Speyer (German pronunciation: [ˈʃpaɪ̯ɐ], older spelling Speier,
known as Spire in French and formerly 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 (16
miles) south of
Ludwigshafen and Mannheim. Founded by the Romans, it
is one of Germany's oldest cities.
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 city is famous for the 1529 Protestation at Speyer.
2 Main sights
4 Twin towns – sister cities
5 Notable natives
5.1 Born before 1900
5.2 Born after 1900
6 See also
8 External links
Imperial Town of Speyer
Free Imperial City
Free Imperial City of the Holy Roman Empire
ca 10 BC
Speyer Diet confirms Edict of Worms
19 April 1529
Protestation at Speyer
20 April 1529
Town razed by France
Annexed by France
Annexed to Bavaria
Rhenish Palatinate merged into Rheinland-Pfalz
10 August 1946
Bishopric of Speyer
Main article: History of Speyer
Main street in
Speyer with the
Speyer Cathedral in the background
The first known names were Noviomagus and Civitas Nemetum, after the
Teutonic tribe, Nemetes, settled in the area. The name Spira is first
recorded in the 7th century, taken from villa Spira, a Frankish
settlement situated outside of Civitas Nemetum.
In 10 BC, the first Roman military camp is established (situated
between the town hall and the episcopal palace).
In AD 150, the town appears as Noviomagus on the world map of the
Greek geographer Ptolemy.
In 346, a bishop for the town is mentioned for the first time.
4th century, Civitas Nemetum appears on the Peutinger Map.
5th century, Civitas Nemetum is destroyed.
7th century, the town is re-established, and named Spira after a
nearby Frankish settlement.
In 1030, emperor Conrad II starts the construction of Speyer
Cathedral, today one of the
UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Also in the
11th century, the first city wall was built.
In 1076, emperor Henry IV embarks from Speyer, his favourite town, for
In 1084, establishment of the first Jewish community in Speyer.
In 1294, the bishop loses most of his previous rights, and from now on
Speyer is a
Free Imperial Town
Free Imperial Town of the Holy Roman Empire.
In 1349, the
Jewish community of Speyer
Jewish community of Speyer is wiped out.
Between 1527 and 1689,
Speyer is the seat of the Imperial Chamber
In 1526, at the
Diet of Speyer (1526) interim toleration of Lutheran
teaching and worship is decreed.
In 1529, at the
Diet of Speyer (1529) the
Lutheran states of the
empire protest against the anti-Reformation resolutions (19 April 1529
Protestation at Speyer, hence the term Protestantism).
In 1635, Marshal of
France Urbain de Maillé-Brézé, together with
Jacques Nompar de Caumont, duc de La Force, conquers
Speyer at the head of the Army of Germany.
In 1689, the town is heavily damaged by French troops.
Between 1792 and 1814,
Speyer is under French jurisdiction.
Speyer becomes the seat of administration of the Palatinate
and of the government of the
Rhine District of
Bavaria (later called
the Bavarian Palatinate), and remains so until the end of World War
Between 1883 and 1904, the Memorial Church is built in remembrance of
the Protestation of 1529.
In 1947, the State Academy of Administrative Science is founded (later
renamed German University of Administrative Sciences Speyer).
Speyer celebrates its 2000th anniversary.
Altpörtel – Old town gate
Gedächtniskirche – Memorial Church
Jewish courtyard – Remnants of medieval Synagogue and intact mikve
Technikmuseum Speyer – Transportation Museum
Historical Museum of the Palatinate
Since 1923 the mayor was a Lord Mayor.
Philipp Lichtenberger (1855-1918) (1904–1911)
Ernst Hertrich (1911–1914) (first full-time mayor)
Otto Moericke (1880-1965) (1917–1919)
Karl Leiling (1919–1943)
Rudolf Trampler (1898-1974) (1943–1945)
Karl Leiling (1945–1946)
Hans Hettinger (1946)
Paul Schaefer (1946–1949)
Paulus Skopp (1905-1999) (1949–1969)
Christian Roßkopf (born 1930) (1969–1995)
Werner Schineller (born 1948) (1995–2010)
Hansjörg Eger (born 1964) (since 2011)
Twin towns – sister cities
See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Germany
Speyer is twinned with:
Spalding, United Kingdom, since 1956
Chartres, France, since 1959
Kursk, Russia, since 1989
Ravenna, Italy, since 1989
Gniezno, Poland, since 1992
Yavne, Israel, since 1998
Rusizi, Rwanda, since 1982/2001
Ningde, China, since October 2013 together with:
Worms, Germany, since October 2014
Born before 1900
Carl Jakob Adolf Christian Gerhardt
Wilhelm Meyer around 1895
Anselm Feuerbach Self-portrait 1873
Hermann Detzner 1921
Samuel of Speyer (after 1096-death unknown), Exeget of Torah and
Judah ben Samuel of Regensburg (1140-1217), scribe and philosopher
Julian of Speyer (before 1225- ~ 1250), medieval choir master,
composer and poet from the Order of the Franciscans
Gabriel Biel (~ 1415-1495), scholastic philosopher
Dietrich Gresemund (1477-1512), author
Egon VIII of Fürstenberg-Heiligenberg
Egon VIII of Fürstenberg-Heiligenberg (1588-1635), Reichsgraf of
Johann Joachim Becher
Johann Joachim Becher (1635-1682), German physician, alchemist,
precursor of chemistry, scholar and adventurer
Moritz Georg Weidmann
Moritz Georg Weidmann (1658-1693), publisher and bookseller
Adolf von Dalberg
Adolf von Dalberg (1678-1737), Prince of Fulda
Simha of Speyer (13th century) German rabbi and tosafist. He was one
of the leading signatories of the Takkanot Shum.
