Worms Things to Do

  • Things to Do
    by wroclawiak
  • Things to Do
    by wroclawiak
  • Things to Do
    by wroclawiak

Best Rated Things to Do in Worms

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    Nibelungen Museum – solve the mystery :-)

    by Trekki Updated Dec 14, 2009

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    Illuminated mandrel in
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    If you expect a museum with exhibits on display – be warned, there is nothing here like that. Eventually, the Nibelungen saga is a legend.
    This museum was realized in 2001, integrated into parts of the old city wall and two remaining fortification towers. It is a completely new concept according to their website. So, there is no real gold here, but the legend and the treasure forms in your imagination, once you walk around and listen to the stories told by the unknown author of Nibelungenlied.
    In the first tower, called Sehturm (optical tower), the author tells you about the legend, which is visualized by a very interesting array of screens with scenes, partly in slow-motion, of old Fritz Lang movies (“Siegfried” and “Kriemhild’s revenge”, 1924; photo 2). In this tower, you walk up the stairs, around an illuminated mandrel (see photo 1) which symbolizes Rütelin, a lucky charm of Nibelungen treasure.
    Once you finish listening to the legend, you walk inside the city wall (see photo 3) to the Hörturm (audio tower), which is meant to be the author’s creative centre. Parts of the Nibelungenlied are narrated in their original ancient language, and side information is given to the culture of the legend’s days of formation. You are guided through the stories with an interesting sensor-controlled device (photo 4).

    I liked the optical tower very much, as it not only tells the Nibelungen legend, but very much critically points out how the myths of the tall blonde germans (Siegfried and Kriemhild) and the Siegfrieds magic power have been idealized and badly misused by Germany’s black and sick past.
    For me, the final words of the narration were very much thought-provoking, as in a way I feel their meaning being reality again today – quote:
    ”I only told you now the legend of the Nibelungen, and it makes me sick to see the perversion, how figures of historic legends are still bended, twisted and abused for modern ideologies. Mankind has nothing learned from history. (end quote).

    Opening hours: Tuesday – Sunday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

    Entrance fee: adults: 5,50 €, kids 3,50, families (2 adults with kids under 18): 13 €

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    Southern Portal – the picture bible

    by Trekki Updated Mar 23, 2008

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    Worms Cathedral - picture bible - Noah and ark
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    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).

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    St. Peter & Paul – the windows

    by Trekki Updated Mar 24, 2008

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    Worms Cathedral - story window detail
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    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.

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    St. Peter & Paul – remains of the cloister

    by Trekki Updated Mar 24, 2008

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    Remains of the former cloister
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    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.

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    Rhine promenade – the place to be in summer

    by Trekki Updated Mar 24, 2008

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    Worms, Rhine promenade
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    THE place to be at in Worms in late spring, summer and early autumn is definitely the Rhine promenade. That’s the part at the river, north of Nibelungenbridge. It is dotted with sycamore trees and benches for resting. Wide enough that kids can skate. It also has two famous Worms institutions (well, 3, if you count Hagen’s statue as well, photo 4): the Beach Bar and the Fürst (see restaurant section). Yes, you read correct – beach bar ! Strandbar 443 (as it is called, also see restaurant section) usually opens in April or earlier, depends on the weather, and then they have loaded sand on this space, have parasols, sunchairs and desks out there and a bar which serves drinks and snacks (photo 3).
    Apart from the beach bar and the Fürst, there are more restaurants with much space inside and outside, including my favourite, Pfister Zunft (the Medieval one). And there is another institution, Pegelhäuschen (water-gauge house, photo 5), which measures the level of the river. It was renovated recently and is actually a place to meet at the promenade.

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    Imperial Cathedral – St. Peter and St. Paul

    by Trekki Updated Mar 24, 2008

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    Imperial Cathedral Worms - western towers
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    Without doubt, Imperial Cathedral St. Peter & St. Paul is the most prominent landmark and place to visit in Worms.
    As mentioned in my intro, Bishop Burchard had initiated the church in early 11th century (it was built on an already existing smaller one). Most probably parts of the eastern choir and the western towers are from that time. The late Romanesque original cathedral was consecrated in 1181. In contrast to the other cathedrals, her main entrances have been at the sides (north and south); the northern one is also known as famous “Imperial Portal”, setting of the legendary dispute of the Nibelungen queens Kriemhild and Brunhild. The eastern and western towers are round in shape, similar as in Mainz, and different from Speyer. Around the cathedral, not much is left from the huge complex it was before 1689. Some remains of its cloister is still at the south western end, it is even nice to walk around and imagine its former place for silent contemplation.

    Update, April 2007 (and still in March 2008):
    The Cathedral is currently under restoration, and by now the western towers are back to their usual pink sandstone colour (photo 1). It surely pays to also take a closer look at the above – the dwarf gallery in the western section does have very interesting looking sculptures ! (photos 3 and 4). Also, some remains of these scary looking sculptures, which were meant to scare off witches and the devil, can be found around the whole building in the lower sections (photo 5, close to the southern stairs).

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    St. Peter & Paul Cathedral - inside

    by Trekki Updated Mar 24, 2008

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    Worms Cathedral - main altar
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    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)

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    Andreasstift

    by antistar Updated Oct 22, 2013

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    Andreasstift, Worms

    The old Romanesque Andreas church now hosts one of the best museums in Worms, the Museum der Stadt Worms. The church itself contains articles of medieval sacred art, and the buildings around the back have works of Roman and Frankish antiquities. There is also a special Luther room that explains the events of the 1521 Diet of Worms, along with some of Luther's original writings. Adjoining the museums back buildings is part of the town's old wall, the Stadtmauer. While this is quite impressive, there are more spectacular sections elsewhere.

