"Speyer – the pearl of Palatinate and Europe" Top 5 Page for this destination Speyer by Trekki
Speyer Travel Guide: 348 reviews and 1,157 photos
Among all the cities and towns in Germany, Speyer is definitely one of my favourites. I grew up nearby and loved it and also later, after school, university and ever since I love visiting this so charming town. I cannot get enough of the town.
You might wonder about my page title “Speyer - the pearl of Palatinate and of Europe”. Its cathedral is listed UNESCO Heritage since 1981, but does this make a town a pearl? Maybe, but I am referring to the town’s history and its significance for more than 2000 years. This is something not many foreign visitors to Germany seem to be aware of. Sadly. If I compare for example the degree of popularity or awareness of German city Trier with Speyer, then Speyer is definitely lesser known. This is so sad, given the charm and the lovely atmosphere of the town and the many interesting museums and sights to see, in addition to the so splendid cathedral.
Speyer’s surroundings were already settled back in Bronze Age. Later, the Romans came and, as @Leics would say, did their Roman thing. Flourishing started after Salian Konrad II decided to have his imperial cathedral built here starting early 11th century. The city became the status of “free imperial city” and many imperial diets (assemblies) were held here. One of the most historically relevant was in 1529 when the ban against Luther was abolished during the “Speyer Protestation”. It was destroyed several times, especially badly by French King Louis XIV and later by Napoleon’s troops. From early 19th century it belonged to the Kingdom of Bavaria and was even the capital of the Palatine part of the kingdom. This was the time when the final restoring of the cathedral exterior took place, funded by the Bavarian kings Max II and Ludwig I. The interior was brought back to the original Romanesque style mid of 20th century though.
And today? It is quirky, modern, ancient, Mediterranean, charming, well looked after and full with atmosphere. That’s why I love it. I love the flair Maximilianstrasse has when the oleander trees are moved into the pavements, and the whole street looks like one long mile for relaxed mornings or afternoons. I love the wine and other delicacies, offered in the countless cafes and restaurants. I love the Historical Museum of the Palatinate with its exciting special exhibitions. I love the colourful events, especially the “Wine at the cathedral”, “Brezelfest” and the Farmers’ Market. I love the Rhine River and the beach feeling. I love the dreamy small squares.
I love the town!
You might understand now why I call Speyer a pearl of Europe, given this very turbulent and fascinating history that had so much impact on politics in the empires and the church during many centuries. Walking through Speyer today will definitely give you this feeling of walking through a grand history book. And it definitely will capture with its charm.
So let me show you one of my most favourite towns in Germany :-)
If you would like to learn more details about the turbulent more than 2000 year old history – I have will write about it in a separate album (not yet done): History of Speyer.
My Speyer page on @Virtualtourist, status, July 2015:
I am in the process of completely revising this page, especially considering that I started to write the majority of reviews back in 2004 when my English was sloppy and definitely not appropriate. It will take a while.
All pictures have been taken by me, if not marked otherwise.
Please do not use any of them without my permission.
The same applies for my writings here.
- Pros:Stunning cathedral, fascinating museums, e.g. Historical Museum of the Palatinate, lovely hotels and restaurants, marvellous old town centre, very friendly people, exciting markets and events
- Cons:Simply nothing !
- In a nutshell:History, UNESCO heritage, the most beautiful cathedral, charme and Mediterranean flair :-)
In need of a snack? Look for the little pretzel kiosks in Maximilianstreet, the main street. Here, Speyer’s traditional... more travel advice
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