Buja alias René Burjack

Where to buy and see art in Worms

Buja alias René Burjack

Werk von Buja alias René Burjack in der Galerie Schauraum

Kunsthandlung Steuer

For almost 100 years, the family-run Kunsthandlung Steuer in Worms has been a reliable contact when it comes to art. Anyone who enters the small shop in the pedestrian zone imagines themselves in another world. Around 600 to 700 works of art are waiting in the shop for art lovers to take home. The palette ranges from originals by regional artists to original paintings by already internationally renowned or young up-and-coming artists. And what father and son, who jointly run the shop, do not have on site, they are of course happy to organise. Organising is a good keyword here, because Helmut and Matthias Steuer also regularly organise exhibitions that are honoured with corresponding vernissages. Most recently, for example, there were exciting shows of work by the well-known Austrian artist Michael Ferner or the German-French artist Ewen Gur. An exhibition is already planned for this autumn (2023). Then the Austrian Klaus Brandner will come along. Probably the biggest exhibition coup was achieved with an impressive show of works by the legendary Markus Lüppertz, who of course did not miss the opportunity to come in person. But not only great art has its place in the art shop. Those looking for unusual gift ideas will also find what they are looking for. On top of that, there is also a fine selection of Worms souvenirs, such as a “Worms cup” designed by the artist Gerh



For a long time, the vacant business premises in Hafergasse were just another building block in the constant transformation of the city centre. Since June 2023, the rooms have served as a meeting place for local artists and anyone who is interested. The place is made possible by the funding programme “Zukunftsfähige Innenstadt”. It is important to those responsible that they do not see themselves as competitors to the Steuer art shop. Rather, they want to give the regional art scene a place where they can present themselves to a large public. A small side effect is that the local artists can of course also sell their works of art. Another side effect is that another vacancy has disappeared, at least temporarily. A problem that plagues many cities. So it is also a question of making the pedestrian zone, in this case Hafergasse, more attractive for potential other tenants and, of course, for the eye of the inner city flaneur. In all these considerations, the focus is nevertheless on the artists, who impress with their versatile creative power on two floors. Four artists who live in and around Worms made the start: Barbara Schauß (painting), Dan Novak (experimental photography), Ulrich Koglin (sculptures) and Sophie Kralenetz (painting). The latter is also responsible for the future selection of artists as curator together with Kulturkoordination. D

Kunstverein Worms 

If you are strolling through the little town of the Nibelungs and tell an acquaintance that you are on your way to the Kunstverein, it can still happen after 20 years that the answer is: “Ah yes, the one in the Prinz Carl Anlage”. But this way leads to the Kunsthaus, of course, and not to the Kunstverein. So be careful! While the Kunsthaus is a forum for artists from Worms who have studios there, the Kunstverein, according to its statutes, sees itself as a non-profit association that cultivates and promotes contemporary art with idealistic aspirations and voluntary commitment. Promoting visual artists and awakening interest in art has been the central goal of the association since 2001. And over the past 20 years, the association has impressively demonstrated how it does this. In figures, this means that in these two decades the association has been able to present around 100 exhibitions with more than 200 artists. Every year, the association invites visitors to four to five exhibitions, which are of course opened with mostly well-attended vernissages. In the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region, the association has long since established itself as an important exhibition space for modern art. Since 2008, the Kunstverein has been located in the premises of a former kitchen studio in Renzstraße.

Link: https://kunstverein-worms.de/

Kunsthaus Prinz Carl-Anlage

The Kunsthaus Worms offers around 39 studios as well as separate gallery spaces on 2,500 m² of space spread over four floors. Visitors can take a look around on “open workshop” days or attend exhibitions, workshops & courses. The portfolio is as colourful as life and ranges from classical paintings to modern photography to weaving art and more. One of the most prominent studios is the art workshop of the Worms Lebenshilfe, the Atelier Blau, which is run by the renowned artist Horst Rettig. The idea is inclusion between disabled and non-disabled artists. This fruitful exchange, which is unparalleled in Europe, takes place in the protected environment of the Worms Kunsthaus. The studio can be visited by appointment and, of course, the exciting artworks can be purchased. The works include not only large-scale paintings, but also sculptures or everyday objects such as cups or plates designed by the studio’s artists. . A visit that is definitely worthwhile. There is no separate homepage for the Kunsthaus. Each studio tenant is responsible for his or her own work. Once a year, the Kunsthaus invites visitors to an open day, during which it is also possible to purchase works by the artists working there.

Adresse: Prinz-Carl-Anlage 19, 67547 Worms
Homepageadresse Atelier Blau: https://www.atelierblau.com/

Galerie Schauraum

On the homepage of the city of Worms, this gallery is advertised as an art venue for the independent art scene. In fact, the gallery, located on the premises of Fabrik e.V., could be seen as an alternative counter-design to the somewhat more conservative Kunstverein. Housed in a former factory hall, the showroom exudes a certain archaic aura, which at the same time underlines the alternative claim. Michael Mahla, who curates the exhibitions, himself likes to describe the Schauraum as a place where you can exhibit even without a diploma. Here, the talent is in the foreground and not the title! Quite a few successful artists started their careers with an exhibition in this small but fine “Forum for Art and Culture”, which has enriched Worms’ cultural landscape since 1993. In the meantime, these include renowned artists such as Buja alias René Burjack with his impressive street art. Buja’s work also adorns the entrance area of the Worms Kunstverein. There, a large-scale mural shows how you can experience art in a completely different way with the help of a smartphone. Simply photograph the mural and you will be surprised…

Quite a few of the artists who have exhibited in the showroom over the years also lived on the premises for a while, and there is more to discover here. In addition to the showroom, there are also occasional studios and, above all, flats. The factory was founded in 1979 as an alternative housing project.

Adresse: Zornstraße 11a, 67549 Worms
Web: https://galerie-schauraum.de/
Öffnungszeiten während der Ausstellungen: Sa und So: 19 Uhr bis 21 Uhr

Museum Heylshof

The Museum Heylshof – one of the leading art museums in Rhineland-Palatinate – houses the largest private art collection of the late 19th century preserved in its original state at its place of origin in Germany. The exquisite collection is complemented by the finest Frankenthal porcelain, glass, ceramics, stained glass and small sculptures as well as changing exhibitions of contemporary art.

