Meeting Place - Speyer

Meeting Place - Speyer

Meeting Place SPEYER SPEYER The 2,000 Year-Old City on the Rhine Table of Contents Noviomagus – Civitas Nemetum – Spira – these three names have ...

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Meeting Place



The 2,000 Year-Old City on the Rhine Table of Contents

Noviomagus – Civitas Nemetum – Spira – these three names have stood, over the course of more

Emperors and Bishops


than 2,000 years, for an urban settlement on the left bank of the Rhine. Today this settlement is

Imperial Diets and the Reformation


called Speyer, the Cathedral City, the Imperial City with its proud, powerful and historically sig-

Science and Administration


nificant examples of religious architecture, its smart building facades from different architectural

Art and Culture


periods, its quiet squares and side streets that are full of nooks and crannies.

Festivals and Hospitality

10 Celts, Roman soldiers, wars and revolutions, ecclesi-

A Walk Through the City


astical and secular rulers, and above all, the will of its citizens have shaped the face of the city. Already

The Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region


determined to have been a settlement during Celtic times, the first Roman military camp came into exist-

Shopping in Speyer


ence in the year 10 B.C. between what are today the Bishop’s Residence and City Hall. The civilian settle-

Interesting Sights and Museums


ment that developed, first called “Noviomagus” and then “Civitas Nemetum” grew, despite many set-



backs, into a regional government and commercial center. In the 6th century, it was referred to as “Spira” in documents.

View of the City of Speyer/Stadtansicht Meeting Place SPEYER · The 2,000 Year-Old City on the Rhine 



Emperors and Bishops During the rule of the Salian emperors (1024 – 1125),

In 1111, the last Salian, Heinrich IV bestowed basic

Speyer rose to become one of the most important

freedoms on the populace. The first step on the long

centers of the Holy Roman Empire. The decisive

journey to self-government had been taken. In 1294,

factor – also for the continued development of the

Church rule of the city came to an end and Speyer

city – was the laying of the cornerstone to the ca-

became one of the few “Free Imperial Cities” of the

thedral during the rule of Konrad II in 1030. The

Holy Roman Empire’s German Nation.

cathedral was consecrated in 1061. This romanesque structure became the burial place of the

A visible external sign of Speyer’s political and com-

Salian ruling house; the splendid crypt remains

mercial importance during this period is the Old Gate,

until today in its unaltered form. Eight emperors

built during the 13th century as part of the defensive

and empresses in all, including four Salian emper-

wall that surrounded the central city during the Mid-

ors were interred there. This, the largest surviv-

dle Ages. It is one of the highest (55 meters) and

ing and most representative church of the Roman-

most noteworthy city gates in Germany. This symbol

esque period, dominates the city’s skyline to this

of civil liberty continues to be connected to this very

day. The papal basilica was added to the list of

day to the great Cathedral through the “via trium-

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1981.

phalis” – still one of the most imposing streets preserved from the Middle Ages.

The Cathedral of Speyer UNESCO World Heritage Site – global recognition and responsibility for Speyer.

In 1076, Heinrich IV began his pilgrimage to Canossa from his beloved city of Speyer. In this same time frame, there were more and more written references to Jewish inhabitants of the city. The sacred community of Speyer was, together with those of Mainz and Worms, among the most influential Jewish communities of Middle Europe. Only the synagogue (1104) and the ritual bathhouse (built before 1120) with its bathing shaft at 10 meter depth remain from the once rambling Jewish quarter.


Meeting Place SPEYER · Emperors and Bishops 



Imperial Diets and the Reformation The Parliament of the Holy Roman Empire (more

Speyer’s days in the sun came to an abrupt end with

commonly known as the Imperial Diet) met 50 times

the destruction of the city on New Year’s eve in 1689.

in Speyer, bringing the city not only political but

On order of Ludwig XIV, the city was burned down in

commercial advantages. In the first half of the 16th

the War of the Palatine Succession. Only the eastern

century, Speyer was once again the focus of Euro-

portion of the cathedral, the Old Gate and a few

pean attention. The imperial diets of 1526 and 1529

buildings at the city wall survived. It was not until

prepared the Roman Empire for the final splitting

another 10 years had passed, in 1698, that the in-

away of the Roman Church. The Memorial Church

habitants were permitted to return and start rebuild-

(Gedächtnis­kirche), built between 1893 and 1904,

ing. Despite all the new baroque buildings like the

is a reminder of the establishment of Protestant-

City Hall (Historisches Rathaus) (1712 – 1726) and the

ism which was carried out in Speyer in 1529. In

Trinity Church (Dreifaltigkeitskirche) (1701 – 1717),

1527, one of the most important institutions for

the city’s street plan from the Middle Ages has been

civil rights in the old empire was moved to Speyer:

­retained. It is a fan-shaped plan oriented on the

the Supreme Court of the Holy Roman Empire.


