Im Gehrchen 8, Heppenheim, Worms, Rhineland-Palatinate, 67551, Germany
More about Worms
Aurum, Worms - their variety of ancient jewellery
Worms, Rhine promenade
Screens tell you the Nibelungenlied
Travel Tips for Worms
This is based on the traditions of the oldest guild in Germany which was founded in 1106. It didnt become a fest until 1933.
The Fish Mayor takes is Fish bride and they open the ceremonies at the City Hall. After that it is nine days of parades, midway rides, Backfisch (Baked fish), and don't forget spearfishing in the Rhein.
The tradtional symbol of this festival is the Heart with horizontal red and white stripes with a fish hanging off the bottom. I remember making on of these in school out of construction paper and we stuffed the fish with cotton balls so it would be puffy. Lots of fun when you are eight years old.
The event usually takes place at the end of August or Beginning of September.
Architectural details at Bergkirche
As described above, Bergkiche’s tower has many of these apotropaic sculptures, called scaring heads or envy heads in German. These have been widely used since ages on all kinds of buildings to scare off “the evil”, demons, devils or witches.
Most of the sculptures on the tower of Bergkirche are the original ones, but some have been restored early 20th century. As the church is very old, they are quite simple and not as “elaborate” as some others on newer churches (even the restored ones), but I like this even better, as it shows how our anchestors have seen the bad and evil.
Two of these sculptures (in photos 1 and 2) are left and right of the main entrance portal, the other two (photos 3 and 4) are on the sides. One of them looks like a sheep, with a very stupid look in his face (oh sorry sheep of the world !).
On the northern side of the tower is another detail, which shows Hochheim’s coat of arms or official seal, given to the village in 1694 – the upper half of an orb.
(thanks to Wolfgang Hasch, through whom I learned this from what he wrote on Worms’ website).
In the old Jewish quarter of Worms is the oldest synagogue in Germany and in Europe. It consists of 2 parts the Men's Synagogue and the women's ritual bath the mikvah. Part of the original synagogue which was first built in 1034 still exists next to the Men's built in 1174 in a Romaneque style, it stood on the grounds of the Rashi house.
Near by is the Jewish cemetary which is the oldest in existance in Europe. The oldest headstone date is from 1076.
I found it quite interesting to visit as a child and learn about the customs of the Jewish people and walk carefully on the edge of the bath as the Rabbi explained the purpose.
St. Peter & Paul Cathedral – inside details
Now after a second visit to the Cathedral on a lovely sunny April day, I still think that it is a bit dull inside compared to the one in Speyer, but nevertheless it is worth to look around for all the details. These details are what makes the Cathedral so special (Speyer’s does not have them at all on the other hand).
On the northern side, close to the altar section, there is a fine gothic chapel dedicated to St. Mary. It has a beautiful window telling St. Mary’s life in 14 pictures (a photo of it, see next tip about the windows in general). But the chapel also has fine paintings on the pillars and vaults, something I didn’t quite often see in German cathedrals, but have seen it in the Swedish ones of Uppsala and Strängnäs.
The western choir is quite elaborate as well; it could be built that way as the Cathedral had her entrance at the side (rather than in the west). So here, Bishop Burchard is buried, a simple tomb embedded in the ground. This part is dedicated to St. Laurentius with plain walls, except one painting of Laurentius (photo 4).
A very interesting side chapel is the one of St. Nikolaus (to your left after entering). It helds a relic of St. Nikolaus. The original one was destroyed during the War of the Great Alliance with the French, but end of last century, Worms go another one (however, I could not find out who donated it to Worms). This chapel is used as baptising chapel today.
St. Peter & Paul – remains of the cloister
On the Cathedral’s south-western side the cloister was located. But due to destruction and neglect, it was completely removed in 1830. But from what I read about it, it must have been a wonderful and quiet place for contemplation, Gothic style. Some of its reliefs have been moved into the Cathedral and are now decorating the northern wall.
What is left outside still has a charm, as you can see in the pictures – old ornaments, portals, a capitel on the Cathedral’s wall, slowly eroding, and a little sculpture of an angel. Make sure to take some time to look around, everytime I was there I found more tiny details. It is also here where the funny sculptures sit on the dwarf gallery. Part of the big reliefs with scenes of Christ’s life are now inside the Cathedral at the northern aisle walls.