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    Enter Worms like a grand duke – the bridge

    by Trekki Updated Mar 24, 2008

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    Nibelungenbr��cke - in her full glory
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    I grew up close to Worms and we visited the town several times, as we had relatives there. My memory of these days is not that good anymore (I perceived the city as quite dull when I was a kid), but one thing was always very much present when I thought of Worms – the bridge. So I wanted to see it again some time ago and was very much fascinated again (and again and again – Joan will know that, haha, as I drive all my friends and visitors over this bridge, whenever we make it down to Palatine).

    The bridge is called Nibelungenbrücke (bridge of the Nibelungs), and is not as old as one would think when seeing it. It was built between 1897 and 1900, in honour to (haha) Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig of Darmstadt and thus was named Ernst-Ludwig bridge these days. The main attraction had been there two neoromanesque gatetowers. The bridge and one of the towers had been badly destroyed during WWII (by German pioneers….) and made crossing the Rhine here impossible for almost 5 years. Luckily, the left tower could remain and has been transformed into a Christian youth hostel or boys’ scout hostel. The tower is 53 m in height and has wonderful carvings in the pink sandstone, for example coats of arms of the 3 adjoining former provinces: Mainz (left) for Rheinhessen, Darmstadt (right) for Starkenburg and Giessen (middle) for Oberhessen.

    As the bridge has a lot of traffic, the officials have decided to build a new one just next to it and split the traffic after finishing in 2008. The work is still in progress. It is interesting to read about the planning and progresses while building this new bridge. Sadly, only in German, but you might like to look at the photos only:
    old photos of the bridge, after destruction,
    progress in building the new bridge

    On my photos, you can see the gate tower in all its glory (photo 1) and a close-up of the coats of arms (photo 2). And I was delighted to see that I can publish a photo of an old postcard showing the bridge how it looked before destruction, as it is public domain and copyright has expired (photo 3).

    Update, March 24, 2008:
    to my utmost surprise and delight, someone ("Eintracht4ever") took the time and made a 3D model of the gatetower on GoogleEarth. I have added a screenshot (photo 4).

    copyright note from Wikipedia:
    photo from Wikipedia

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    St. Peter & Paul Cathedral – inside details

    by Trekki Updated Mar 24, 2008

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    Painted vault of St. Mary's chapel
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    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.

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    Cathedral

    by antistar Updated Oct 22, 2013

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    Cathedral, Worms
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    The Cathedral of Worms is outstanding, and probably the main draw of the town. You can see the cathedral's roof and towers for miles around, and it makes an impressive part of the town's skyline. It is very distinctive, and looks particularly spectacular from the front, and has a few Gothic additions mixed in with its basic Romanesque construction. Historically the cathedral is of great importance: built in the 12th century it became the center of the Holy Roman Empire and here were made decisions of such importance they affected a huge swathe of humanity. It remains one of the greatest monuments of German medieval architecture, and should impress as much today as it did when it was first built.

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    Rathaus

    by antistar Updated Oct 23, 2011

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    Rathaus, Worms

    This doesn't seem to be marked down as a particularly worthwhile tourist attraction, perhaps because Worms has so many other sights, but I was really impressed by this immense grandiose town hall. It's not like any other I've seen in Germany, and I loved the way it curved protectively around Hagenstrasse, a wonderful street in itself to walk along, its far end framing the best view of the cathedral by far.

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    Stadtmauer

    by antistar Written Apr 9, 2005

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    %crStadtmauer%c*

    There are a few reminders of the old medieval wall that surrounded the old Imperial city, but I couldn't find another that was as stunning as this section. This section here is known as the Fischerpförtchen, including the two towers: Torturm and Bürgerturm. The wall was originally built in 900, with the new fortifications added in the 14th century. It looks incredible, and some of it is still accessible to the public, along with a small museum, the Nibelung, built underneath some of its arches. It amazes me that it still remains standing with all the traffic driving under it, and that no bricks fall onto the cars passing through.

    If you are going to take the long walk out to the bridge and tower, you can walk past this on your way there instead of the more direct route along Rheinstrasse.

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    Worms Cathedral

    by AcornMan Updated Jun 13, 2004

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    Worms is perhaps best known for its cathedral, one of the finest pieces of romanesque architecture in Germany. Alongside the nearby romanesque cathedrals of Speyer and Mainz, it is one of the so-called Kaiserdome (Imperial Cathedrals). Some parts in early romanesque style from the 10th century still exist, while most parts are from the 11th and 12th century, with some additions in gothic style. Four other romanesque churches as well as the romanesque old city fortification still exist, making the city Germany's second in romanesque architecture only to Cologne.

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    Roman Wall

    by antistar Updated Oct 22, 2013

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    Roman Wall, Worms

    Built in the 4th century A.D. the "Römische Mauer" is one of Worm's oldest and most striking reminders of its Roman history. Its dilapidated arches contain a history of the town depicted in Romanesque mosaics. Like many of the Roman remnants, the locals built over them with their own form of the same: you'll see that the medieval town wall follows along the same path.

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