Information for Worms visitors
Visitors are pretty good self-guided through Worms, as there are several walking tours, called “Zu Fuß durch zwei Jahrtausende” (on foot through two centuries). At every major point of interest, these panels are arranged in town.
They show the city’s centre (more or less rectangular from north to south), the particular position and the three suggested walks: small tour (kleiner Rundweg), big tour (großer Rundweg) and Nibelungen tour (Nibelungenweg).
Beneath the map is an extensive legend with infos on all the points of interest (I didn't take a picture, it would not have shown the text anyhow).
The helpful tourist info office is at Neumarkt (just opposite the Cathedral’s east) and supplies you with this map and other material. Neumarkt 14
Phone: +49 - 6241 - 25045
Fax: +49 - 6241 - 26328
Open: Monday - Friday: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
(April to October also Saturday and Sunday 9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.)
Tourist Office (unfortunately only in German);
Little sculptures here and there
Even if Worms was badly destroyed during WWII, it still holds many little treasures hidden. If you walk along in the streets, don’t miss to look around, as you will see a lot of decorating elements on the houses.
The first picture is a little drummer angel above a door in Bauhofgasse (between the Cathedral and the Nibelungen Museum), also still has a royal coat of arms and inscription. I don’t know what this stands for, as the house did not held some special exhibition or shop. So it must be still left from former days, without the descendants of the former owners living there.
The second picture is connected to the Nibelingenlied. It shows Volker von Alzey, gleeman in the saga at Burgund Court in Worms and loyal to Hagen, who killed Siegfried. It is interesting - this little statue was part of the former Cornelianum (house built by industrialist Heyl in 1910). But it survived the war and is now mounted at a wall of the city library, which followed the Cornelianum. But Worms’ officials do not lead attention to him, I almost missed him, he is high on the wall, and no sign at all about his meaning (I found it out later through a website).
Jewish Cemetery "Holy Sands".
Being in Worms visit the oldest Jewish cemetery in Europe.
I visited this cemetery twice in the morning and in the evening. If you visit this place in the early morning you will be charmed by the magic and beauty of this incredible place in Worms.
The entrance is free.
St. Peter & Paul Cathedral - inside
Inside, the Cathedral is richly decorated with a Baroque altar, high choir and two side altars by Balthasar Neumann, crafted after the destructions in 1689. The side walls are decorated with Romanesque and Gothic reliefs showing Christ’s life. Also, a lot of small chapels are added into the outer naves, but only some are open for prayers. A famous one is Nikolauskapelle (near the main gate), where a relic of St. Nikolaus is treasured. The side walls do have very nice stained glass windows, one of them is a storytelling window and tells about all events that happened in Worms in the past. For more impressions of these, please see my two travelogues.
In the crypt (below the choir) are the remains of the Salian Kings, which ruled before Konrad II (see Speyer).
Make sure, you also go to the southeastern part inside the Cathedral (right hand side of the choir) to see a model of Kaiserpfalz*, Cathedral and adjoining buildings of the days before the destructions in 1689. It must have been a huge complex and seeing the model left me again with a sad and angry feeling for the sick brains which initiate wars (in any time). It is quite dull and dark inside, sorry that my pictures cannot show it all better.
Well, how should I describe my personal impression of the Cathedral ? I like Baroque, but only if it “fits”, which for me are more the little churches. Here, in the huge Cathedral of Worms, I had a strange feeling of mourning and dullness. Compared to Speyer’s Cathedral (which originally was built more or less around the same time), Worms Cathedral does not have the grandeur for me. Maybe it is that Speyer had more money (through the UNESCO listing) to spend for original restoration, maybe it’s the overdecoration here in Worms, I don’t know.
If you come and visit Worms and the Cathedral, try to go to Speyer as well to get your own impression.
*%s(“Pfalz” = seat of power of emperors during the Holy Roman Empire, not to be confused with Pfalz = Palatine, the region)
St. Peter & Paul – the windows
Inside the Cathedral, you will notice stained glass windows in both aisles. These have been added quite early, between 1986 and 1992, but kept in an old style.
Little plates describe the meaning of each window.
The most remarkable one is the so-called Geschichtsfenster, story window (photo 2), on the south-eastern side in St. Joseph Chapel. Similar as the picture bible on the main portal, this window tells stories relevant to Worms in 20 pictures.
Start bottom right with the picture of Bishop Burchard (main photo), who had built the church; the others are telling about the Worms Edict (banning of Luther), Worms Concordat (ending of the disputes between church and emperors over power), French Revolution, destruction after 1689, etc.
The other windows on the southeastern side show the 14 emergency helpers (photo 3) and Passion and Resurrection (photo 4).
On the northeastern side is a chapel, dedicated to Mary with another beautiful big window.
Another nice however more modern window is in St. Nikolaus Chapel in the second picture (photo 5).
As I like these windows and was lucky to have been in the Cathedral during a sunny day, I have dedicated two travelogues to the windows.