Memorial Church/Gedächtniskirche


Meeting Place SPEYER · Imperial Diets and the Reformation


Science and Administration In 1797, during the French Revolution, Speyer was

An independent city in the Rhine-Neckar region

annexed by France; then in 1816, it became part

since 1946, the Speyer of today is a competitive

of the Bavarian Kingdom and seat of the regional

­urban resource center with over 50,000 residents.

government for that part of the Palatinate on the

Just under 22,000 are able to earn their living in the

left bank of the Rhine. The face of the city changed

city. A major portion of these jobs range from the

as the build-up of the Bavarian governmental

customer service sector across the spectrum to the

­apparatus brought many functionaries to the

Speyer University for Public Administration, the only

­aspiring city. The city earned the reputation it still

postgraduate training center for the upper ranks of

enjoys today: a city of schools, governmental of-

civil servants in Germany.

fices, religion, records and libraries.

The Historic City Hall/Historisches Rathaus

Meeting Place SPEYER · Science and Administration 


Art and Culture


Speyer is a tourist destination that holds much

city. Regular exhibitions by local art associations

appeal to those seeking artistic and cultural-his-

and by the municipal gallery in the Kulturhof Flach-

torical stimulation. It is not just the the big cultural

gasse and the Künstlerhaus in the Sämergasse offer

monuments like the imperial cathedral, Trinity-

the art lover many interesting insights into the ac-

Church, Memorial Church and the Jewish courtyard

complishments of Speyer’s painters and sculptors.

that draw visitors’ attention. It is also the collec-

The Kulturhof Flachgasse and the Künstlerhaus are

tions and special exhibitions in private and munici-

located right next to the Skulpturengarten; both are

pal galleries and cultural centers that attract visi-

cared for by the Artists’ League of Speyer. Under the

tors to Speyer. Also fascinating to many are visits to

motto, “Art in the Outdoors”, more than 20 modern

the Historical Museum of the Palatinate (Histo­

sculptures by male and female sculptors have been

risches Museum der Pfalz Speyer), the Technology

installed in recent years at various places in the city,

Museum (Technik Museum Speyer) with its IM-

including the Sculpture Garden. New contact oppor-

AX Theater, and the big aquarium known as Sea

tunities and new possibilities for interaction be-

Life Speyer. More information about those later.

tween artists and the public have been highlighted, with the object of helping the public better under-

Artists and intellectuals of every stripe feel them-

stand art and artistic endeavor. Several other galler-

selves right at home in Speyer. That is why at

ies contribute to this effort with rich exhibition pro-

present, there are over 60 visual artists living in the

grams of their own.

Theatre for Children and Young People Speyer/Kinder- und Jugendtheater Speyer


Meeting Place SPEYER · Art and Culture

Cultural Courtyard/Kulturhof Flachsgasse

The life’s work of two of the most revered artistic

Whether classical, jazz, rock or pop, professional so-

sons of Speyer: Anselm Feuerbach (1829 – 1880) and

loists and ensembles offer visitors some unforgetta-

Hans Purrmann (1880 – 1966) are commemorated with

ble impressions. Known and recognized far beyond

permanent exhibitions in the houses in which they

the region’s boundaries are the organ, choir and or-

were born. Purrmann’s name is also carried on the

chestral concerts that make up the International

City of Speyer’s Award for the Advancement of the

Music Days of the Cathedral of Speyer. This classical

Visual Arts, an honor recognized throughout Germany.

concert festival has been luring music lovers to Speyer during August and September for over 20 years.

Last but not least, the variety of the cultural scene is enhanced by the growing number of theater and cabaret

Our Tip:

programs which find their audiences throughout the year

Oldtime Jazz Festival – national and interna-

on the stages and plazas of the city. Examples include

tional bands impress their listeners annually

the cultural program that takes place around the old

in mid-August in the marvelous inner court-

Municipal Auditorium, the classical concert series in the

yard of the historic City Hall.

historic City Hall, and the colorful rock scene in Hall 101.

Meeting Place SPEYER · Art and Culture 



Festivals and Hospitality It is not without pride that people from the Palati-

Königsplatz and the Fischmarkt. “Father Rhine” has

nate are likely to tell anyone within earshot, “In

become a theme for some of the many Palatinate-

Speyer, you might think you were in Italy.” This

style pubs in Speyer. Everywhere you wander, you’ll

hospitable city, full of zest for living, impresses

be enticed by the aroma of the delicious, homemade

visitors with its lively squares, promenades, hos-


pitality and good food served along romantic streets amid magnificent architecture.

