Käthe Wohlfahrt is an enterprise selling Christmas decorations year round.
It currently has six shops in Rothenburg and several more in other locations in
Germany and abroad.
In Rothenburg it is a dominating presence and you can experience Christmas
even on the hottest summer day by entering any of the six shops. The largest and
most interesting is the massive Weihnachtsdorf or Christmas Village just
off Market Square in Herrngasse. This shop claims to have the largest collection
of German Christmas decorations in the world and this claim would be hard to
dispute. Displays range from large nutcrackers to huge Christmas trees and snow
covered toy houses. Most items are made of wood and a far cry from modern
mass-produced plastic decorations. Prices are of course not low but the items
are of a high quality and make nice souvenirs. There is also a Christmas
Decoration Museum but it seems hardly worth the money and effort after having
seen the display in the main shop.
Each of the six stores has a different emphasis, but the Christmas Village is
definitely the most interesting for mere browsing. The Clock Shop has a large
variety of clocks from cuckoo to grandpa standing clocks. The Magic Mushroom
sells mainly toys, in contrast to its Tokyo namesake, which specializes in
hallucination inducing stuff. The Rosenpavillion has home decorations including
a separate Meissen porcelain section. At the Bavarian Gift Shop you can pick up
those Lederhosen that no closet is complete without as well as other
traditional Bavarian attire.
The Käthe Wohlfahrt shops are concentrated around the Market Square area,
which give them good exposure. Rothenburg can feel like one big Christmas shop
until you wandered off a bit and regain some medieval calm and tranquility in
the narrow back alleys.
has an interesting bit on how the store developed out of American interest in
German Christmas decorations and toys after the Second World War.
Results 1-3of 3 Reviews
July 29, 2005
The main store on Herrngasse is a Christmas wonderland with thousands of twinkling lights and Christmas ornaments to fit any décor and budget. Ornaments are all sizes, shapes, and colors—even orange! Prices range from EUR 4 to 25+. Although the many nutcrackers are factory-made, they are all made in Germany. You will find everything connected with Christmas here—crèches, linens, nutcrackers, hand-blown glass ornaments, wooden ornaments, etc. I could have spent hundreds of dollars on ornaments alone!
A clerk will hand you a little basket as you enter the store, and, unless you are Scrooge himself, you will spend. Some say the prices are high, but I didn’t find such a selection anywhere else.
I did buy a cuckoo clock at the Clock Shop on Spitalgasse. It had a large selection of well-made clocks. The clock casing was carved in the Black Forest, while the works are Swiss. Frau Stahl was very helpful in showing us how to set up the clock when we got home. The shop shipped it to our home, and it arrived in perfect condition. By having the clock shipped home, you don't have to pay all the VAT, which covers the shipping.
Open M-F 9am-6pm, Sat. 9am-4pm. The store has a website--Kathe Wohlfahrt.
From journal Romantic Road Gem
Mexico City, Mexico
April 9, 2002
From journal Romantik medieval Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Santa Monica, California
October 23, 2000
From journal Rothenburg and the Romantic Road