Sprawling on the left bank of the Rhine River, Speyer was founded by the Romans around 10 BC and is one of the oldest cities in Germany. It’s famed for its 11th-century cathedral and is home to an impressive technology museum with a giant IMAX Dome theatre.
Things to do in Speyer
Dominating the cityscape is the Speyer Cathedral, a stunning Romanesque landmark that was established in 1030. Commissioned by the Holy Roman Emperor Konrad II, it features two soaring towers, a collonnaded gallery and turquoise domes. Step inside to see the original crypt, which houses the graves of several medieval emperors and kings, then stroll through the surrounding park.
Home to space shuttlers, fighter jets and fire trucks is the Technik Museum Speyer, which was opened in 1991 as a sister institution to the Technik Museum Sinsheim. It houses more than 2,000 exhibits that include a retired Lufthansa Boeing 747 and a Soviet-designed Antonov An-22, as well as a U9 submarine from the German Navy. Adjacent to the museum is the Wilhelmsbau, where vintage fashions, toys and automatic musical instruments are on display.
If you’re interested in the local history, head to the Historical Museum of the Palatinate, which is home to a 190,000-year-old hand axe and a bottle of wine dating from the 4th century. Get up close to an imperial crown worn by Konrad II and see Roman artefacts from Germania Superior, as well as a flag that was flown at the 1832 Hambach Festival.
Getting around Speyer
Speyer is around 25 minutes’ drive from Mannheim and 1.5 hours from the centre of Frankfurt. Frankfurt Airport is just over an hour away. Trains connect to Speyer railway station and buses travel throughout the city.