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  • DAY 7

    MONDAY, May 28


    We had another good breakfast buffet.  We left Trier about 10.  It was cold and raining.  The TomTom took us back the way we came instead of the route we thought we were going.  It got us to Worms when it said that it would.  Maybe it changed because of construction or the weather.  It was a holiday in Germany….the day after Pentecost. 

    We parked in a city parking building. We were as bit nervous about how to get the car out of the parking building, how to use the machine to pay,  and would the gate go up and let us out….but it worked ok!   It was still drizzling.  It was dreary, sad day to see such a beautiful place. 

    We found a small Italian restaurant for lunch,  There weren’t many customers, and we were able to use Italian to order.    We shared a salad and pizza. 

     Then we went down the street to the Worms Cathedral.  It was rather tucked in among a lot buildings.  It was hard to get a picture of the whole building.   The cathedral was rather dark with interesting nave arches and blind triforium arches.  It also had a chancel at both ends. 


    There is evidence of a church on this site in the beginning of the 7th century.  In the Carolingian period there is written evidence for reconstruction work in 851 and after a fire in 872.  The immediate predecessor of today cathedral was built by Bishop Barchard (1000-25) and was consecrated in the presence of Henry II in 1018.  A new Staufer church was built in the 12th century.  It had been dated from a period 1171-1220/30.  The date was changed when some construction timber was recovered when the interior was being renovated in 1979/80.  On account of the dendrochronological dating it was clear that in the years between 1132 and 1137 the choir and the transept were already higher than the base of the vaulting.  For this reason it was decided that this new cathedral was built between 1125 and 1181. May 31 1689 Worms suffered  total destruction.  The  cathedral was on fire and partly burns down. Again there was reconstruction.  In 1738 the high altar was built to plans of Balthasar Neumann .  In 1794 French revolutionary troops occupied Worms and burnt down the Baroque bishop’s residence, and used the cathedral as a stable and barn, stole the bells  and broke all the coats of arms in the windows. Again between 1892 and 1933 the entire cathedral was renovated. On Feb.  21, 1944 there was destruction of old city center and roof of cathedral in an air raid. The interior was again restored between 1979 and 1982.  

    There is no front door or backdoor to the Worm's Cathedral. It was necessary to enter the church by the south portal, which brings the visitor into the south aisle.  The interior walls are red sandstone. The interior was similar to Maria Laach  with the apse at both ends. The East end was square on the exterior but rounded on the interior above the altar. The two windows in the apse are illuminated by a "tunnel" from the windows to the outside front window. The Altar is extremely Baroque, as designed by Balthasar Neumann . It is gilded wood and marble and is so large that there is no room for a transept. It features St. Peter and Paul with two angels pointing at the Madonna and Child who seem to be coming right at you.

    The west end which also is in the shape of an apse includes a good example of Romanesque features including rose windows, zigzag arcades, and rich molding. We visited the 14th century Chapel of St. Nicholas on the south side, with its Gothic font, relief of three virgin martyrs, and new stained-glass windows


    After we successfully extricated our car with the needed cash, our Tom-Tom led us from Worms to our hotel in Speyer.  It was a small private hotel, Hotel Golden Engle.  We had a nice large room with a sitting area.  The bathroom was rather old fashioned, without a shower, just a big tub and a portable shower head.  The hotel was located at the opposite end of the old city from the Cathedral. We walked to the cathedral.  It looked just like the model. 


    The present cathedral is not the first church to be built on this site.  Both a Merovingian and a Carolingian cathedral are historically documented.  Conrad II, who was crowned Emperor in Rome in 1027, wanted to build the largest cathedral in the world in Speyer. Conrad died before Speyer Cathedral was finished. Henry III (1039-56) continued the work, and it was consecrated in 1061. Henry IV (1056-1107) redesigned it  much like present version in east end.

    Speyer Cathedral had its share of fires – 1159, 1450, and 1689 by invading French troops.   The west end was torn down between 1752 and 1759 and was rebuilt twenty years later. For economic reasons, the plans for the west end were changed. Again the cathedral was destroyed by French troops in 1794.  In 1805 there was a move to completely demolish the cathedral and replace it with a park dedicated to Napoleon.   However, the cathedral was saved but it was in such bad shape that it could not be used as a church.   In 1822, after some makeshift reconstruction, the church was reconsecrated.  The Romanesque west end with its porch and three towers were built from 1854 to 1858.The cathedral was completely restored between 1957 and 1961.  

    We really liked the inside of the Speyer cathedral, which was very plain.  It had a real sense of being a huge cathedral.   It was light inside even though it was very cloudy and raining outside.   As I was taking a picture a lady walked in front of the camera.  She apologized and we found out that she was from Arizona and had lived in D.C. Next, we went to the book store.  The young man at the desk was from Pennsylvania and had gone to college at Mount Saint Mary’s in Emmitsburg in Maryland, the brother college of my wife's college.  We talked a long time.  We walked around the cathedral and found a smoky café where we had a drink…they even had Jim Beam.

     Since it was a holiday none of the stores were open.  We walked back to the hotel to eat in their restaurant as it had a good recommendation in Fromers, but it was  closed, so we walked back to the old town and found a charming restaurant , Zur Alten Munz.  For a starter  we had Tomato/Mozzarella. I had Rauberspiess (several types of meat on a skewer). It had a lot of fat meat.  My wife had bratwurst, potatoes and sauerkraut .  This was our least favorite meal of the trip even though it was a nice setting. It was still drizzling as we walked home.


    Next Day

    Day 1 - Cologne

    Day 2 - Cologne

    Day 3 -Aachen

    Day 4 - Maria Laach - Mainz

    Day 5 - Mainz to Trier

    Day 6 - Trier

    Day -7- Speyer

    Day 8 - Speyer - Strasbourg - Freiburg

    Day 9 - Basel - Lindau

    Day 10 - Lindau- Meersburg

    Day 11 - Lindau

    Day 12 -   Hohenschwangau

    Day 13 - Zurich

    Day 14 - Zurich -home