... enthusiasts of art and culture
However, the first evidence of the city’s existence occurred much sooner than that. Back in 1990, Speyer celebrated the 2000th anniversary of its founding which makes the city one of the oldest in Germany.
And still today, there is lots to be discovered in Speyer. Numerous historically preserved and protected buildings convey the charm of the Middle Ages together with a mix of baroque architecture. The romanesque Imperial Cathedral ranks as one of the most outstanding structures of all.
The Speyer Cathedral is in its dimensions the biggest monument of its era. The Salian emperors made it their burial place. Dedicated to St. Mary and St. Stephen, the cathedral was erected in two phases: from 1025 to 1061 and from 1082 to 1106. It brought to fruition a floor plan that subsequently had a great influence on the development of Romanesque architecture in the 11th and 12th centuries. Its hallmark is the balanced distribution of its structural mass between East and West and the symmetrical array of the four towers at the corners of the nave and transept which define the main body of the cathedral. Source: German UNESCO Commission.
Guided Tours Through the Cathedral
The Speyer Cathedral, "St. Maria and St. Stephen" is the mother church of the Diocese of Speyer and the parish church of the cathedral vicarage.
Its benefactors were the Salian emperors who had it built in the 11th century as a sign of their responsibility for all of Christianity; it was the largest church in the then known western world. Today it is a superb testimonial to Romanesque architecture and has been recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Cultural Site since 1981.
Public lecture on the cathedral's history: Saturdays at 10:00 am. Meet at the north transept. The lecture lasts about 30 minutes. A donation toward the upkeep of the cathedral is requested. When special events are taking place, the lecture may be canceled.
The Imperial Diet (Reichstag) of 1529 placed the City of Speyer at the center-point of German history. Nineteen evangelical princes and imperial cities publicly argued the case for their religious beliefs and they are credited with the fact that freedom of faith and religion could eventually be established in the land.
The protest by these believers also led to their being named "Protestants". Follow us down the trail of history-in-the-making. The Memorial Church in Gothic Revival style with its Luther Memorial and the Baroque Lutheran Trinity Church are ever-present reminders today of this milestone event.
April 1 - October 31
Calendar of events