Walking through time in Speyer

by Allie Smeeth
Stripes Europe

For 2,000 years Speyer has played an influential role in European religion, politics and commerce. Today this city along the Rhine is booming with historical sites waiting to be discovered.

Museums and more

Whether you want to explore Speyer’s history or learn about how technology has progressed over the years, Speyer’s museums are the place to go.

The Palatinate’s history

Take a trip back in time at the Historical Museum of the Palatinate, a five-station complex known for its wine museum and miniature cityscape.

Get a bird’s-eye view of Speyer at the Stadtmodell. As you journey through the miniature wooden city model, you can see the city before and after the town revolted against Louis XIV of France by scorching the town in 1689. You will also get a closer look at how the city has changed from the Roman era to present.

Home to the world’s oldest liquid wine, Speyer’s wine museum allows tourists to learn about the wine culture and consumption dating back 2,000 years. As you stroll through the complex, take a close look at wine presses, barrels and historic bottling equipment dating back to 1727.

The Youth Museum has exhibits geared toward a younger audience. To make children’s visit more interactive and continue learning at home, parents can purchase craft boxes at the Museum Shop. These kits cover themes from Jews in the Middle Ages to the Palatinate region, pirates, knights and Egyptians

Jewish Museum

Once a home to Jewish families during the Holocaust, Speyer’s Jewish Courtyard with SchPIRA Museum and Ritual Bath pays tribute to fallen community members. During your one-hour tour through the synagogue, you will have the opportunity to view gravestones, coins and floor tiles honoring the Jewish community that once resided there.

Auto and technology

If you love planes, tanks, old cars and unique instruments, look no further than the Technik Museum. The exceptional collection includes a U9 submarine, Boeing 747 and the original BURAN space shuttle.


Embark into the deep blue sea at Sea Life Speyer. Sharks, eels, stingrays, lobsters and crocodiles excite visitors of all ages.


Speyer has been been an important destination in the Holy Roman Empire, home to the Jewish community, site of imperial delegations, and one-time capital of the Rhineland-Palatinate state. Do not miss these landmarks during your visit:
Imperial Cathedral: 

Known for its Romanesque architecture, Speyer’s Imperial Cathedral, or the Cathedral of St. Mary and St. Stephen, has inspired builders for years. The center of the church holds the “cathedral bowl,” which can hold up to 1,560 liters of wine. The church’s crypt is the resting place of eight Holy Roman emperors and German kings who reigned during the Hohenstaufen and Habsburg dynasties.

Memorial church

Recognized for its neo-Gothic structure, Speyer’s Memorial Church provides viewers with a glimpse into the city’s role in the growth of the Protestant faith. This 110-year-old structure was constructed to be the “mother church for Protestant Christianity.” A statue of Martin Luther bears his famous quote, “Here I stand. I can do nothing else, God help me. Amen,” purportedly declared during the assembly in Worms in 1521.

Old city gate

Previously surrounded by 68 towers, the Old City Gate was the only tower left standing when Speyer was burned down in the 17th century. The structure was left standing because the French general feared the rubble from the structure would destroy his campgrounds.

Old mint

In 1294, Speyer’s citizens obtained the right to make their own coins. The original house of the minter was destroyed in 1689. The current building was completed in 1748.

Plan your trip to Speyer by visiting www.speyer.de/sv_speyer/en/Tourism/Service.

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