenburg ob der Tauber 1945 - Zerstörung und Kriegsende, Verlag des Vereins Alt-Rothenburg e. V., p. 80
The Kapellenplatz (Chapel Square) in the centre of both the town and the Jewish residential area was the site of Rothenburg's first synagogue. In old prints from the 18th century it looks like a small chapel from the Gothic period. In the years after 1500 it was transformed into a chapel dedicated to Saint Mary Magdalene which was then demolished after 1800. The material gained was re-used in other buildings.

From 1521 up until the 19th century there was no Jewish community in Rothenburg. In the heyday of the town's Jewish community the Kapellenplatz was home to one of the most famous Talmudic schools in Central Europe, led by the famous Jewish scholar Rabbi Meir ben Baruch in the second half of the 13th century. Most of the houses surrounding the square and therefore the building of the Talmudic school itself were destroyed during WWII and rebuilt in the 1950s.