History of the Romantic Road
The route followed by the Romantic road is one of the oldest north of the Alps. This important north-south link was already being used by the Romans more than 2000 years ago. The ‘German Travel Route Number 1’ (‘Deutscher Reiseweg Nummer 1’), as it was called, was first mentioned in 1900. In those days, painters travelled along the route to capture the beauties of the landscapes and towns in romantic pictures. The historic road also led from Würzburg to Füssen, just as it does today.
Three years after the end of the Second World War, politicians and tourism experts from Würzburg, Rothenburg, Augsburg and Füßen were already developing the idea of a new, modern Romantic Road. Their aim was to make travellers from all over the world familiar with the delightful historic towns and villages and their famous sights and picturesque landscapes. By 10 January 1950, the Romantic Road Working Group (Arbeitsgemeinschaft Romantische Straße) was finally officially established in Augsburg.
In cooperation with Deutsche Lufthansa and the German National Tourist Board, the Romantic Road became one of the best advertisements for Germany as a holiday country. The ‘Europabus’ line went into operation in June 1950 and it still connects the International Airport in Frankfurt at one end and Munich, the Bavarian capital, at the other, with the Romantic Road.
To this very day, the Romantic Road has remained a popular holiday destination for travellers from all over the world. Visitors from the USA, Japan, China and Korea especially appreciate the flair of the fairytale countryside and the ‘typically German’ towns along the route.
The road has a total length of 385 kilometres and takes in 28 member towns. It briefly skirts the edge of Baden-Württemberg and crosses Bavaria from North to South.