Speyer Tourist Attractions
Situation and characteristicsSpeyer, on the left bank of the Rhine, was the see of a bishop from the seventh century, and a free imperial city from 1294 to 1797, the meeting place of many Imperial Diets, including the famous one in 1529 at which the Reformed princes and estates made their protest against the anti-Reformation resolutions of the majority, giving rise to the term "Protestant."The town's harbor on the Rhine makes a major contribution to its economy.There are excursion boats on the Rhine during the summer months.
Cathedral of St Mary and St Stephen
The six-towered Speyer Cathedral (Dom) of St Mary and St Stephen, the largest and most imposing cathedral of the High Romanesque period in Germany, was begun about 1030 by the Salian emperor Conrad II and consecrated in 1061. Between 1082 and 1125, in the reigns of Henry IV and V, a major rebuilding took place.In the west porch are statues of the eight emperors and kings buried in the Cathedral.Features of the interior are the raised Royal Choir, the crypt (consecrated 1039) and the imperial burial vault, with the remains of the imperial tombs, some of which were plundered by the French in 1689. Among them are the tombs of Conrad II (d. 1039), Henry III (d. 1056), Henry IV (d. 1106), Henry V (d. 1125) and Rudolph of Habsburg (d. 1291).In front of the Cathedral can be seen the Domnapf, a huge sandstone basin (1490) which was filled at the induction of a new bishop.
Palatinate Historical Museum
To the south of the Speyer Cathedral is the Historical Museum of the Palatinate, with an outstanding collection of material from ancient, medieval and modern times. It also includes the Diocesan Museum.
At the end of the Judenbadgasse in Speyer, in a little garden almost 10m/33ft below ground level, is the Jews' Bath (Judenbad; c. 1100), belonging to a synagogue that once stood here.
From the Cathedral Maximilianstrasse, Speyer's wide main street runs west to the Altpörtel, a handsome gate-tower of the 13th and 16th centuries (interior open to the public).
St Bernard's Church
In the northwest of Speyer, near the railroad station (Bahnhof), is St Bernard's Church, the Peace Church, built jointly by Frenchmen and Germans in 1953-54.
At Hassloch 14km/8.5mi northwest of Speyer lies the Holiday Park, a leisure and amusement park (area 35 hectares/86 acres) with a Fairytale Park, a Lilliputian Town, a dolphinarium, a variety theater, a cinema with a 180° screen and a wide range of other attractions.
Speyer Pictures View All