Dinkelsbühl is in Mittelfranken. It is a former Reichsstadt (nominally subject to the Emperor but to no other ruler) and due to its rather small growth since the end of the Holy Roman Empire, it has escaped both wars and overzealous city planners with its old town largely intact. It has therefore come to be considered a stop along the Romantic Road.
For those whose interest in medieval architecture is more limited, Dinkelsbühl is also well known as the site of Summerbreeze Open Air, a yearly Heavy Metal Festival.
Dinkelsbühl was de facto self governing until 1802 when it was annexed by Bavaria in the course of the Napoleonic Wars. Uniquely during the era of cuius regio eius religio (the ruler would decide the faith of the subjects), Dinkelsbühl had not only equal rights for Lutherans and Catholics but a city government composed of equal amounts of both. Its current touristic importance is largely due to the well preserved old town, which was “discovered” by American soldiers stationed in the American Zone of Occupation after World War II who would link several medieval and “romantic” stops to the Romantic Road before tourist marketing agencies got wind of it and started marketing it themselves.
The train line through Dinkelsbühl while still extant has been shut down for regular service and is only sporadically served by a heritage railwayfromNördlingen among other routes. There are debates and plans to reactivate the rail line for regular service which according to newspaper articles in 2017 could enter service as early as 2020.