Pfalzerwaldstrasse 100, 67551 Worms, Worms, Rhineland-Palatinate, 67551, Germany
More about Worms
Aurum, Worms - shop entrance
Worms, Hagen monument
Sensor-directed device to tell you the stories
Travel Tips for Worms
Dragons in all sizes and colours
One of the possible explanations for the name "Worms" is from "Wurm" - worm in English. Since one of the old German words for dragon was Lindwurm, it may be that memories of dragons are reflected in the city's name. I don't know if this is true, but there are lots of dragons to be seen all over the town. Old ones ,for example on the wall of the Andreasstift or new ones, like the many colourful dragons in the pedestrian precinct or even in people's gardens.
I discovered this beautiful old church in a little booklet about Worms and wanted to find it, as it looked nice in the photo. On a lovely spring Sunday in April I finally made it to the north of Worms and…. fell in love with it immediately. It was maybe the setting inmidst a small vineyard (photo 1), which is typical for some Palatine churches or the rather simple albeit impressive building, or it is the suburb of Hochheim, which has such a very much relaxed atmosphere – I just liked it and can only highly recommend to go and look for it, even if it is a bit off path.
People have settled here already during Roman days (turn of the century and a bit later). But it gained importance in the days of Bishop Burchard (1000-1023), who is considered to have been the real founder of Worms. He was up here quite often, for contemplation, and had a little church built, what is Bergkirche (mountain church) today. Those days, the crypt has been built as well, but it was rather small. After a fire in 1609, tower and crypt remained, but the nave was newly constructed. This date is engraved into the southern portal’s keystone (see photo 4). This is, by the way, the only entrance into the church during non-service times.
Very much fascinating are also the details on the old tower. As the tower is relatively short and compact compared to other churches (at least I preceive this), the little scaring sculptures are better seen here than elsewhere. That’s why I have dedicated a separate tip to these tower details.
(the website below is unfortunately only in German)
Southern Portal – the picture bible
The most prominent feature on the Cathedral’s main entrance (south) is the so-called Bilderbibel (picture bible) at the Gothic pointed arch. The arch is dated around 1300 and had replaced the older Romanesque portal.
Allow yourself some time to have a closer look; the carvings are indeed excellent. They are grouped into 4 parts – left and right on the lower part are statues of Old Testament’s four prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezechiel, Daniel) and evangelists (Matthäus, Markus, Lukas and Johannes). The upper part of the arch then allegorises scenes of Old (God creates the world, God creates Eve, Noah and his ark, etc) and New Testament (life of Christ).
On the arc’s top, Mary is sculptured, riding on a tetra morph (4 animals, symbolizing the evangelists in one).
The tympanum above the entrance shows Mary’s coronation.
Update: April 2007:
Now I can show you the details of this magnificent stone carving work:
Photo 1: Noah and his ark (April 2007),
Photo 2: Adam and Eve are expelled from paradise (April 2007),
Photo 3: Coronation of Mary (April 2007),
Photo 4: sculptured capital just below the tympanum (April 2007),
Photo 5: the southern portal (Sept 2006).
Somewhat in the shadow of the grand Cathedral is the Lutheran church Dreifaltigkeits Kirche, built in the Baroque style between 1709 and 1725, although its interior is modern due to being burnt out during World War 2. The church has a magnificent frontage, but a little plain down the sides, half of which is conveniently disguised by the grand Town Hall.
This is the oldest Evangelical Church in South West Germany, but more importantly this was one of the first church's in the region to turn to Protestantism during the Reformation. It is a Carolingian church with Romanesque and Gothic extensions, but despite its age it has been restored several times, most recently in 1953.