And the residents of Speyer know how to celebrate! You’ll see what we mean when you join the thousands

Hundreds of outdoor seats – supplied by street ca-

of visitors who gather with the city’s residents on

fes, cosy wine taverns, and comfortable bistros –

the second weekend in July every year for the annual

line up, one next to the other, like pearls on a string

Pretzel Festival (Bretzelfest), the biggest public fes-

between the Cathedral and the Old Gate and between

tival on the upper Rhine. It got its name in 1910 from the crisply baked pretzel stick that is as much a part

Public Celebrations in Speyer Spring Fair (Frühjahrsmesse):

By way of contrast, it’s culinary delicacies that await

2nd an 3rd weekend in April (10 days)

epicures from near and far every August on Maximi­

Pretzel Festival (Brezelfest): 2nd weekend in July (5 days)

lianstraße, at once Speyer’s “where it’s happening”

Settler’s Celebration (Siedlerfest):

street and also its main promenade. At the Emperor’s

1st weekend in August (2 days)

Table (Kaisertafel), Speyer’s restauranteurs and ho-

Emperor’s Table (Kaisertafel): 2nd weekend in August (3 days)

tel owners offer everything that wine cellars and

Old Town Celebration (Altstadtfest):

kitchens have to offer: culinary specialties, local and

2nd weekend in September (Friday and Saturday)

international, of incomparable variety, along with ex-

Farmer’s Market (Bauernmarkt): 3rd weekend in September (2 days)

Fall Fair (Herbstmesse): 4th weekend in October to 1st weekend in November (10 days)

Christmas Market (Weihnachtsmarkt): from the Wednesday before the 1st Sunday in Advent to December


of Speyer today as the Cathedral and the Old Gate.

Meeting Place SPEYER · Festivals and Hospitality

cellent in-between meals, featuring choice delicacies.

Old Town Celebration/Altstadtfest

For an atmosphere that is full of life, be sure to come

from fine but light cuisine to rustic kitchen special-

to Speyer’s Old Town Festival (Altstadtfest) in Sep-

ties. You can always order the tried and true from

tember. Presented by Speyer’s clubs and associa-

your favorite chef or you can be more adventurous

tions, it has developed a very special charm of its

and and discover something new. In this part of Ger-

own over the years. Everyone comes to chat with old

many, white asparagus from the Palatinate and from

friends and meet new ones in the twisting side

Schwetzingen are very much at home as are sweet

streets and inviting interior courtyards of Old Town.

chestnuts and other delicacies customarily served

Vacationers who find themselves in the midst of it

with the wine of the Palatinate. Experts confirm that

all are sure to feel welcome too. The carefree atmos-

the product of the Palatinate’s vineyards ranks with

phere is, quite simply, contagious.

the finest in the world.

Besides these special occasions, there are around

Our Recommendation – Pretzel Soup:

200 gastronomic establishments that invite the visi-

A traditional soup that’s a specialty in Speyer.

tor throughout the year to celebrate or just enjoy

Surprise yourself – try it.

cheerful get-togethers, while dining on everything

Meeting Place SPEYER · Festivals and Hospitality  



A Walk through the City “Get thee to Speyer” – that’s the translation of a

Next, we leave the City Hall and cross Maximilian-

line that appears in “Götz von Berlichingen”, one

straße to the right and reach Geschirrplatz, where, in

of Goethe’s plays. Thousands of visitors follow

years gone by, tableware was sold. Please note the

this tip every year. Many statesmen and states-

Hohenfeldt’sche Haus, built around 1700 and at one

women have also enjoyed the special flair of the

time, the temporary residence of the writer, Sophie

Free Imperial City on the banks of the Rhine.

La Roche. She was the grandmother of Bettina and

These include Margaret Thatcher, George Bush

Clemens von Brentano, significant because on the

and Michail Gorbatschow.

latter’s invitation, Schiller and Goethe also lived in this house for a time. On the 275th anniver­sary of

So let’s get going and take an enjoyable walk through

her birthdate in 2005, a memorial to the writer was

the city. We have nicknamed the walk, “2,000 Years

opened in the form of the Sophie-La-Roche-Haus.

of Speyer”. It climaxes, as you might expect, at the city’s landmark: the romanesque Imperial Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1981. But along

St. James Pilgrim from Speyer

the way, you will first experience buildings, squares

For 1,000 years, pilgrims have been following

and side streets that are also an important part of

the Way of St. James to Santiago de Compostella

Speyer. We’ll end with a walk through the Cathedral

in Spain. Speyer, the Palatinate’s starting point

Garden to the Rhine Promenade; in our opinion, this

for such a pilgrimage, became an important way

should also be a part of every visitor’s program.

station for pilgrims during the Middle Ages.