Philipp Hieronymus Brinckmann
Philipp Hieronymus Brinckmann (1709-1760), landscape and historical
painters as well as copper cutters
Johann Martin Bernatz
Johann Martin Bernatz (1802-1878), landscape painter
Anselm Feuerbach (1829–1880), German painter
Carl Jakob Adolf Christian Gerhardt
Carl Jakob Adolf Christian Gerhardt (1832–1902), German physician
Henry Villard (1835–1900), German-American journalist
Hermann von Stengel (1837-1919), Bavarian Administrative Officer
Wilhelm Meyer (philologist)
Wilhelm Meyer (philologist) (1845-1917), classical philologist,
mediavist and librarian
Karl Heinrich Emil Becker
Karl Heinrich Emil Becker (1879-1940), general of the artillery,
ballist and defense scientist
Hans Purrmann (1880-1966), painter, graphic artist, art writer and
Hermann Detzner (1882-1970), leader of the German Schutztruppe in
German New Guinea
Karl-Adolf Hollidt (1891-1985), Army officer (Generaloberst) and war
George Waldbott (1898–1982), German-American physician
Born after 1900
Jakob Brendel (1907-1964), wrestler
Karl Haas (1913–2005), German-American music educator and radio
Helmut Bantz (1921-2004), gymnast
Alfred Cahn (1922-2016), German musician and composer
Edgar E. Stern (born 1926), clinical social worker and author of The
Peppermint Train: Journey to a German-Jewish Childhood
Gabriel Kney (born 1929), Canadian organ builder
Jürgen Brecht (born 1940), fencer
Gerhard Vollmer (born 1943), physicist and philosopher
Jürgen Creutzmann (born 1945), politician ( FDP)
Hans-Joachim Lang (born 1951), journalist, Germanist, historian and
Axel Schimpf (born 1952), Vice Admiral of the German Navy
Eberhard Bosslet (born 1953), artist
Kay Friedmann (born 1963), footballer
Markus Kranz (born 1969), football player
Christoph Bechmann (born 1971), German field-hockey player
Anke Vondung (born 1972), opera singer
Ralf Schmitt (born 1977), football player
Simone Weiler (born 1978), swimmer
Jochen Kühner (born 1980), rower
Martin Kühner (born 1980), rower
Matthias Langkamp (born 1984), football player
Christian Reif (born 1984), long jumper
David McCray (born 1986), basketball player
Florian Krebs (born 1988), football player
Sebastian Langkamp (born 1988), footballer
Jonas Marz (born 1989), footballer
Gianluca Korte (born 1990), footballer
Raffael Korte (born 1990), footballer
Lars Stindl (born 1988), German footballer
Elias Harris (born 1989), German international basketball player
German University of Administrative Sciences Speyer
History of the Jews in Speyer
^ "Gemeinden in Deutschland mit Bevölkerung am 31. Dezember 2015"
Statistisches Bundesamt (in German). 2016.
^ Der Kaiserdom zu
Speyer – Startseite
^ "Städtepartnerschaften" (official web site) (in German). Stadt
Speyer. Retrieved 2015-01-16.
^ "International collaboration". gmiezno.eu. Gniezno. Retrieved 3 May
Ningde (China)" (official web site) (in German). Stadt Speyer.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Speyer.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Speyer.
speyer.de the town website (partly in English)
Historical Museum of the Palatinate
Historical Museum of the Palatinate (in English)
dom-speyer.de website of
Speyer Cathedral (in German)
Model Map of Medieval Speyer
Speyer, its cathedral and the library of its chapter
Technical (Transport) Museum
www.speyer.de: living history in past times
www.speyer-tour.de: Guided tours through Speyer
City overview and photos
Urban and rural districts in the State of
Important cities and tourist sites in Germany: Greater region of
Heidelberg / Rhine-Neckar–Palatinate
Other touristic sites
German Wine Route