Speyer Cathedral – Last Resting Place of Many German Emperors

Categories: Sightseeing, Cultural and History

Southwestern corner of the Speyer Cathedral
Southwestern corner of the Speyer Cathedral

[ source: Wikipedia]

The Speyer (Speyer vacation rentals | Speyer travel guide) Cathedral has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1981 as the most significant masterwork of Romanesque architecture in Germany. Built as a burial place for German emperors, the imposing cathedral is one of the last remaining symbols of imperial power from the time of the Holy Roman Empire.

The Speyer Cathedral was built in two long phases, between 1025 and 1061 and again between 1082 and 1106. The town of Speyer has a turbulent history and was repeatedly attacked and even occupied over the centuries. Consequently the cathedral was pillaged or used as storage space in wartimes. However, apart from a fire in 1686, which destroyed large parts of the nave and took almost a century to be restored to its original state, the cathedral survived all attacks without serious damages. The most remarkable part of the cathedral is the crypt, since it has retained its original condition to the present day. Being the official church of the Salic Emperors, eight German emperors and kings, four queens and a number of bishops are buried here.

Due to its impressive size and symmetrical arrangement, the Speyer Cathedral exudes power and calmness at the same time quite appropriate for a cathedral linked to numerous German emperors. The basilica comprises four towers and two domes and its foundation is in form of a Latin cross. Furthermore, the Speyer Cathedral has the earliest example of a so—called colonnaded dwarf gallery in German architecture. High up from this balcony, that goes around the whole building just below the roof, you have great view of the altar and get a sense of just how grand this imperial cathedral actually is. And do not forget to pay your respects at the tombs of the German emperors before continuing your travels.

[ source: wikipedia ]



About this Article

Kathrin Wagner

This travel guide has been written by Kathrin Wagner.

She grew up in a small town in Bavaria and then studied Media studies, Literature and History in Erlangen and Munich. As a student she already spent half a year in London and moved back there after graduation in 2006. She is still living in London, where she works in publishing.

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Location, Map, and Driving Directions

Location: Domplatz, 67346 Speyer, Germany

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Opening Hours

The cathedral is open daily from 9am until 5pm but viewings are not possible during religious services.


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