Wednesday, November 26, 2014

2014 Germany Trip - DJH Jugendherberge (Youth Hostel) + Roßmühle

Location: Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

German: Jugendherberge is German for Youth Hostel
               Deutsches Jugendherbergswerk, or shortened as DJH, is German for German Youth Hostel 
               Mühle is German for mill (as in the windmill)

Itinerary and full experience of my visit to Germany can be accessed through the link below:

This was another off the beaten path find, located in an area far from the more populous and tourist filled streets. A walk around the perimeter of the town and along the wall brought me to quieter patches of Rothenburg, including one where a peculiar building was located.

From the sign at the front, I learnt that this was a youth hostel with a simple abbreviation of DJH, simplifying a long German word into 3 letters. Its outlook though reminded me of stone cottages from childhood bedtime stories, in which resided wizards and witches. The building of moderate height (5 stories I guessed) had rounded slits of windows built upon an angular roof face, casting an eerie likeness of a multi-eyed behemoth.

Multi eyed monster

DJH's past life was a horse-drawn mill used for grain grinding. The town of Rothenburg sat some ways from nearby rivers, so watermills beyond the safety of the walls posed a problem during wartime. Each of these mills were named and the one within the walls were named Roßmühle. By employing horses to drive the grinding stone, the town was guaranteed a food source unperturbed by sieges.

I researched into interesting spots of Rothenburg, hunting especially for off the beaten track areas. Since the watermills were out of the town, I marked this mill as my target. Unbeknownst to me, the mill was transformed into the multi-eyed building staring at me, and even though I found the sign showing the mill, I did not realize that it was within the building itself. What a wasted opportunity.

DJH Youth Hostel

Mills were required to generate food for the town's population but all of them required water power, which meant rivers outside of the town walls. Roßmühle was a horse-driven mill located within the protective walls, especially useful during wartime when access to the outside was limited and dangerous. Unfortunately I didn't realize I could find it within the hostel...

Facing up

Eyes to the skies

After wandering the area and failing to find the missing mill, I gave up and chose to invest my time on the rest of the town. Maybe if my curiosity was higher then I would have ventured into the behemoth. Nevertheless Rothenburg had enough for a curious wanderer like me to explore..

Environment:         A youth hostel with a unique outlook
Suitable for:            Architecture appreciators, seekers of unique buildings, history buffs who wanted to see a medieval mill
Visit worthiness:   6/10 (score for view from outside, not for accommodation as author has not tried this hostel; worth taking a view and some pictures due to its unique outlook)
Historical value:        3.0/5.0 
Architectural value:  4.0/5.0
Photographic value:  4.0/5.0
Landmark value:       1.0/5.0

Entrance Fee:                  from €27.40, dependent on choice of accommodation and date (as of Nov 2014); check their price in their website for availability and pricing
Opening Hours:              (opening hour) 8.00 a.m. - 10.00 p.m.
                                                (reception)         7.30 a.m. - 12.00 p.m. and 4.00 p.m. - 8.00 p.m.
                                                (check in)           4.00 p.m. - 8.00 p.m.
Best Moment to Visit:  unknown
Length of Visit:               <30 minutes, 1 hour if visit includes the mill within

Website:                   DJH Youth Hostel main page

Contact:                    +49 9861 9416-0 (phone)/+49 9861 9416-20 (fax)
Address:                   DJH Jugendherberge Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Mühlacker 1, 91541 Rothenburg ob der Tauber

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