Adresse: Stephansgasse 9, 67549 Worms
Telefon: 06241 22000
Link: https://www.heylshof.de/

Das Wormser Kulturzentrum (Ausstellungsfläche)

„Das Wormser” is the name of the municipal cultural and conference centre. What initially sounds like a grammatical stunt with the article “Das” is merely meant to indicate the diversity of this house, i.e. “Das Wormser Kulturzentrum, Tagungszentrum etc.”. In addition, the centre sees itself as a house for everyone and for everything. This means that not only conferences, concerts and theatre take place here, but that there is also space for art. What is important is the encounter with and mediation of art. Art from and about Worms is shown under the title “Art in the WORMSER”. Throughout the year, local and regional artists and organisers exhibit their work in the upper foyer of the new building. This means that 12 exhibitions a year take place here on a monthly basis, which are of course celebrated with corresponding vernissages. Admission to the exhibitions is free.

Adresse: Rathenaustraße 11, 67549 Worms
Telefon: 06241 2000450
Öffnungszeiten: Montag bis Freitag 10 Uhr bis 18 Uhr
Homepage: https://www.das-wormser.de/das-wormser/index.php

A special supporting program for special festivals

While the main programme of the festival belongs to the play alone, which this year goes by the name of “BRYNHILD” (see my text on this), there are always little gems of live music or theatre in the accompanying cultural programme that deserve to be noticed and attended. An unspoken tradition here is that artists who performed in the main play in previous years always return as part of the cultural programme, with the exception of the “Theatre Encounters”, which are entirely devoted to the current play.

Below I have briefly summarised the highlights for you this year:

Theatre Encounters on 9 July 2023 at 11 am in the Heylshof Park

It is the first event to take place in the cultural programme every first Sunday after the premiere in the fantastically beautiful ambience of the Heylshofpark Open Air on Sunday mornings. Moderated by the renowned film critic Rüdiger Suchsland, Intendant Nico Hofmann, the author and Artistic Director Thomas Laue will be on hand to answer questions. They will talk about the first reactions of the audience to the play, give exciting insights into the development process and reflect on the content and messages of the current play. The central question this year is “Who determines who we are?”.  This morning is livened up by live music, usually featuring musicians from the current production. For me personally, it is the most beautiful event in the festival environment, because on the one hand it provides exciting insights and on the other hand there are only a few opportunities to have culture presented in such a relaxed way on a Sunday morning.


„Offene Zweierbeziehung“

am 14. Juli – ein Theaterstück mit Alexandra Kamp und Miguel Abrantes Ostrowski im Lincoln Theater

Die Schauspielerin Alexandra Kamp kann man mittlerweile getrost als Dauergast in Worms bezeichnen. Im Hauptstück der Nibelungen-Festspiele trat sie zuletzt 2016 in dem von Albert Ostermaier verfassten Stück „Gold – Der Film der Nibelungen“ auf. Seitdem besuchte sie mit wechselnden Theaterstücken, wie der Theateradaption des Films „Eine verhängnisvolle Affähre“, die Nibelungenstadt. Im Kulturprogramm gastiert sie nun mit dem Zweipersonenstück „Offene Zweierbeziehung“ im Lincoln Theater. Die sympathische Schauspielerin spielt in dem Stück eine Frau, deren Ehe sich in der Krise befindet. Das Duo verspricht eine turbulente Komödie, die bereits von der Kritik vielfach gelobt wurde. 

“Widow’s Dramas”

on 15 July – a “Scenic Reading” with Katharina, Anna and Nellie Thalbach at the Worms Theatre

Probably not much needs to be said about the Thalbach family. After all, they are one of the leading acting dynasties in Germany. No less than three generations meet in this “staged reading” at the theatre in Worms. In his “Witwendrama”, the author Fitzgerald Kusz deals with the sensitivities of widows, and in doing so, he has put together his cheerful, ironic and sad thoughts to create widow dramas. Performed by the three great Thalbach women, the evening should be an entertaining theatrical treat.


Genija Rykova and band

on 18 July at the Worms Theatre

Last year, actress Genija Rykova slipped into the role of Brünhild and proved extraordinary qualities as the “water mermaid” in the face of the “water stage” at that time. In this one she returns to Worms to convince of her musical qualities. Together with her band, she presents songs by strong female artists of the 20th century such as Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald and others under the title “A Woman’s World”.

Children’s Day

on 16 July in the Heylshof Park

Children’s theatre, enchanted creatures and lots of fun and games: the Children’s and Family Day invites you to join in the fun in the beautiful Heylshof Park at Worms Cathedral – there will be handicrafts, games and glitter tattoos. For the first time, the event will again take place without corona-related restrictions. Admission is free, no tickets need to be reserved in advance.

The admission prices, times and further information on the cultural programme can be found here:


Enjoying time in the Heylshof Park during the Nibelungen Festival

It’s as if you were suddenly in the midst of a different, fairytale world…that’s roughly how a visit during the festival to what is probably Germany’s most beautiful theatre foyer feels. To immerse yourself in this world in the evening, you don’t even need a theatre ticket, because “flâneurs” or pleasure-seekers also have access to the park. For this, however, you need a strolling ticket. At 4 euros, they are not necessarily cheap, but they make up for it with live music before the play and during the interval, as well as the stylish ambience, which is particularly effective in the dark, as the park is tastefully illuminated. There is also a wide selection and food and drink to match. My personal favourite place during this time is the wine lounge, where only Worms vintners offer their wines. This year, that means being able to choose between ten fine wines. The Heylshofpark opens at 5:30 pm and closes at 1 am. Those who want to enjoy a stylish dinner can also find what they are looking for in the Heylshofpark. Under the name “Dinner in the Park” there is a multi-course menu every evening from the exclusive festival caterer “Gauls Catering” from 6 pm.

Further information on strolling tickets, Dinner in the Park etc. can be found here: https://www.nibelungenfestspiele.de/nibelungenfestspiele/2020/Arrangements-Auswahlseite-2020-2021/index-2020-2021.php?navid=199481199481.

All photos are courtesy of the Nibelungen Festival – thank you!