We will begin our walk directly beside the Tourist Information Office. There you will find the City Hall, a structure representative of late Baroque style. It was built between 1712 and 1726 on the former site of a 15th century office building and two adjacent homes that were destroyed in the great fire of 1689. Especially worth seeing inside the building are the Council Chamber, built in early rococo style, the Council of Elders Hall, and the Marriage Hall. Until 1995, the ground floor, with its baroque interior decoration, housed the city archives.

St. James Pilgrim/Jakobspilger

Meeting Place SPEYER · A Walk Through the City  


Trinity Church/Dreifaltigkeitskirche

All of a sudden, we are standing in front of Dreifaltig­

points and marketplaces for their respective com-

keitskirche. It was built between 1701 and 1717 as a

modities. At the start of the 1980s, this area, then in

Lutheran church, modeled after Katharinenkirche in

the most urgent need of renovation, was turned into

Frankfurt by the master builder, J. P. Graber. The inte-

what is now a much-sought-after residential area.

rior decoration, most of it still intact, embellishes a

From the Fisch­markt, we can see the remains of the

richly painted wooden vaulted ceiling. The wood

houses of the former patrician family of Retschelin

carvings by Christian Dathan on the pulpit, altar and

who owned a building-and-courtyard complex here

galleries are especially noteworthy.

(the most important secular building in the Speyer of the Middle Ages). Its remains are now referred to as the

We follow Große Himmelsgasse a few meters further

“Retscher Ruin” by the people of Speyer.

in the direction of the Cathedral, turn left into Kleine Himmels­gasse and follow it all the way to the end

St. Georgengasse leads us back uphill to Große

and the Holzmarkt. The Holzmarkt, first mentioned

­Himmels­gasse. On the left (No. 2) stands the Bell

in 1303 and the Fisch­markt nearby, first mentioned in

Tower (Läutturm) of Dreifaltigkeitskirche which was

1290, both served as storage areas, transshipment


Meeting Place SPEYER · A Walk Through the City


A Walk through the City formerly a tower of the St. Georgenkirche (first men-

Korngasse (first mentioned in 1327) and on to the

tioned in 1312).

Seminary Church of St. Ludwig, which incorporates the remainder of the choir of the Dominican Church,

On the southern side of Johannes­straße and a few

built in the years after 1266. After the destruction of

meters toward the outskirts of the city lies the

1689, it was rebuilt during the years following 1698

Church of the Holy Ghost (Heilig­geistkirche), the

and after 1834, it was remodeled into a seminary

first church of the Reformed Congregation of Speyer,

church. With the so-called Bossweil Altar and a knit

which was built between 1700 and 1702 and today

altar cloth, the church owns two significant art

serves as an exhibition space, among other uses.

works of the late Gothic period. A short walk down Predigergasse brings us to the Purrmann-Haus

If we go further down the street, we come to the St.-

(Kleine Greifengasse No. 14), the birthplace and pa-

Guido-Stifts-Platz and Bernhard’s Church (Bernhar-

rental home of Hans Purrmann (1880 – 1966), a

duskirche), also called the Peace Church (Friedens­

schoolmate and friend of Henri Matisse. The Eich-

kirche). It was built in 1953 – 1954 by French and

gässel brings us back to Maximilianstraße. Ever

Germans working together and stands today as a

since its construction in the 11th century, this mighty

testimonial to modern architecture. In Adenauer Park right next to the church, one can still find the remains of the old cemetery. The gothic chapel, Unsere liebe Frau (Our Precious Lady) was built in 1516.

