- Speyer Cathedral is the the best rated tourist attraction in Germany.
The Speyer Cathedral
The Cathedral Church of Saint Mary and Saint Steven, as the Cathedral at Speyer is also known, is located in the heart of Speyer. The construction of the cathedral probably began around the year 1025. It is nowadays famous for being the world's largest Romanesque church, but only after the Abbey of Saint Cluny, France, was destroyed. In 1981, the cathedral was listed as a UNESCO world heritage site.
In the crypt of the cathedral, which was built in 1041, the corpses of eight emperors and kings, four queens and several bishops are kept. In the cathedral's west wing, you find the emperor's hall situated just above the porch. Some of the paintings, which were taken out of the cathedral in the course of the reconstruction works, are exhibited here.
The South Tower
Another highlight for all visitors is the south tower, which invites you to enjoy a magnificent view of Speyer entirely with its platform at a height of 60m (197ft).
The cathedral was built on behalf of Emperor Konrad II. His aim was to build the largest church of his era to establish his politically and religiously determined claim to power. He wanted the cathedral he was building to demonstrate his power against the Vatican. It took Konrad II more than 30 years to finish the church. Neither he nor his son were still alive to witness its finalisation. In the following centuries, some parts of the cathedral were torn down again over the years to allow architectural extensions of the sacral building. Only in the 20th century the cathedral was reconstructed into its original Romanesque form again. It is a perfect example for a successful re-restauration.
How to get there
The cathedral is directly located in the heart of the city. You get to Speyer via motorways A5, A6 or A61. Exit as soon as you see the signs leading to Speyer. From here, just follow the federal highway. In Speyer you'll find many car parks and parking garages. A perfect option, for instance, is the P+R car park at Bademaxx.
You can travel from Ludwigshafen to Speyer by train. Just take one of the regional railways operating between the cities in the region. The trains are offered by the Deutsche Bahn (German Railways). You can walk from the central station to the cathedral and be there within a few minutes.