The Worms Culture and Events Year 2022

That Worms is rich in culture and history, I have already pointed out several times in this blog. But history also wants to be lived! In keeping with this spirit, Worms is home to numerous festivals and cultural events linked to the city’s 2000-year history. But besides these, let’s say niche events like “wunderhoeren”, there are numerous events in the city that can please young and old alike. Of course, this includes the largest wine and folk festival on the Rhine, the Backfischfest. Those looking for musical diversion will be in good hands at Jazz & Joy, and those who would prefer to get to grips with Worms’ wine culture will also find plenty on offer. Below I have created a small overview of the most important and interesting festivals / events for interested Worms visitors and conveniently included the associated links:

Vino et Musica from 26 to 28 May at the Helmut Kloos Winery

Helmut Kloos is a true Worms original. Not only was he the first winemaker in the Nibelungenstadt to convert his operation to organic viticulture back in the early 1990s, but his name also stands for culture and a mischievous, often whimsical sense of humor. One encounters both during a visit to the popular farm festival Vino et Musica. In addition to the vintage presentation of the 2021 wines, the winemaker offers a varied music program between folk, rock and world music on Ascension Day weekend. The program will open on the holiday with a wine tasting. Finally, on three evenings, the small winery is transformed into an open air concert arena. Of course, small Palatine and Rhine-Hessian delicacies ranging from hearty to light will be served with all program items. Those who want to hear and taste more from Helmut Kloos will have the opportunity to do so during Advent at the Nibelungen Weihnacht. He regularly runs his mulled wine stand there, which is also accompanied by an entertaining program including a unicorn carousel.

More info: www.weingut-kloos.de

Worms Whitsun Market from June 3 to 11 on the festival square

The Worms Whitsun Market is an idiosyncratic hybrid event between a fair and a trade show. On the fairground part, which is located on the southern half of the fairground, you can find the usual mix of rides, snack stands, garden restaurants and fairground stalls. The northern half again houses the trade fair. About 100 exhibitors share the approximately 6,000 square meters of space there. A large part is housed in tents. The offer ranges from upholstered furniture to spare parts for the swimming pool or the latest vacuum cleaner. Various car dealers will again present their latest models in the open-air area. For the first time, there will also be a Worms merchants’ mile this year. Admission to the trade exhibition and fair is free. While the fair is open until 11 p.m., the commercial section closes at 9 p.m. already. Incidentally, even the Worms Whitsun market has a historical background. Since the city had already been granted market rights by Emperor Frederick II in 1243, it was now possible for the people of Worms to hold a fair for two weeks after Easter. The market got its current face again in 1972.

Info: www.wormser-pfingstmarkt.de

Spectaculum from 27 to 29 May in the woods of Worms

After medieval friends had to do without the colorful hustle and bustle at the foot of the Äschebuckel in the past two years due to corona, the popular medieval market is to celebrate its return this year. The market is the largest in Germany’s southwest. In normal times, around 20,000 people find their way to the medieval market in the middle of the Wormser Wäldchen. There will be a mixture of merchants’ mile, of course with medieval products, jugglers’ market, open air festival (there will be two stages) and a tent camp for robed people. In addition, field battles are staged and duels with sword and morning star are fought in a manner suitable for the audience. Those who are more interested in the way of life in medieval days can find what they are looking for at the various workshops. Most of them are free of charge. Medieval garb is welcome, but not mandatory for this immersion into another world. The program will be announced in early May.

More info (program, times, prices, Corona rules etc.): https://www.spectaculum-worms.de

Nibelunge nei besunge – a drama-drama of the Wormser Liederkranz from June 24 to 26 in the Aula Hochschule Worms

Once again this year, Shrovetide was cancelled in many places, including Worms. But as is well known, one likes to make a virtue out of necessity. And so the Wormser Liederkranz, one of the most successful carnival clubs in Worms, decided without further ado to turn the traditional ladies’ session into a kind of festival light this summer. As befits a traditional Worms club, this one can’t avoid the Nibelungen theme either. The play is written by regional carnival greats, who have already successfully demonstrated their talent for bringing tears of laughter to the eyes of the audience during the ladies’ meetings. Since it is a mixture of drama, comedy and musical, the musical accompaniment is of course important. An experienced carnivalist, the journalist (Mannheimer Morgen) and musician Bernhard Zinke, will also take care of them. The dramedy interprets the Nibelungen saga in a completely new way and has many a surprise in store for the audience. The play is topical due to the dramatic world political situation. Anyone who knows the co-author Mechthild Vogel knows with what a sharp pen she can satirize explosive issues. Around 80 active members of the Worms Liederkranz show with drama, song and dance how things can be done differently. Maybe the politicians of this world should buy a ticket to learn how to make the world a whole lot more peaceful.

The approximately 2 1/2 hour theatrical performance will take place on 24.., 25. and 26 June 2022 will be held in the auditorium of Worms University. Start on Friday and Saturday is 19:30h, on Sunday already at 17:30h. To get in the mood for the evening, a caterer will provide food 1 1/2 hours before the event begins and during the intermission. Once again, there will be no catering in the hall. Tickets cost 25 euros and are likely to be in high demand.

Tickets and more info: www.Wormser-Liederkranz.de

Worms Culture Night on June 25 in the city center

For the cultural coordinator of Worms, Dr. David Maier, the Kulturnacht is the most beautiful festival in the city center, as it is an event by Wormser for Wormser and visitors. The focus is on local artists, who are offered the opportunity to present their art in unusual locations in the city center during one evening. Whether painting, music, theater, cinema or other forms of expression, visitors can certainly expect a varied program again after a two-year break. For visitors, this Saturday evening of culture also offers the opportunity to stroll with a wine in hand to discover the most beautiful corners of the Nibelungenstadt. The event usually begins at 7 pm. In previous years, visitors could choose between 30 program points at just as many locations. There should certainly be something for everyone. Since there is a charge for the event, you must purchase a wristband in advance at one of the box offices or in advance. After all, with it you have access to all locations.

Info: www.worms-erleben.de

Nibelungen Festival from July 15 to July 31

The information is still sparse. It is known that this year’s performance should have celebrated its premiere already in 2020. But Corona threw a spanner in the plans. Now the “hildensaga. ein königinnendrama” is to celebrate its premiere on July 15. The signs are good after the organizers were able to practice in corona mode last year. Hopefully, one will be allowed to leave this in 2022. The audience can expect a play written by the Austrian playwright Ferdinand Schmalz. As the title suggests, this year’s interpretation of the well-known Song of the Nibelungs centers on the two soft-bodied main characters Kriemhild and Brünhild.

