Visit an Inspiration for Epcot’s Germany

Saint George the Dragon SlayerRothenburg ob der Tauben (translated the red fortress above the Tauben river), is a medieval city in the Bavarian region of Germany. Rothenburg attracts tourists from all over the world, drawn to see this remarkably well preserved fortified city from the middle ages. The geography of the city led to a lack of expansion after the middle ages. Allied commanders during World War II were aware of its historical significance and did not attack the city with artillery. As a result of these fortunate circumstances and ordinances within the city prohibiting modern signage and building, Rothenburg has come to be regarded as the ideal example of a Bavarian city from the Middle Ages.

The Walt Disney Company first became associated with Rothenburg prior to World War II when it drew inspiration for the village in Pinocchio from its architecture. Three decades later, Disney returned to Rothenburg to film scenes for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in the medieval town. While planning the Germany pavilion in EPCOT Imagineers incorporated elements from many different German locations. The statue of St. George slaying the dragon that stands high on a pillar in the center of the plaza is modeled after the St George statue found in Rothenburg. This YouTube video is a fun tour through present day Rothenburg. Watch it and then watch Pinocchio or Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and look for the similarities.

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