Back across Johannesstraße and Salzgasse, one arrives at the Old Marketplace and the so-called Alten Münze. The House of Minters that had stood here during the Middle Ages was destroyed in 1689 and replaced in 1748 by the construction of what was then called the “New Department Store at the Marketplace”. It has had many functions over the course of the years; for example, it was used for administration purposes during the Bavarian rule of Speyer. Once past the Alten Münze, our path leads us into

Meeting Place SPEYER · A Walk Through the City 


street has represented the main axis of the city. The

boulevard of Speyer’s – it was renamed in 1816 in

houses on the right and left sides of the street have

honor of the Bavarian king, Maximilian I – received a

their origins in different eras. On the western side of

new look, thanks to a comprehensive overhaul and

the street, the historic layout of the houses, which


dates to well before the Baroque Period, has been retained. The buildings on the north side, built over

Looking west, you will see one of Germany’s tallest

a period of time extending well into the 19th century,

(55 meters) and most significant city gates, called

are relatively simple and low. The buildings on the

Altpörtel and connected to the Cathedral in the fash-

south side are distinguished by their prominently

ion of a Roman “via triumphalis”. First mentioned in

raised ornamental gables favored by the local patri-

1176, this was once the main western entrance to the

cians and are visually connected to the City Hall with

city and it remains today as the most significant part

its late Baroque styling. A few years ago, this wide

of the former fortification. The lower portion was built between 1230 and 1250; the uppermost floor of the tower with its late Gothic tracery balustrade and the arcade arches of the gallery were added from 1512 – 1514. The steep roof with its lantern was added in 1708. The east side of the tower (formerly, the city side) is particularly richly decorated; the west side features small embrasures. On the north side of the Old Gate’s pass-through can be found the standard length of Speyer, the 29 centimeter high iron Shoe of Speyer (Speyerer Schuh), by which every commercial transaction in Speyer was governed. Happily, the tower survived the general destruction of the city in 1689. It remains today as one of the few remnants of the city’s fortifications during the Middle Ages.

Once you have climbed the 154 steps to the gallery of the Altpörtel, you are rewarded with a marvelous Old City Gate/Altpörtel/Stadttorturm Altpörtel


Meeting Place SPEYER · A Walk Through the City


A Walk through the City

Roof of the Memorial Church/Dach der Gedächtniskirche

panoramic view over the upper Rhine plain between

on, a portion of the old city wall (called the Post-

Heidelberg and the German Wine Route (Deutsche

graben) that has been preserved, thanks to the

Weinstraße). No high-rise disturbs the view over the

housing development that was built around it. It is

old houses and streets which, since the Middle Ages,

not intended to be a formal part of this walk but we

converge in a star pattern on the Cathedral. The ma-

suggest that you walk further down Bahnhofstraße

jestic ­Cathedral dominates the countryside between

to the Villa Ecarius (built in 1892), a magnificent re-

the Odenwald and the Palatinate Forest. Inside the

stored building built during the period of rapid in-

Altpörtel on the second floor, a permanent exhibition

dustrial growth in Germany at the end of the 19th

has been set up that documents the history of Speyer’s

century. Today, it is the home of the Adult Education

fortifications in general and the Old Gate in particular.

Center, the municipal library and the School of Music. On the opposite side of the street is the Train

If we follow the street further and then turn right into

Station, rebuilt between 1951 and 1953 on the site of

Bahnhofstraße, we will reach, a few meters further

the former station which was destroyed in 1945.

Meeting Place SPEYER · A Walk Through the City 


Now back to the Altpörtel. From there, it is not far to

At the southeast end of the plaza, the Herdstraße

the Archäologischen Schaufenster. Then follow Gilgen­

begins. It dates back to the first millennium. Toward

straße to Gedächtniskirche, also known in Speyer as

the East, oriented toward the Cathedral, lies the

the Retscherkirche, which was built from 1893 – 1904

Kleine Pfaffengasse, likewise one of the oldest

to commemorate the events of the Protestant Refor-

streets in Speyer. Here we find, behind one of the

mation that took place in Speyer. With the highest

big gates to the City Hall courtyard, the building that

tower in Speyer (100 meters), this church, built with

housed the old municipal auditorium, which was

a great emphasis on quality and in the style of a neo-

erected as a theater at the end of the 19th century.

Gothic cathedral, is one of the outstanding artistic

Across the street in a new building called the

accomplishments of its time. Note especially the

Kultur­hof Flachgasse are the exhibition rooms for

stained glass window cycle. Across the street, you

the Art Association and the Municipal Gallery.

will find the Catholic St. Joseph’s Church (St. Josephs­ kirche), built from 1912 – 1914.

