Bike Touring Highlight
Speyer Cathedral looks back on almost 1,000 years of history. In 1025, the Salian King Konrad II personally laid the foundation stone with the aim of building the largest church in the West. He himself did not experience the completion of the construction work. Only 40 years later, his grandson Henry IV was already king, the cathedral was inaugurated. In the following centuries the cathedral was extended and enlarged again and again.
In the Palatine War of Succession finally occupied French troops Speyer. They had the order to burn down the city - except the cathedral. However, the church could not be fully protected from the flames and the cathedral was badly damaged. Restoration work did not begin until the 18th century. The original Romanesque building was supplemented with baroque elements, which were dismantled in the next works in the 19th century and replaced by neo-Romanesque annexes. Only since the 1960s is one trying to restore the original Romanesque form completely.
A visit to the cathedral is also worthwhile for non-religious people, because it also allows you to have a look into the history of Speyer and the history of the construction of the churches of the West.
The cathedral is a Unesco heritage and impresses with its simplicity. I can recommend the visit of the Kaisersaal with the inspection of the tower. Although this costs a bit (6 €), but includes a small tour to the Imperial Hall and with explanations to the frescoes. The story of how they came up in this room is best explained here. I'm impressed with what they did so long ago. Today such acts would probably fall victim to the euro.