The mighty, all-surpassing imperial cathedral, a charming city center with a wide range of cultural offerings and a Jewish heritage worth seeing - for a city of its size, there is a remarkable amount to experience in Speyer.
Speyer and the Salian Imperial Cathedral are inseparably connected with each other. As early as 1981, Speyer Cathedral was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites as the largest and most important house of worship of the Romanesque era in Germany. From 1039 onwards, it was the burial church of eight emperors and kings for almost 300 years. On the occasion of the Imperial Year 2020/21, the porch of the cathedral was extensively restored and now shines again in its old splendor. Walking through the mighty three-bay nave, past imposing tombs of former rulers, the richly decorated west facade with statues of the five patron saints of the cathedral and sculptures in gilded niches, the full impact of this monumental church building unfolds.
But also away from the cathedral Speyer has a lot to offer. Charmingly situated between vineyards and the Rhine, the old Roman city calls one of the demonstrably most attractive city centers in Rhineland-Palatinate its own. In addition to numerous small stores and restaurants, there are many lovingly restored little houses and historic buildings such as the town hall, the Old Mint or the "Altpörtel", at 55 meters one of the highest and most important city gates in Germany, to discover. The SchPIRA Museum, part of the "Judenhof" UNESCO World Heritage Site ensemble in Kleine Pfaffengasse, provides fascinating insights into the ritual life of Speyer's Jews.
Cover photo: Welcome to Speyer - the mighty imperial cathedral is already waiting in the background © Sina Ettmer - stock.adobe.com
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