At No. 10 Kleine Pfaffengasse, the extended western wing of the one-time prince’s residence begins. In

From the Altpörtel, we take the streets with the

1847 and the years thereafter, it was renovated, ex-

names, Rossmarkt and Allerheiligen to the Feuerbachhaus, birthplace of the painter, Anselm Feuerbach (1829 – 1888). The road then leads us through the Skulpturengarten, with works created by Speyer’s own sculptors and the Künstlerhaus to Königsplatz. Established in 1806, this square hosts a colorful farmer’s market every Saturday. A Craftsman’s Fountain with the Pretzel Baby and the coats of arms of 16 guilds adorns this marvelous plaza. In the Historische Museum der Pfalz Speyer, there is part of a large, antique, Jupiter column that was found here during excavations. It has led historians to believe that that there was once a Roman forum here. Jewish Courtyard with Mikva/Judenhof mit Mikwe


Meeting Place SPEYER · A Walk Through the City


A Walk through the City

Cathedral Treasure in the Historical Museum/Domschatz im Historischen Museum

panded and connected to the Administration Build-

The Johann-Joachim-Becher-Haus, a memorial to

ing (Maximilianstraße No. 5); since 1902, it is an of-

this multi-talented and much admired son of Speyer

fice building. The County Council’s conference hall

(1635 – 1682), has been located at No. 21 Kleinen

inside – today, it is the conference hall of the city

Pfaffengasse since 2005. Viewings are available on

council – is one of the most beautiful neoclassical

request at the Tourist Information Office.

rooms in Speyer. A few steps further on at No. 21 Kleine Pfaffengasse, we find the Jewish courtyard

The road now leads us to the well-known Historische

from the Middle Ages with its synagogue (ruin) and

Museum der Pfalz Speyer which was built between

ritual washing bath. In the 1080s, Jews settled here

1907 and 1910. The museum presents on its more

as well as in Old Speyer. Around 1100, the previously

than 6,000 m2 of exhibit space a varied assortment

destroyed synagogue was rebuilt. Here you will also

of exhibitions on the art, history and culture of the

find the ritual bath (in Hebrew, Mikwe), built in 1128

city and surrounding region from the Stone Age to

and the oldest installation of this type in Germany. It

the present. One of its proudest possessions is the

features a built-in bathing shaft at 10-meter depth.

“Golden Hat” of Schifferstadt which was apparently used around 1300 B.C. in ritual ceremonies. There

Meeting Place SPEYER · A Walk Through the City 


are only four examples of this legendary, cone-

On the plaza in front of the Cathedral’s main en-

shaped hat in existence.

trance stands the Domnapf (1,560 liters capacity), which once symbolized the separation between city

The museum’s highly touted special exhibitions on

and church. The building complex on the left side –

national and international subjects include the Ca-

the former vicars’ courtyard – has been used as the

thedral treasure with the burial crowns of the Salian

Bishop’s Residence since its renovation in 1821.

emperors and the Wine Museum with its “Roman Wine”, probably the oldest wine in the world from

Just a short distance away on Bauhof Street is the

the 3rd century A.D. The Youth Museum of Speyer

builder’s yard. On this spot probably once stood the

(JUMUS) offers children and young people eventful,

palace of the Salian tribal counts, kings and emper-

interactive exhibitions on various subjects. Attrac-

ors. From 1340 on, the City Hall of the Free City of

tive programs featuring top-notch lectures and excit-

Speyer has stood here. From 1529 – 1688, the Supreme

ing workshops round out the multifaceted offerings.

Court of the Holy Roman Empire’s German Nation was located here.

Cathedral Basin/Domnapf


Meeting Place SPEYER · A Walk Through the City


A Walk through the City On the east side of Stuhlbrudergasse, the former College of Jesuits with its Jesuits Church (Jesuitenkirche) and crypt was located.

Turning right into the Sonnengasse, one arrives at the Sun Bridge, the only bridge remaining in Speyer from the Middle Ages; it was referred to as the Nicolas Bridge for the first time in 1242. The half-timbered house, To the Half-Moon (Zum Halbmond), built after 1689, is decorated with a architecturally interesting, polygonal bay window.

From the Sun Bridge, it is just a few steps to the St. Magdalena Dominican Cloister, the place where

Part of the City Wall/Heidentürmchen

the philosopher and Carmelite, Dr. Edith Stein worked before she was murdered by the National Socialists.

The last stop and also the climax of our tour is the

The founding of the cloister dates from the year 1232.

Cathedral, the symbol of Speyer. The cornerstone

It was converted in 1304 to a Dominican cloister. Our

was laid in 1030, during the reign of the Salian em-

road continues past the east side of the Cathedral

peror, Konrad II and it was consecrated in 1061. From

and the Pagan Tower (Heidentürmchen), once a part

1080 until the early part of the 12th century (around

of the city wall. The Heidentürmchen was built in

1106), extensive renovations were made, expanding

1280 and was a two story defensive installation with

it into one of the largest Romanesque structures in

two stair towers.

all of Germany. The Cathedral of the Bishopric of ­Speyer – it later became the papal basilica – had

On the south side of the Cathedral stands the

higher arches than any of its predecessors. It also

centerpoint of the former cloister, the Ölberg.

embodied the first application of the blind arch system

G. Renn, a 19th century sculptor from Speyer, created

and the dwarf gallery. After its partial destruction in

the figures we see today. The original array of sculpt-

1689, the reconstruction of the nave bay into its

ed figures, created from 1505 – 1512, was largely de-

original form began in 1772 – 1778, from 1854 – 1858,

stroyed in 1689 and 1792.

the western wing was rebuilt.

