Built in 1572 by Prince-Bishop Julius Echter von Mespelbrunn of Würzburg, it was part of an extensive system of fortifications intended to protect the city from attack. Today, it stands as one of the best-preserved examples of Renaissance military architecture in Europe and is listed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
The Spital Bastion consists of two parts: the outer wall and the inner courtyard. The outer wall is made up of five towers connected by walkways and battlements and surrounded by a moat filled with water from the nearby Tauber River. This impressive structure served both defensive and offensive purposes; its purpose was not only to keep enemies out, but also to launch attacks against them if necessary. Inside this protective shell lies an inner courtyard containing several buildings, including barracks for soldiers and storage facilities for ammunition.
Today, visitors can explore these historic walls while learning about their past through interactive exhibits at the museum located inside one of the bastions’ towers. From here you can get stunning views over Rothenburg’s old town centre as well as take guided tours around other sites such as St Mary’s Church or Imperial City Hall (Reichstagsgebaude). Additionally, every summer there are special events held at Spitalbastei such as concerts or plays that bring history alive for locals and tourists alike.
For those looking for a unique way to experience Rothenburg’s rich culture, then visiting Spitalbastei should be top on your list.