Speyer – Royal Romanesque Beauty
The thing that Speyer is most famous for is its remarkable cathedral, but there are also a number of other beautiful churches in the city. In fact, this place has a very rich religious history. It has been under the jurisdiction of a bishop since 346, and its monasteries and churches date back to the 6th and 7th centuries. The city itself is even older than that, having been established by the Romans by the river Rhine, which makes it one of Germany’s oldest cities.
So let’s start with the most important landmark in Speyer, the Imperial Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption and St. Stephen. The official name is pretty long, so the building is better known as simply the Speyer Cathedral. It is the world’s largest Romanesque church, which determined UNESCO to designate it a World Heritage Site in 1981.
Construction began in 1030, and after its completion it became one of the most important architectural monuments in the world. It has had a huge impact on the European architecture, with many Romanesque buildings of the 11th and 12th centuries having taken design and architecture cues from it. Even though the cathedral was dedicated to St. Mary and St. Stephen, in time it became a symbol of imperial power, because Germany’s emperors were buried here for almost three centuries.
Alongside the beautiful cathedral tourists can find the Historical Museum of the Palatinate. Boasting over 64,500 square feet of exhibition space and about 1 million artifacts, this is one of the most important museums in the country. It receives approximately 2 million annual visitors, who come here for a wonderful journey that starts way back in prehistoric times and which continues through to modern days. Specially created for the young ones, the Youth Museum section is where kids can have fun while learning history. Various workshops and even birthday parties are organized in the museum especially for children. We absolutely love the initiative.
Another must-see in Speyer is the Old Gate (Altpoertel), which is one of the few remaining tower-gates from the medieval times. The original 68 gates were destroyed in time, and this particular one is among the tallest (180 feet) and most architecturally important of all. Interestingly, different sections of the construction date back to different times. The foundation is the original one from the 13th century, the body was rebuilt in the 16th century, and the 65-foot roof was added in the 19th century. Today it is an instantly recognizable landmark of the city.
- While in Speyer, make sure you also get a glimpse of the beautiful Memorial Church of the Protestation, whose 328-foot bell tower is the tallest in the palatinate.
- Luxury accommodation and service can be enjoyed at Lindner Hotel & Spa Binshof.