Welcome to Nördlingen
Delightfully medieval, Nördlingen receives slightly fewer tourists than its better-known neighbours and manages to retain an air of authenticity, which is a relief after some of the Romantic Road’s kitschy extremes. The town lies within the Ries Basin, a massive impact crater gouged out by a meteorite more than 15 million years ago. The crater – some 25km in diameter – is one of the best preserved on earth, and has been declared a special ‘geopark’. Nördlingen’s 14th-century walls, all original, mimic the crater’s rim and are almost perfectly circular.
Incidentally, if you’ve seen the 1970s film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, you’ve already looked down upon Nördlingen from a glass elevator.