Nothing was known about the actors at the time of writing. Usually, however, the cast is a mix of well-known actors and actresses from film or TV and lesser-known but renowned theater actors. In the past, greats such as Jürgen Prochnow, Klaus Maria Brandauer and Uwe Ochsenknecht have cavorting on the stage in front of Worms Cathedral. The play will be staged by the Swiss director Roger Vontobel, who is one of the directing stars of German-language theater and will be well remembered by Wormsers. He already staged “Siegfried’s Heirs” in 2018 and delighted press and audience alike. Vontobel is characterized by an opulent visual language that does not shy away from the use of elaborate video technology. Thus he made the awe-inspiring cathedral tremble before the eyes of the audience of “Siegfried’s Heirs” with a purposefully used video installation. This year, Vontobel once again aims to impress the eye as much as the mind of the public. For the eye, there are again technical gimmicks and an elaborate water world at the foot of the cathedral. The water landscape is permanently changed with variable footbridges, targeted water effects, light and video. Sometimes it is the distant water world of Iceland, sometimes it becomes the opulent swimming pool of the Nibelungs and finally a mythical magic world. As Danish set designer Palle Steen Christensen explains, the water is both a projection surface and a mirror.

The festival is accompanied by a cultural program. The program is broad and ranges from concerts to a scientific colloquium of the Nibelungenliedgesellschaft. The most prominent guest in the accompanying program is actress and singer Jasmin Tabatabei, who has already performed in the main play herself and will be appearing as a singer in Worms this year (July 30 at the Worms Theater). In her luggage she has her third album “Jagd auf Rehe”. If you want a little more information on the main piece, you have two choices. Those who would like to find out more about the play before attending the theater for “hildensaga. ein königinnendrama” have the opportunity to do so at the online introduction. Last year, the explanations of the production were already available exclusively digitally, with a lot of positive feedback from the audience. And again this year, the launch will only be on the web and will be available on the website www.nibelungenfestspiele.de from July 15.

Another opportunity is offered by the theater encounters. As the name suggests, the focus here is on real encounters and that on Sunday morning after the premiere (July 17). Then, in the fairy-tale ambience of the Heylshof, author Ferdinand Schmalz, artistic director Thomas Lauer, and possibly artistic director Nico Hofmann sit down to chat about the play. Under the name “Change of Perspective,” author Felicitas Hoppe joins the discussion at this relaxed event. Last fall, Hoppe published the widely acclaimed book “Die Nibelungen. A German Silent Film”. The morning will be rounded off by musical contributions from the festival ensemble and the presentation of a youth workshop. In between, the event in the park invites you to relax and enjoy, for example, a genuine Worms Riesling under the summer sun on an early Sunday.

Families can look forward to Children and Family Day (July 24). On this day, the dignified festival idyll in the park has to bow to the colorful hustle and bustle of the children. Theater performances, handicrafts, face painting, walking acts and games promise a high fun factor. The event is free of charge. Tickets are still necessary. These must be ordered in advance through the Festival’s Ticket Service.

Info and tickets: www.nibelungenfestspiele.de

Schlager Bäm on July 16 at the fairground / Rhine

Fans of Schlager music should mark July 16, 2022, very thickly in their calendars. At the Schlager Bäm, scene greats such as DJ Ötzi, Kerstin Ott, Bernhard Brink and Michelle will perform at the Wormser Festplatz. The organizer currently expects nearly 5,000 visitors to this special Schlagertreffen. “Ein Stern, der deinen Namen trägt” by DJ Ötzi will be accompanied by thousands of throats that evening, as will “Die immer lacht” by Kerstin Ott. With Bernhard Brink and Michelle, two old show stagers will be at the start, as will Sonia Liebing and Undine Lux, with whom regional organizer Karl-Heinz Gauch has invited the future of German pop. The Alzeyer promises further surprises for this evening, which he had already planned for a long time and which is now finally to be implemented in 2022. Things get underway at 5 p.m. this Saturday in July. Admission is already at 3 pm. If the event is successful, the Alzeyer would like to establish the Schlager Bäm as a series in Worms.

Ticket information can be found here: https://wo-magazin.de/das-lebern-feiern-mit-dem-schlager-baem/

Jazz & Joy from 19 to 21 August

For 31 years, the festival has been one of the regional pot festivals. As the name suggests, jazz plays a not entirely unimportant role. However, the program is dominated by the Joy. That was certainly somewhat limited recently. Thus, Corona made sure that the festival had to pause in 2020. Last year Jazz & Joy could take place again under Corona conditions. For the organizers, happiness and burden at the same time. On the one hand, it was possible to offer musicians the opportunity to play in front of an audience again, but on the other hand, the atmosphere and revenue suffered from the numerous stipulations such as a reduced seating quota, chair and mask requirements, and the fact that it was not possible to shuttle between the stages, of which there were only two anyway. This year, the organizers want to return to the old form. That is, five stages distributed around the Worms Cathedral. Likewise, strolling between the stages should be possible again. The stroll is accompanied by numerous restaurateurs who offer wine and other delicacies also outside the festival stages, so that even people without a ticket can enjoy the festival flair. The largest stage is located on the market square in front of the town hall. The special concert will also take place there on the first day of the festival (the ticket is not included in the 3-day Jazz & Joy ticket). This year, the stage will be played by the German-language pop band Silbermond. They again promise a rousing live experience.

Tickets and info: www.jazzandjoy.de

Baked fish festival from 27 August to 4 September

For quite a few people in Worms, it is the definitive highlight of the year, the Worms Backfischfest. At the same time it is the largest festival along the Rhine, which combines folk festival and wine festival. For wine lovers, popular places to visit are the Wonnegauer Weinkeller, where some 50 Rhine-Hessian vintners gather with their grape juices, and the Stiftskeller, which also presents a handsome number of wines from Rhine-Hesse, but also from the Palatinate. The Wonnegau wine cellar, which is housed in a tent, almost 2,000 visitors. This means in normal times it is very crowded in the tent, especially on weekends. One can confidently assume that in times of Corona the number of the audience should be somewhat smaller. In addition to delicious wines, the “Weinkeller” also attracts with live music and DJ parties, where one or the other couple is said to have already found each other in the course of the evening. The fairground itself is additionally lined with rides, including the obligatory Ferris wheel for the Backfischfest, fairground booths such as can or dart throwing, as well as a variety of gastronomy. It goes without saying that a baked fish festival also includes a proper baked fish, which you can get at the fish fry not far from the wine cellar. The word baked fish has a double meaning in relation to the feast. On the one hand, it refers to the fishermen’s guild, which was strongly represented in Worms on the Rhine in earlier years; on the other hand, the word refers to young, pretty women. So there is also an official bake fish bride every year. This in turn can be found on the side of the “Bojemääschters vun de Fischerwääd”. Fischerwääd, there are actually two of them, the Big and the Small, is again a street where once lived mainly fishermen. Today, the street, which is in the immediate vicinity of the fairground, stands for the customs of that guild. A museum in the Große Fischerweide (as it is called in proper official German) commemorates this important occupational group for Worms. On one day, namely on Backfischfest Wednesday, the Fischerwääderkerb is also celebrated in this street. The accompanying program of the ten-day festival includes, in addition to this Kerb, an elaborate parade on the first Sunday, which runs through the entire city center and ends in the Fischerwääd. The Backfischfest is concluded on the last Sunday by a visually intoxicating fireworks display over the Rhine.

