Another important Basilica minor is the Speyerer Cathedral (Dom) which is the biggest cathedral in roman stile (after Cluny was partly destroyed) and a UNESCO world cultural heritage.
The construction was started 1025 by the member Konrad II. of the Dynasty of the Salier who provided for some German emperors at that time (1024-1125) and who followed the Ottonen (Luidolfinger, s. Bamberger Cathedral. Emperors and kings are buried in the Dom. While Europe was fighting against the Osmans in the east at the end of the 17’the century France under Louis XIV in the west of Germany was gnawing away territories and devastated Speyer and the Cathedral and severely looted and damaged the graves in the Dom.
Wittelsbacher king Ludwig I. during his reign ordered 1922 some restauration of the Cathedral and together with Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I. and Duke Adolph von Nassau later initiated big redecorations and rehistoricization in roman style.
1900 to 1906 exhumations and excavation at the devastated site took place and a new burial site was built, the “Kaisergruft” (emperor’s tomb) and the graves were neatly organized like domino stones. Habsburger emperor Rudolf I. received a special treatment and is commemorated with a prominent relief at the entrance of the tomb hall.
Like in Cologne there is a club whose assignment is the maintenance and funding of the Dom and important member of the board of that club was Helmut Kohl. He is buried at a cemetery belonging to the Dom. After a long dispute with his second wife he finally received a formal state burial here, and was buried here, next to the emperors and kings. Kohl at his long time in office as chancellor (Bundeskanzler) dragged many of his fellow political leaders through his palatine “Heimat” (home) and often served his favorite dish the “Pfälzer Saumagen” plus “Leberknödel” and “Bratwurst” with “Sauerkraut”. Michail Gorbatschow liked it, Maggie Thatcher from England only ate a very small piece. Helmut Kohls first wife Hannelore also served her homemade “Kirschsahnetorte”, together with “Pfälzer” wine in his private home. Of course Sheila insisted to have this healthy dish here too but we had some tasty local beer with it.
Though Sheila is not specifically fond of spiders we had to check out the Speyerer spider after we found it in the park next to the Dom.
The statues in the “Domgarten” of the “Salische” Kaiser (emperors) were created in the mid 1930’ties. It’s said that Adolf Hitler did not like the statues and therefor were put into a depot before they were set up after WWII.
Sheila on the hand of Konrad II.
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