Saturday, April 1, 2017

Paris to Swiss Alps: Speyer (4/1/2017)

Saturday, April 1, 2017
After breakfast, another included walking tour, this time in Speyer, established in 10 BCE as a Roman military camp, and it was fortunately little damaged during World War II.
Probably Corylus colurna/Turkish Hazelnut or Filbert tree nuts
Castanea sativa/Europesn Chestnut
 After a walk across a large park and through the Domgarten/Cathedral Garden:
A view of the Speyer Kaiserdom/Imperial Cathedral and a
section of the old city wall and Heidentürmchen/Heathen Tower
(c. 1280s), which once stood on the banks of the Rhine
that has since been diverted eastward
Part of a sculpture group (1987 by Georg Günther Zeuner)
called Des Fährmanns Traum/The Ferryman's Dream,
illustrating the tale of the eight emperors (buried in the cathedral)
who rose up at a time when the empire was in need and
called to the ferryman to take them across the Rhine River
The ferryman
Speyer Kaiserdom/Imperial Cathedral (1030-1061, destroyed in 1689,
reconstructed 1748-1772) is the largest Romanesque cathedral
in the world, and another of the three Imperial Cathedrals,
along with the cathedrals in Mainz and Worms
The Speyer Cathedral has four towers, which represent either the four seasons or that the Holy Roman Empire extends in four cardinal directions... The cathedral was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981.
The cobblestoned border marks the outline of the former cloister
Once surrounded by the cloister, the Ölberg/
Mount of Olives (1856 by Gottfried Renn)
is a replacement for a 1505-1512
version by Nikolaus Elser
Guide Nicole and Kent by the Afrakapelle/St Afra Chapel, built by
Holy Roman Emperor/HRE Henry IV as he was born on the saint's
commemoration day; because Henry IV was excommunicated,
upon his death he could not be buried in the cathedral, and was
buried in the unconsecrated St Afra Chapel; when the ban was removed
by a later Pope, the body of Henry IV was moved into the cathedral
Half-timbered house at Pistoreigasse 8,
seen along Stuhlbrudergasse
Tränkgasse 2, with grapevines
Sonnenbrücke/Sun Bridge is the only
preserved medieval bridge in Speyer,
which crosses over Speyer Bach/brook,
and is guarded by a statue of St Nikolaus/
St Nicholas (1993, by Wolf Spitzer) (KSS)
Sun Bridge with the Speyer Cathedral in the background
Sonnengasse half-timbered houses
Grapevines around the patio
Sonnnengasse door that was blessed on Epiphany
Back to the cathedral:
West portal (1854-1858, by Heinrich Hübsch in
Neo-Romanesque style), with the
Domnapf/Cathedral Bowl or Basin in the foreground
The Cathedral Bowl marked the former boundary between the religious and municipal areas in medieval times. It was said that a person could obtain refuge with the church once he reached the bowl.
Every time a new bishop was elected, he had to fill the bowl with wine for the citizens of Speyer, who drank the bowl empty to his health. Between 1930 and 2011 the Domnapf was filled 11 times with wine. The last time was in 2011 for the celebration of the 950th Anniversary of the Cathedral. At that time, you had to purchase a cup to enjoy the free wine.
Bischofshaus/Bishop's Palace
Doorway of the Bishop's Palace with the coat of arms
of Pope Francis in the center of the balcony railing
Bischöfliches Ordinariat/Bishop's Administration with
magnolia trees in bloom, on Kleine Pfaffengasse
Kleine Pfaffengasse #10 door that
can be opened in many different combinations
We entered the Judenhof/Jewish Courtyard. Speyer was home to one of the most important Jewish communities in the Middle Ages. The Hebrew name for Speyer was Schpira, and descendents of the community here retain the surname Shapiro/Shapira and its variants Szpira/Spiro/Speyer.

Some "Shapiro rabbis;" the Weisen von Speyer/
Wise Men of Speyer represent Jewish learning
Remains of a synagogue, with the men's section in the foreground
dating from 1120, and the women's section to the right
was added later (13C), with holes pierced through the
wall between for listening
The fact that there was a women's section in the synagogue at this time shows that this community was progressive.
Entrance to the mikveh/ritual bath (1120), which was built 33' deep
to reach the water table for clear spring water; the ruins
are the oldest visible remnants of a mikveh in central Europe
The changing room view over the bath
Spiral stairs down to the bath
The bath itself

The Jewish people always practiced good hygiene, with regular bathing. It is likely for this reason that they were not subject to the ravages of the plagues in Europe, leading the suspicious gentiles to believe that the Jews were in league with the devil and causing the plagues.
Three-wheeled scooter truck (KSS)
Offener Bücherschrank/Open or Public Bookcase,
like our Little Free Library
Maximilianstrasse/Maximilian Street, the main street
leading to the Speyer Cathedral, with the Rathaus/City Hall
 (1712-1726 by architect Breunig) ) to the right
Coffee break al fresco
Dreifaltigkeitskirche/Trinity Church (1701-1717 in
Protestant Baroque), the oldest Protestant church
in Speyer, closed for renovation
Literal shop window
Jakobspilger/St James Way Pilgrim (1990,
by Martin Meyer)
Organ grinder
Back at the Speyer Cathedral, we were given free time.

Next: Speyer on Our Own before Lunch.

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