Towering above: The imperial cathedral over the roofs of Speyer

You think visiting churches is boring? Well, you’ve probably never been to the largest Romanesque cathedral in the world. With its unique architecture and fascinating stories from a different era, Speyer Cathedral is a very special cultural highlight and has been a Unesco world heritage site since 1981. And if you don’t find history or architecture particularly exciting, your breath will be taken away as soon as you see the view from the southwest tower, that’s a promise. 

It’s almost a thousand years old and the tallest building in the city today. The Salian emperor Conrad II wanted to create a monument to God and himself with the Speyer Cathedral. In 1025, he began construction with the aim of erecting the largest church in the western world. He did not experience its completion himself and was buried in the cathedral in 1039 when it was still under construction. The huge building was only completed by his grandson Henry IV around 70 years later. Four emperors and four kings of the Middle Ages are buried in Speyer. Their graves remained spared in the many confusing events over the centuries and are an impressive testimony to the era. You can enter the burial vault from the crypt. This alone is particularly worth seeing. The crypt is the oldest part of the cathedral and is still one of the most beautiful lower churches in Western Europe. The climb up to it is on more than 300 steps and after a short break in the splendid imperial hall with its monumental frescoes by the painter Johann Baptist Schraudolph, you reach the viewing platform of the southwest tower. A unique panoramic view of the entire Rhine plain awaits you there.

Impressive crypt in Speyer Cathedral, Palatinate

Impressive crypt in Speyer Cathedral, Palatinate

Golden tip

Worth gold

Only for those with a head for heights – a tour of the dwarf gallery. The open arcade is located under the eaves of the building. Secured with belts and ropes, you’ll be led around the cathedral at a height of 30 metres with the city spread out at your feet.

What also glitters…

Altpörtel city gate, Maximilianstrasse, Dreifaltigkeitskirche (Trinity Church), Jewish cemetery and SchPIRA Museum - Unesco ShUM world heritage site, Speyer Museum of Technology, Historical Museum of the Palatinate, Sea Life, Purrmann-Haus

#RLPGoldenTime #RLPHighlights

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