Nördlingen was not always a tourist center. Before 1960, it was a picturesque but not wealthy farm town with a monthly cattle and pig market, enclosed within the old walls, surrounded by hardworking farm villages.
For a wonderful view into the traditional daily life of Nördlingen as it was then, enjoy the 12-minute movie "German Farm Town" made by Ernest Kleinberg. This documentary captures everyday life both in the town and in a neighboring farm village and out in the fields, where potatoes were seeded by hand (and foot). Kleinberg's family has posted the film on Youtube: The Films of Ernest Kleinberg: German Farm Town. It's a beautiful and memorable view of the old way of life in this old town.