Info at: www.backfischfest.de

Festival of Cultures on September 17

The only festival in the city that gives a face to multicultural Worms also had to bow to the virus and this year, after two years of abstinence, will once again be held at its traditional location on Obermarkt. This meeting of cultures is organized by the “Intercultural Round Table”. In addition to all kinds of goodies from the participating associations, there will be plenty of information and a small but excellent cultural program. Especially in a city like Worms, where the migration background of the population is now around 30 percent, this festival is of particular importance, because the key to peaceful coexistence lies in understanding the other culture, and you can get to know it there.

Worms Wine Fair on 5. and November 6 at the Worms Conference Center

As mentioned elsewhere in my blog, Worms is the third largest wine producing community in Germany and Rheinhessen in turn is the largest growing region. So what could be more natural to gather many winegrowers in one place to give people together an overview of the diverse products. But it should not stop at the overview, because no brochure and no entertainment can replace the tasting. But beware, if you have the ambition to know all the wines, you should have dined well beforehand. With around 30 winemakers and accordingly around 300 to 350 wines on offer, it is almost impossible to get a complete overview. Many visitors therefore opt for a two-day visit to the fair. While Saturday belongs to the white wines, Sunday is devoted extensively to red wines and rosés.

Info at: www.weinstadt-worms.de

Nibelungen Christmas at the end of November until December 23 in the city center

The Christmas market doesn’t really have much to do with the Nibelungen, except that it takes place in the heart of the Nibelungenstadt. However, since the Nibelungen are inextricably linked with the city, city officials thought it would be a good idea to give the market a new name a few years ago. Around 50 stalls wind their way through the city center. As in other cities, there is the tried and tested mix of mulled wine, bratwurst and all kinds of traders, who sometimes offer more, sometimes less Christmassyoffer An interesting eye-catcher are the so-called change booths. These can be rented by clubs, businesses or even private individuals and guarantee a certain amount of variety between knitted socks and scented candles. What you should not miss is a visit to the eco-winemaker Helmut Kloos (see also Vino et Musica). This one doesn’t just pour his mulled wine. No, Helmut Kloos lives this market. So every year he comes up with a frame story for his booth that addresses current issues in an amusing way. His hand puppets (!) the Glühweingretel and Frau Kuddelmuddel, who also like to have a little chat with the guests, are cult. Kloos provides a colorful and varied supporting program with concerts, small readings or the joint singing of Christmas carols. The highlight is, of course, the spicy organic mulled wine, which is prepared directly on site and thus cannot be topped in terms of freshness. The mulled wine is available in white and red. For those who like it non-alcoholic, the wish punch is highly recommended. While most mulled wine restaurateurs sell heated juices as a non-alcoholic variant, the wish punch is also a creation on a par with mulled wine, the recipe of which the winemaker does not reveal, of course. The largest mulled wine gathering is again located on the Obermarkt in front of the district court. There two families of showmen offer their warming drinks. Here, less emphasis is placed on culture. The focus is more of an apres ski atmosphere, so it should be possible for every Christmas market visitor to find a contemplative spot for different needs.

Jewish Cultural Days

Also unknown are the dates and contents of this year’s “Jewish Culture Days”, which can also be found under the name “SchUM Culture Days”. This series, which has been around for a few years, takes on a very special significance following its inclusion on the Unesco World Heritage List. After all, it is not enough to administer the historical heritage; it should also be filled with life. Last year, this included the publication of a second book on the “Stolpersteine” (stumbling blocks) laid in Worms or the impressive permanent reading “Ich will Zeugnis ablegen…” (I want to bear witness…) with regionally renowned reciter Karl-Heinz Deichelmann. So you can be curious about what this small but fine cultural festival has to offer this year.


Info: https://schumstaedte.de/schum/juedische-kulturtage/

Wunderhoeren – Days of ancient music and literature

In one of the oldest cities in Germany, it is of course obligatory to draw attention to medieval culture in addition to a medieval market for the masses. Every two years since 2011, the Niche Festival has granted a foray into medieval composition and writing. This does not mean that there is only Minnegesang to be heard at the concerts, because the organizers do not shy away from the crossover between genres and eras, so that contemporary interpretations of the theme are also heard. There is no specific program. Five events are planned throughout the year.

More info: www.wunderhoeren.de

Special exhibition 900 Years of the Worms Concordat in the Museum im Andreasstift

It goes to the magic dates that you learn in history class and never forget, the Concordat of Worms in 1122. This can also be understood as a direct consequence of the historically equally famous “walk to Canossa”. From September 24 to December 30, 2022, the history of the Investiture Controversy will be presented in a “modern and playful” way. In medieval Europe, the emperor and the pope fought for supremacy – a struggle for power that began in Worms and ended there: the Concordat of Worms settled the conflict.

Before the special exhibition opens, the permanent exhibition, whose main theme is the history of the city of Worms, will reopen on April 30 and May 1. A museum weekend invites interested people with free admission to the walls of the building, which is about 1000 years old. The Antiquities Society, which owns much of the museum’s historical collection, will also offer guided tours that weekend. After that, the exhibition can be visited during the normal opening hours of the museum.