Meeting Place SPEYER · A Walk Through the City 


Special attention should be paid to the crypt (Krypta) which has been preserved without modification. Eight German emperors and kings, four queens and a series of bishops have been laid to rest there. Here you will find the tomb of Konrad II, who always looked upon this Cathedral as the home church and the burial church of the Salian dynasty. Despite its numerous renovations, this building is impressive even today with its monumental simplicity and its balanced dimensions. You can reflect on your im-

Technology Museum Speyer/Technik Museum Speyer

pressions by next taking a relaxing walk through the rambling Cathedral Garden.

invites you to take an underwater journey along the Rhine, through the North Sea, into the depths of the

In the Cathedral Garden we will walk further toward

Atlantic Ocean and further to the colourful tropic

the east, cross Schillerweg, and after crossing the

world of sharks and schooling fish. Over 3,000 fish

Speyerbach, reach another attraction, the giant

from over 100 species in more than 30 naturally dec-

aquarium known as Sea Life Speyer. This attraction

orated tanks show species including seahorse, star fish, rays and sharks. Information about the environment and water pollution as well as yearly changing SOS action contributes to a better understanding of conservation. Through interactive games, films, and trained personnel, your trip through the underwater world becomes an informative, exciting and entertaining experience for young and old alike.

Before you finish your tour with a stop into one of the many comfortable wine bars, cafes or restaurants by having, perhaps, a draft of local beer, you should not miss out on visiting the Technik ­Museum Aquarium SEA LIFE Speyer/Großaquarium SEA LIFE Speyer


Meeting Place SPEYER · A Walk Through the City

Speyer, located quite close to the Cathedral in a


A Walk through the City historically protected former aircraft assembly hall

building called Wilhelmsbau with its mechanical mu-

(25,000 m2 inside and another 125,000 m2 outside).

sical instruments – all this will fascinate you in the

Superlative exhibits from the entire fabric of techno-

Technik Museum Speyer. The main attraction

logical history await the visitor: for example, what

since October 2008 is an original russian “BURAN”

was until recently the largest passenger plane in the

Space Shuttle together with Europe’s biggest space

world, a Boeing 747 has been available for viewing

exhibition. It is open at all times of the year. There

since 2003; the 46 meter-long U-Boat that was

is one more “winner” to be enjoyed by young and

placed into service by the German merchant marine

old at the Museum: the IMAX dome film theater

in 1966 has laid at anchor here in Speyer since 1993;

presents the world to visitors from unusual perspec-

you will be able to walk through it. Locomotives, fire

tives. The sensational productions are so realistic

engines, and the musical impressions you get from a

that the viewer feels as though he is a part of every

tour through the music room of a tastefully restored


Pretzel Festival/Speyerer Brezelfest

Meeting Place SPEYER · A Walk Through the City 



The Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region The Cathedral City (or if you prefer, the Imperial

Park in the town of Haßloch also makes a suitable

City) of Speyer lies nestled amid meadows, forests

excursion. Or how about a drive to Strasbourg in El-

and fields in the middle of the mild Upper Rhine

sace, France or a tour of the city of Worms with its

Valley. The venerable University City of Heidelberg

romanesque cathedral. Both cities make for easy

with its romantic castle is easy to reach by highway

day trips.

as are Ludwigshafen and Mannheim, the latter incorporating Germany’s biggest baroque castle. Lo-

The championship golf courses of Golfpark Kurpfalz

cated in the middle of the Electoral Palatinate, the

in the town of Limburgerhof, Golfclub Pfalz Neustadt

neighboring city of Schwetzingen offers one of

on the German Wine Road in Geinsheim, and Golf-

the most attractive gardens of the baroque and

club St. Leon-Rot in the town of the same name are

rococo periods.

all located in the region and await both beginners and expert players. Or make a pit stop at the famous

Let an idyllic drive along the Deutsche Weinstraße

Hockenheimring and let the German Automobile

during almond blossom time or during the autumnal

Club, ADAC give you a driver’s safety course. These

wine harvest entice you. If you go, don’t forget to in-

are just some of the additional possibilities for a va-

clude a proper retreat into one of the numerous wine

riety-filled and sport-oriented experience, while in

cellars along the way. A visit to the nearby Holiday


Almond Blossoms along the German Wine Route/Mandelblüte an der Deutschen Weinstraße


Meeting Place SPEYER · The Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region


Shopping in Speyer Even during the Middle Ages, Speyer was one of

tradition-rich shopping streets and offer a compre-

the leading shopping centers and market places

hensive assortment.

on the Upper Rhine; in other words, buying and selling have a solid tradition here.

