Speyer (also spelled Speier and formerly known as Spires in English) is a town in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, with approximately 50,000 inhabitants. Located beside the river Rhine, Speyer is 25 km south ofLudwigshafen and Mannheim. Founded by the Romans, it is one of Germany's oldest cities. The first known names were Noviomagus and Civitas Nemetum, after the Teutonic tribe, Nemetes, settled in the area. Around the year 500 the name Spira first appeared in written documents. Spire, Spira, and Espira are still names used for Speyer in the French, Italian, and Spanish languages.
Speyer is dominated by the Speyer Cathedral, a number of churches and the Altpörtel (old gate). In the cathedral, beneath the high altar, are the tombs of eight Holy Roman emperors and German kings.
The Speyer Cathedral has loomed large and powerful for 1000 years, not far from the banks of the Rhine: it is the Imperial Cathedral. It ranks as the largest preserved Romanesque church in Europe.
In the 1020s – the exact year cannot be determined – Konrad II started construction with the goal of building the biggest church of his era. After 30 years of construction, the Lord’s newest house was
The clan of Salians chose the cathedral as their burial site. Today, it is the final resting place for eight Salian, Staufer and Habsburg emperors and kings, four queens and a series of bishops. The crypt which was dedicated in 1041, is the oldest component of the cathedral. In 1981, UNESCO accepted the cathedral as the second German landmark in its list of “World Heritage Sites”.
The center of the village is several blocks long, lined with bustling shops and cafes. We wandered around the beautiful cathedral and grounds, then headed along the main street, to see the sites on a sunny spring afternoon.
No doughnut shops?? Whattya mean, no doughnut shops??