Very much fascinating guided tours
Speyer’s people are proud of their city and so are the tour guides. Together with tourist office, a lot of very exciting and interesting tours are offered. Besides the regular tours (like Speyer in general, the Cathedral or the Historical Museum) more than 20 different special tours are offered for groups, and of course in several languages (yes, Speyer’s people are well aware that not every foreign traveller understands German).
So far, I didn’t participate in any of them, but plan to do so, as I have a high confidence in the tour guides’ competence and I love this city. Of course I will report afterwards.
Tour through 2000 year old Speyer
The most common one will bring you into the Cathedral, the Trinity Chruch, Altpörtl, Mikwe and through some backstreets.
(each Sat and Sun, starts at 11 a.m. at tourist office; 3,50 €)
Anno Domini (1106, 1462, 1559) - Tours in historical costumes
This must be a very fascinating tour, where guides are dressed in historical costumes and tell about Heinrich IV, riots in town or the days during reformation.
(each 1st Friday of the month, starts at 7 p.m. at tourist office; 5 €)
Night-watcher tour at full moon
According to very old traditions, a night-watcher will lead through town, mostly during full moon days.
(each last Friday of the month, starts at 7 p.m. at tourist office; 5 €) Medieval Crime
A dead body is found in medieval Speyer and the group has to solve the crime and find the murderer by finding traces and inquiring with witnesses.
Wine and Crime
Here, the murderer hunt is combined with wine tasting afterwards (*hicks*)
(each 2nd Friday of the month, starts at 7 p.m. at the selected restaurant; 17,50 €)
If you have already read which restaurants I recommend, you have surely found Domhof . You will be guided guide through the brewery’s holy heart and can sample some of the famous golden liquid (haha, yes, I am well aware that this is a typical “for Richie” tip).
Speyer by Bike
This must also be an exciting tour, as it leads through Speyer’s backstreets and the lesser known or famous areas. But gorgeous views of the city and of course the Cathedral are guaranteed. Either you bring your own bike or you can rent one.
The prices (per person) for these tours vary. 3,50 € (2 hrs) for the common tour through town, 5 € (2 hrs) for the more special ones like the night-watchman’s tour, tours at full moon, medieval crime, historical costumes and around 20 – 30 € for the ones which include dinner or wine tasting.
For the tours, check here:
Speyer calendar or contact tourist office: +49 - 6232 – 14 23 92
You know how you visit a town and some things stick in your mind, others you forget. Some that stick are nice memories and that is what I have of the Fischmarkt.
The only sad thing is that I didn't spend more time here. I would have loved to have sat down at one of the cafes and watched the world go by, but, sadly, time did not allow. The Fischmarkt was the focal point of the Hasenpfuhl (don't try to say that fast three times or you might choke). The fishermen and shipworkers, the town's poor folk, used to live in this tranquil old town quarter.
Its unmistakeable symbol is Stefan Forler's "Fish on Stilts" that seems to be looking at you wherever you are on the square.
The old houses have been carefully restored and the square slightly rearranged to a more open plan that allow the sculpture to be viewed.
A BIT ABOUT SPEYER
Located beside the River Rhine in Rhineland-Palatinate SPEYER lies 25 km south of Mannheim and north of Karlsruhe. Speyer has a compact centre which is dominated by the Kaiserdom Imperial Cathedral and the Altportel ( Old Town Gate).
A large VT group, led by Ingrid (Trekki), made a day trip to this lovely town. We visited Trinity Church, the Imperial Cathedral of Speyer and we all had lunch together at a local restaurant.
Wine from the Cathedral cup :-))))
Due to a new law, not only the pope himself can do a beatification today, but also selected cardinals. When we have been in Speyer on October 22, it was the weekend of beatification of pastor Nardini, a local priest, who has set up hospitals and food serving for the poor and sick in Pirmasens around 1853. I was very much amazed and thrilled to hear that they have announced to fill the Cathedral cup with wine. As I had dear visitors from Scotland to take around, I even made a lot of jokes that just for their visit, they will get this little treat.
The town was packed with people, traffic was off-limits in the town. During the service, they have put a big video screen at the plaza besides the Cathedral, where thousands of people were watching the ceremonial.
After the service, wine was served. Well, haha, this was a tiny bit of a tourist trap, as they didn’t really fill the cup, but must have had a wine barrel inside, which fed the glass tubes laid around the cup (see pic 2). Wine was for free, but you had to either bring your own cup (which we forgot) or buy a glass from the stalls around (which have been sold out when we came). So no wine for us, but it was an unforgettable experience !
In the evening, we could go inside the Cathedral, while the technicians and service people were demounting their equipment, and could even get a glance at the relic of pastor Nardini – a leg bone of him.
Well, I am pretty sure that it will take a long time until the next beatification takes place in Speyer, but nevertheless, check for other events of diocese Speyer (website below, but only in German).
Update, January 4, 2007:
good news :-) Christine.j (thank you Christine!!) just informed me that March 2, 2008, the new Bishop Wiesemann will be inducted to his duty as bishop. This means - the cup will be filled with wine again:
Wilhelmsbau - for the "young at heart"
You may see a big collection of old toys, teddies, toy-trains, miniature-cars, dolls and doll-houses etc. etc. etc.
It is funny to see that these things somehow never get really out of the mind of someone, staying young at heart , and many things that you knew only from brochures and because other children had it - here you may meet your childhood's dreams again...
...and once again locked away by a saftey-glass :-(((
This wonderful Museum of childhood dreams is also in "Wilhelmsbau" , a seperate small museum, belonging to the Technik Museum, but inside a different building, close to the "Hotel am Technik Museum."
You will not need to pay a seperate entrance-fee. It will be included in the ticket of the big technical Museum.