Performance is written in capital letters in Speyer in terms of offerings, variety and service. Behind it is

Until today, the productive retailing businesses in

not only extensive experience but also the willing-

Speyer attract many from the surrounding communi-

ness to approach the customer as an informed and

ties. This is true not only for the many specialty

competent partner. The historic inner city provides

stores and service businesses that line Maximilian-

an attractive and varied background for strolling,

straße, the main shopping street. Many of the ad-

window-shopping, shopping and enjoyment.

joining streets are among Speyer’s oldest and most

Shopping in Speyer/Einkaufen in Speyer

Meeting Place SPEYER · Shopping in Speyer 



Interesting Sights and Museums helmsbau (featuring mechanical music machines, fashion and accessories, uniforms, weapons, and puppets), russian space shuttle Buran, the only IMAX

domed movie house in Germany, model museum, marine museum, special exhibitions, playground, restaurant and convention center as well as a presentation room for lectures.



A destination for the entire family, open 365 days of

Am Technik Museum 1, 67346 Speyer

the year. Accessible airplanes include a Boeing 747

Phone: +49(0)6232 6708-0, Fax: +49(0)6232 6708-20

and an Antonov 22; Oldtime autos; submarines in-

E-Mail: [email protected]

cluding the U-9; locomotives, fire engines, the Wil-

SEA LIFE Speyer Im Hafenbecken 5, 67346 Speyer Phone: +49(0)6232 6978-0, Fax: +49(0)6232 6978-27 Take a fascinating trip into the underwater world of the region by following the course of the Rhine – from its origin in the Alps, across Lake Constance, past Speyer, into the North Sea and on into the depths of the Atlantic. Thirty aquaria house animals of more than 100 species, from snails to a cat shark. The aquariums reproduce the respective natural environments. The highlight of the exhibit is an 8-meterlong glass tunnel through the Atlantic aquarium that holds 320,000 liters of water 5 meters deep.


Meeting Place SPEYER · Interesting Sights and Museums

Historisches Museum der Pfalz Speyer Let yourself be taken on a fascinating trip through history at the Historisches Museum der Pfalz Speyer. Exciting special exhibitions, valuable collector’s items, and multimedia productions have spread the reputation of the museum well beyond the borders of the region.

The museum presents its exhibitions on 6,000 square meters of floor space. Included are the Ca-

Historisches Museum der Pfalz Speyer

thedral treasury, in which the unique furnishings of

Domplatz, 67346 Speyer

the graves of the Salian emperors in the Cathedral

Phone: +49(0)6232 620222, Fax: +49(0)6232 620223

are consolidated. For further information, please

E-Mail: [email protected]

take a look at our website.

Pretzel Festival/Brezelfest

Imprint Publisher: Verkehrsverein Speyer e. V. in cooperation with the City of Speyer and the Council for Tourism; Editorial: Tourist-Information Speyer; Translation: Harvey Utech; Layout: LANGE + PFLANZ Werbeagentur GmbH, Speyer,; Photography: Karl Hoffmann, Dietlind Castor, Thorsten Krüger, Klaus Landry, Jürgen Baum; Date issued: 2009

Meeting Place SPEYER · Interesting Sights and Museums 


Tourist-Information Speyer Maximilianstraße 13 67346 Speyer Phone: +49(0)6232 14-2392 Fax: +49(0)6232 14-2332 Hours of Business From November 1st to March 31st: Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm, Saturdays from 10 am to 12 pm

Denmark Kiel Rostock Hamburg


Poland Utrecht

Belgium Brüssel

From April 1st to October 31st: Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm, Saturdays from 10 am to 3 pm Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm Holidays from 10 am to 2 pm Internet: E-Mail: [email protected] 2.00 Euro Value

Bremen Berlin

Hannover Essen Düsseldorf



200 km Erfurt

100 km Frankfurt

Mainz Worms Luxemburg Ludwigshafen Saarbrücken

Speyer Straßburg


Mannheim Heidelberg

Prag Nürnberg

Karlsruhe Stuttgart




Czech Republic


Austria Basel Bern