Info: https://www.museum-andreasstift.de/museum-andreasstift/

Worms Cathedral of St. Peter

Ein Silent witness to history and THE landmark of the city

For quite a few people in Worms, the sight of Worms Cathedral St. Peter from a distance means that you are at home. In fact, the roughly 1,000-year-old building dominates the cityscape when approached from three directions. Only when approaching the city from the north does the cathedral raise its proud head very late. Apart from the height of the building – the eastern towers rise 65 metres – its visual dominance is due to the fact that the cathedral was built on the highest point in the middle of the city. Of course, this is not difficult in a city whose geographical location is just 86 metres above sea level. The decision to build the cathedral on this very spot had less to do with visibility than simply with the fact that it was believed to be protected from flooding. The city centre of Worms is never affected by floods because of its distance from the Rhine. But it was different in the Middle Ages, when the Rhine had not yet been straightened and its many arms meandered right up to the city wall where the Nibelungen Museum now stands.

A place of power and faith for 1000 years

Together with Mainz Cathedral and Speyer Cathedral, it is one of the imperial cathedrals on the Rhine. In total, there are seven imperial cathedrals in Germany. The history of the cathedral is divided into two decades. The first begins with the construction of the original cathedral, i.e. the church commissioned by the influential Bishop Burchard. The second begins with the rebuilding of the same cathedral, only a few hundred years later. In the year 1000, Burchard was appointed Bishop of Worms. He felt that the existing church was neither large enough nor up to date. Without further ado, he had the three-nave basilica demolished. A new church was built in just 15 years. An extremely short period of time for the time.  The contours of this “first Worms cathedral” essentially corresponded to the shape of today’s cathedral. Burchard died in 1025, and his successor Burchard II and his successor Conrad II had this building demolished piece by piece a few years later in order to erect a new, more impressive place of worship. In 1181, St. Peter’s Cathedral was finally consecrated in the form in which it is still known today. The proud building, which has a very special architecture in its fusion of Gothic and Romanesque styles, has experienced a varied history since then. Emperors were crowned or married there. The coronation of Pope Leo IX also took place there in 1048. In 1521, the theologian Martin Luther resisted the revocation demanded by the emperor and the pope in the immediate vicinity.

Destruction and construction

The cathedral was destroyed and rebuilt again and again. During the Thirty Years’ War 1618-1648, for example, the cathedral was severely damaged by Swedish troops. French troops also devastated and looted the cathedral during the Palatinate Wars of Conquest in 1688-1697. An attempt to blow up the cathedral failed, but it burned down completely. As a result of the renovation, baroque elements were added to the interior of the Romanesque-Gothic building. In 1792 Worms was once again besieged by French troops. This time, the spacious interior of the cathedral was used as a stable and storehouse. From 1886 to 1995, the cathedral was thoroughly renovated. However, this did not last long. At the end of the Second World War, the cathedral fell victim to an air raid on Worms. Years earlier, the National Socialists had already removed the cathedral bells in order to melt them down for use in weapons. It was only on the occasion of the 1000th anniversary in 2018 that the cathedral received its complete bell ensemble back, thanks to donors from Worms. A total of eight bells, five of which can be traced back to these donations, give the cathedral its unmistakable massive sound. When the bells of the Church of the Holy Trinity and the Magnus Church are added at certain times, a truly impressive bell concert resounds in the city centre of Worms, which has already made it difficult for many artists to perform or granted them a short break.

The Nibelungs and Worms Cathedral

In its eventful history, Worms Cathedral has not only been a setting for bishops, emperors and kings, but also inspired an unknown poet to write an iconic scene in literary history, namely the “Queen’s quarrel” in the world-famous verse epic “Song of the Nibelungs”. If one believes the poet’s lines, the fateful quarrel between Brünhild and Kriemhild took place on the north side of the cathedral at the imperial portal. In essence, it is about the rivalry between the two women over the question of who is more important for the Burgundian kingdom. This conflict erupts as both are on their way to worship. It finally escalates on the steps of the imperial portal. Brünhild, who is married to King Gunther, insults Kriemhild, saying she is an unfree maidservant and wife of a serf, namely Siegfried. Kriemhild finally retorts angrily that it was her husband Siegfried who took Brünhild’s virginity unrecognised on their wedding night. As proof of this, she presents the ring and belt which Siegfried stole from Brünhild’s chambers that night. The consequences of this quarrel are devastating for the staff of this legend. The humiliated husband Gunther decides with his brothers and the faithful Hagen to murder Siegfried. This in turn leads to “Kriemhild’s revenge”, to which almost all the important figures of the Song of the Nibelungs fall victim. Today, between the Siegfried Fountain and the cathedral, there is also a sculpture group that recreates that famous scene. The partly gilded bronze figures, designed by Jens Nettlich, are part of an installation of 14 objects along Nibelungenstrasse and Siegfriedstrasse. The cathedral itself again serves as an impressive backdrop during the Nibelungen Festival. Quite a few visitors and reviewers of the productions see in the historically significant building not only an atmospheric stage set, but also recognise in it a dramaturgical significance, which also demands the necessary respect from one or the other actor to play in the shadow of these mighty walls.  Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)


The Emperor’s Portal

But Kriemhild and Brünhild are not the only ones who stepped over these significant steps. Immediately in front of the portal was also a courtroom. There, Emperor Frederick I, clearly better known by the epithet Barbarossa, confirmed imperial privileges to the city in the form of city rights in 1184. These were in turn granted in 1074. This was a great honour for the citizens of this city, as it was associated with far-reaching privileges of freedom. Cast in ore, this document was walled in above the portal. Also a victim of the destruction, the Worms artist Gustav Nonnemacher designed an inscription plaque in 1981 to commemorate this momentous occasion, which is enthroned above the imperial portal. Emperor Frederick, who is often associated with Kaiserslautern, had a special relationship with Worms. A city he loved not only because of its special climate. He also married his wife Beatrix of Burgundy in the imperial city of the time. The portal can be reached via the Schlossplatz on the north side. There is also one of the three entrances to the fantastically beautiful Heylshof Park.

The cathedral has gone to the dogs

If you stand in front of the main entrance on the south side and let your gaze wander over the ensemble of figures around the entrance area, you will discover a sculpture that is actually quite atypical as an ornament of a church. Amidst all the dragon heads, which are supposed to keep evil from entering the place of worship, as well as the holy figures, there is a dachshund in the middle of it, looking over the cathedral square with a curious gaze. The cathedral’s master builder Philipp Brandt erected a monument to this dachshund in 1920. The dachshund was Brandt’s constant companion, even when he was working in the cathedral. When Brandt was once again standing on scaffolding, the dachshund suddenly jumped on him and tried to bite Brandt’s leg. The master builder then jumped to the side. Only a few moments later, a piece of rock suddenly crashed down. Thanks to the courageous jump to the side, it missed the man. The dachshund had saved the cathedral’s master builder’s life, and in gratitude he immortalised the dog on the south portal of Worms Cathedral, causing amused faces to this day upon its discovery. At this point, of course, I don’t want to reveal where exactly the dachshund can be found. So I hope all visitors have fun looking for it.

