Did you know that Rothenburg, a charming town located in Bavaria, was once home to a former Pope named Clement V? Born in France as Raymond Bertrand de Got in 1264, Clement V became the first pope of the Avignon Papacy and served from 1305 until his death in 1314. During his papacy, he relocated the papal court to Avignon but still maintained strong ties with Rothenburg since his family estate was there. When he wasn’t attending to affairs of state in Avignon, he often returned to Rothenburg and resided in a building that still stands today.
This historic building, which dates back to 1250, belonged originally to Clement’s grandfather and was passed down through generations of de Gots until it finally fell into possession of Pope Clement himself. It is an impressive three-story building with thick stone walls that were built for defence against potential attackers during turbulent times between feudal lords vying for power throughout Europe’s many kingdoms and duchies. Inside, visitors can explore two main rooms that feature original frescoes depicting scenes from religious texts, including Bible verses and other artwork, likely commissioned by the Pope himself during private moments spent here.
In addition to the frescoes, visitors can view several artefacts belonging to Clement V, including furniture pieces believed to have been used by him personally, such as chairs, tables, beds, and religious objects like jewellery, crucifixes, rosaries, incense burners, and holy books. These artefacts are all preserved inside glass cases lining walls near the entrance hall, leading out onto a terrace overlooking the lush green gardens surrounding the complex grounds outside.
These grounds are filled with a variety of fragrant blooming flowers and trees. If you’re lucky, you might even spot some honey bees buzzing around and pollinating the flowering blossoms. All of this makes Rothenburg a truly remarkable place to visit. So don’t miss your chance to explore this historic site and witness its beauty first-hand. You won’t regret it!