The Rheinische Kaiserdome - excursion destinations with historical depth

The cathedral of Mainz from the market

The Rhenish imperial cathedrals

Guest article - Who in the central Upper Rhine in Rhineland-Palatinate is on the move, will hardly be able to avoid some of the oldest cities in Germany. Its historical cultural heritage is shaped by hundreds of years of history and still fascinates people just as it did before. We are talking about the cities of Speyer, Worms and Mainz.

All of them are of ancient origin and have their foundation thanks to one of the largest rivers in Europe, the Rhine. Even today, the Rhine offers a relaxing as well as fascinating panorama in each of the three cities. But not only the Rhine, as a natural link, unites the historical places with each other - they are three masterpieces of sacred architecture - they are the so-called Rhenish imperial domes.

They all got their name because they had a very special relationship to the medieval empire of the Holy Roman Empire. Today they are breathtaking and wonderful excursion destinations, which at the same time have a centuries-long history to tell.

The imperial and Mariendom to Speyer

Once the Romans founded a place called Civitas Nemetum, capital of the Nemeter. Later, from the small town on the Rhine, a city important for the German Empire, called Speyer, was to develop. So it happened that the then King and later Emperor Conrad II had the vision to build the largest church in the West - he gave the order in the year 1025. After his completion, when neither Konrad, nor his son nor lived, decided Henry IV, Konrad's grandson, that the cathedral was not big enough, let him tear down half-sided and rebuild even larger. In this form it lasted several centuries before it was set on fire by French troops during the Palatinate War of Succession. The following years are characterized by renovations and new buildings at the cathedral. This is one of the reasons why so many different architectural styles can be found today: Baroque, neo-Romanesque and of course the Romanesque style itself.

Who is a little interested in architecture and styles, will undoubtedly not be omitted, that the Cathedral of Speyer, as Destination Then, as today, there were innumerable appearances of architectural development throughout central Europe. But even those visitors who have not developed an intense interest in the individual styles, will for a brief moment hold their breath to take in the oppressive beauty and sheer size of the building.

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Even looking into it will hardly mitigate the impression conveyed by the building. Whether crypt, burial place of the kings and emperors, the two-storey Viertor or the Afra chapel, they all create an unforgettable overall picture of the architectural arts and tastes of the time, as well as the ecclesiastical power.

Do you want more about the Sights in Speyer know, then have a look at people abroad.


The Worms Cathedral
Worms Cathedral © Copyright Marcus Heinze, doatrip

The Cathedral St. Peter to Worms

Worms - city of the Nibelungs - oldest city in Germany ... and owner of the smallest of the three Rhenish imperial cathedrals. Its foundation stone was laid in the 11th century; but not new, rather on the foundations of the city's former Roman forum. Also, unlike the Speyer Cathedral, an emperor laid the foundation stone. Bishop Burchard von Worms was the initiator of the sacred building. Shortly after completion, however, a large part of the building collapsed, so that the cathedral had to be rebuilt from around the middle of the 12th century. This building essentially corresponds to the Worms Cathedral that we know today. But the cathedral was still to make its big appearances: the Worms Concordat, the wedding of Emperor Frederick, the Reichstag in Worms, the ostracism of Martin Luther by Emperor Charles V.

Today, the Cathedral of Worms presents itself as the most important building of Romanticism in and around Worms dar. He also serves as a burial place imperial families and visitors can catch his breath when he rises high house between the winding streets Worms.


Mainz Cathedral
The Mainz Cathedral © Copyright Marcus Heinze, doatrip

The High Cathedral of Mainz

Last of the beautiful excursions there is the cathedral to Mainz, further down the Rhine. From afar you can already see the pompous towers of sacred architecture and also understand a bit, why he was called the stone symbol of power. His story goes back over 1000 years into the past, when Archbishop Willigis laid the foundation stone. But it was not until the following years that the cathedral became the architectural mix that it represents today. Time and again, the building was struggling with natural disasters and wars - it was destroyed and rebuilt. Thus, today there are strongly Romanized elements, Gothic architecture, as well as Baroque degrees. For lovers of art historical and architectural epochs Mainz Cathedral should be a master recommendation. In this context, in particular the promotion of Emperor Henry IV. He left the cathedral after its destruction in the 11. To rebuild the century with significant forms of Lombard style.

As with the other two cathedrals, one feels, no matter whether one is on the market, the little place or the Liebfrauenplatz, an inner feeling, why this building more than deserves the title of the Kaiserdom. The towering size, the elaborate ornaments, the inner chapels, as well as the mystical crypts tell a story whose content could not be more harmonious.

Travel Arrangements

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The Rheinische Kaiserdome - excursion destinations with historical depth
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