More information on visiting times etc. can be found here:


Fotos: Dennis Dirigo

Worms local recreation area Grove

In the south of the city lies the Worms City Park, which can also be easily reached via the Rhine promenade. The area is 28 hectares in size. Small parks similar to a forest have given the park its colloquial name, the Wormser Wäldchen. In addition to the countless promenades, a varied playground invites families to linger at the entrance to the Wäldchen. There is also a small skate park for young sports enthusiasts. The pretty Worms Zoo is also part of the grove.

If you are on your way to the Nibelungen Festival, you may pass two benches that have a celebrity donor. When Jimi Blue Ochsenknecht, the son of Uwe Ochsenknecht, starred in the play “Siegfried’s Heirs” at the Nibelungen Festival in 2018, the young star did not miss the opportunity to donate two park benches for the idyllic city park, which stands at the foot of the Äschebuckel, the highest elevation in the Wormser Wäldchen. He discovered his love for the idyllic city park during his morning jogs and when walking his dogs.

Once a year, by the way, the area in front of the aforementioned Äschebuckel is transformed into an impressive medieval market. Traditionally, on Ascension Day weekend, the “Spectaculum” invites visitors to a colourful journey into the Middle Ages. Numerous dressed-up people offer their wares for sale, while a multi-faceted concert programme entices visitors on two stages and typical medieval delicacies tempt them to feast at the snack stalls. Of course, you don’t have to miss out on a bratwurst. A glass or two of mead goes without saying. Musically, the stage programme ranges from classical minstrel singing to modern interpretations of medieval rock.


The „Spectaculum“ is considered the largest and most beautiful medieval market in southwest Germany. After it had to be cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to Corona, it is firmly back on the calendar of the city of Worms for 2022.

Worms Zoo

The small but exquisite zoo is a paradise for numerous animals and, of course, for the guests. The enclosures are, of course, designed to be species-appropriate. The main focus is on native animals, so the wild boars in their huge enclosure are just as much a visitor favourite as the foxes or sturdy plough horses.

The absolute top favourites, however, are probably the North American meerkats, closely followed by the curious calicoes, which are also happy to pose for a photo together with the visitor. In the Australia enclosure, on the other hand, you may find a kangaroo hopping across your path or the parrots sailing around your ears.

An inclusive playground and a café with a pond complete the excursion into the small animal kingdom.





If you move further south in the grove, you will eventually come across a huge open space, the Bürgerweide. The Bürgerweide has a total size of 70 ha and is actually a natural floodplain of the Rhine.

The pasture is hugged by a well-maintained path that is about 2.5 kilometres long and is especially popular with joggers and skaters. On the pasture itself is the playing field of the Worms Cannibals baseball club. The adjacent meadow is often used by Wormsers for picnics or joint sports during the warm months.



Wormser Sandbank

The Wormser Wäldchen is bordered by a small car park in the south. Cycle paths lead from there to the further south of Rhineland-Palatinate towards Bobenheim-Roxheim and finally Ludwigshafen. A footpath towards the Rhine leads visitors to the so-called sandbank. The name is a little misleading, as it is actually a gravel and shell beach. On sunny days, the approximately 1-kilometre-long Rhine beach attracts many people to the water and seek refreshment in the cold water. But be careful, because the Rhine has a strong current and whirlpools, and is also very busy.

Although barbecuing is not officially allowed there, many people combine their short holiday on the Rhine with a few freshly grilled sausages and a well-chilled beer. Unfortunately, it happens time and again that visitors leave their rubbish on the spot afterwards. This is not only aesthetically very unpleasant, but also simply disrespectful towards nature and other people, especially as this area is a nature reserve. So please, dear potential visitors: There is nothing wrong with having a good time in a beautiful landscape. But always remember to take the rubbish back with you or dispose of it properly in a rubbish bin!

Errante Vinothek and Restaurant – Enjoy like a young Roman in Worms

In a city that is characterised by its Roman heritage, wine, and is called the gateway to the German Tuscany, a vinotheque that focuses on precisely this heritage is indispensable. The mixture that guests find in the premises is unique in Worms: food market meets vinotheque meets restaurant!

Coupled with a food market, which naturally offers selected Italian products, you can pack your favourite ingredients or wine directly after your visit to the restaurant, so to speak, and enjoy the Italian experience once again at home within your own four walls. Of course, it is only original in the appropriate ambience of the Errante Vinothek.

You literally sit in a sea of wines that give the impression that all of Italy has found its way into these four walls. You can choose between proseccos, grappas and Italian lemonades, enjoy the aromatic scent of exquisite olive oils from Tuscany to Sicily or let yourself be seduced by Italian coffee art.

Inspired by the overwhelming offer, you simply reach into the shelves, take the bottle of your choice, stroll with Mediterranean nonchalance to the bar where you order something to eat – the unbeatably delicious antipasti platters are recommended here – find a place in the cosy interior rooms or on the summer terrace surrounded by olive trees and simply enjoy the dolche vita of the Italian way of life.

The special thing about the wines is that you only pay the shelf price plus a so-called corkage fee of few euros to enjoy them on the spot. To complete the offer, there are regular culinary events or after-work parties, which enjoy great popularity.


Worms West: Herrnsheim Castle and Castle Park

Herrnsheim Castle and its romantic, dreamy park are always worth a visit. While the park is freely accessible, a guided tour is required for a look inside the castle. The castle is located at the northern end of the district of Herrnsheim, which is characterised by viticulture. The castle in turn stands on the remains of a castle built in 1490. Around 1715, the Empire castle was built, which received its now familiar Baroque form in 1805. Over the centuries, it changed hands several times before becoming the property of the city of Worms in 1958. The palace is currently undergoing extensive renovation work, which means that guided tours are only possible to a limited extent.

Nevertheless, the elegant castle is a popular destination for excursions. Sometimes to take photos in front of the imposing backdrop or sometimes to enjoy a little time out in the Café Kabinett, which is integrated into the castle. An outdoor seating area in the castle courtyard also invites you to enjoy a coffee under the Rheinhessen sun. With so much relaxation, you should of course not forget to pay a visit to the castle park. The 10-hectare park was planned by the famous garden architect Friedrich Ludwig von Sckell in 1790. Sckell was also the landscape architect responsible for the English Garden in Munich and the garden of Nymphenburg Palace. He in turn enjoyed his education at Schwetzingen Palace.

Away from everyday life, winding paths invite you to dream. Meadows alternating with small wooded areas, a spacious pond crossed by baroque bridges and lovingly designed statues scattered throughout the park seduce you into a little fairytale paradise where time stands still a little. The park is the most important English garden in Rhineland-Palatinate. The palace is one of the most outstanding Empire palaces in the southwest.

Worms Rhine promenade

There are certainly towns on the Rhine that have a much longer promenade, but the promenade on the banks of the Rhine, bordered by harbour facilities, invites you to take a leisurely stroll and relax. Varied gastronomy (the home-brewed beer of the Hagenbräu restaurant is definitely worth a sip), the romantically picturesque planting, the view of the mighty Rhine or the sublime Hagen monument exude a Mediterranean serenity, especially on warm sunny days.

Why the Karl Kübel Bridge is popularly called the Terence Hill Bridge

Just five minutes’ walk from the Nibelungen Apartments, you initially encounter an inconspicuous pedestrian and cyclist bridge, which, however, became the focus of media attention a few years ago. It all started a few years ago when the city authorities christened the utilitarian concrete structure the Karl Kübel Bridge. Peter Englert, an actor and singer from Worms, didn’t think that was right and reminded the mayor at the time that he had promised to invite him to the bridge’s inauguration. Known for his whimsical ideas, Englert unceremoniously undertook the bridge inauguration himself and christened this important link between the city and the Rhine the Terence Hill Bridge.

Now, of course, one can rightly ask what on earth the Italian actor has to do with a bridge in Worms? The answer is simple and leads back to 1966, when the Nibelungenlied was filmed at great expense as a two-parter. Among the cast was a certain Maria Girotti, who played the king’s brother Giselher and later became world famous under the name Terence Hill. Because Girotti alias Hill played a character from a Worms legend, it was a perfectly plausible reference to the Nibelungen city for Englert. At first, the Lord Mayor found the action only mildly amusing. But since it was an election year and the Lord Mayor wanted to be elected for another eight years as head of the city, he sensed a media-effective chance to score points with younger voters as well. The mayor in campaign mode contacted the retired actor and invited him to the city. He, in turn, did not miss the opportunity to visit “his bridge”. In the meantime, the news of this curious story spread all over Germany. The original name of the bridge, named after an industrialist who was socially engaged in Worms, was retained, but this did not change Terence Hill’s flying visit to the bridge, which was accompanied by a considerable media hype and lots of fans. There was also an entry in the city’s golden book. Today, a sign on the bridge commemorates those memorable days. The mayor, however, was not helped by the media attention. Only a few months later, in November, he was voted out of office.

Kriemhild’s Rose Garden

Standing on the aforementioned Terence Hill / Karl Kübel Bridge, the view is deceptive, for the pulsating life on the Rhine is initially hidden behind mighty lime trees and two unsightly tanks that have been causing discontent among the population for decades. Once you have crossed the fairground, also known as Kissselswiese, and passed the boules playgrounds of a Worms club, you finally encounter the leisurely flowing Rhine. You are first greeted by a rose labyrinth at the foot of the Hag monument. Eichfelder, an artist from Worms, has been working on the Nibelungen for many decades. One of his long-cherished wishes was to give the city a Nibelungen that could be touched. The Rose Garden was not chosen arbitrarily. However, Eichfelder does not refer to the famous “Song of the Nibelungs”, but to the “Rose Garden Song”, which is less well-known today, was written in the 13th century and was extremely popular in the Middle Ages. Kriemhild is at the centre of the verse epic. At Worms on the Rhine, Kriemhild laid out a rose garden surrounded by a golden border. 224 shrub roses of ten different varieties now line the labyrinthine path through the rose garden, flanked by three lime trees, which are currently still in their infancy. From spring onwards, when the buds unfold into blossoms, the spiralling labyrinth enchants with its colours and fragrances. The labyrinth was opened in 2021.


The monument with Hagen of Tronje stands proud and sublime on the banks of the Rhine. His gaze is determined to sink the precious Nibelungenhord into the waters of the Rhine in order to snatch it from Siegfried’s widow, Kriemhild. When Worms began to rediscover the myth of the Nibelungs in the early 1920s, it was decided to erect a monument to the myth. Why they chose to erect a monument to the villain of the play, of all people, remains the secret of the city authorities of the time. Perhaps it is because of the iconic character of the scene, which inextricably links the Nibelungen Horde with the myth-enshrouded Father Rhine? The galvano figure was created in 1905 by the art carver Johannes Hirt. Ironically, the monument once stood in the immediate vicinity of Kriemhild’s rose garden. In the course of the Nibelungen craze, a rose garden had already been laid out in the Worms city park (see Wäldchen) at the beginning of the twentieth century. Shortly afterwards, the monument was inaugurated as a direct neighbour. It stood there until 1932, after which the figure was moved to its present location.

A Nibelungenturm as a gateway to the city 

Even though nothing historical has survived in Worms from the time of the Nibelungs, i.e. the Middle Ages, the name can be found everywhere. So it is not surprising that the Rhine bridge that connects Worms with Hesse is called the Nibelungen Bridge. But the special thing about it is not so much the name. Rather, it is the bridge tower, which is unique in this form on the Rhine. The bridge tower is 53 metres high and is also an impressive city portal. The mighty structure was inaugurated after three years of construction. Originally, the tower had a counterpart on the Hessian side. During the Second World War, it served for a time as a base for anti-aircraft guns. In March 1945, the tower to the east was finally blown up. The bridge, which was rebuilt in 1953, was also destroyed. Fortunately, the tower on the Worms side was spared. Above the roadway, the tower has eight floors, five of which are in use. Since 1976, it has served as a hostel for the scouts of the Association of Christian Scouts. It is usually open to the public once a year on the Open Monument Day on the second weekend in September. Those who take the trouble to climb the stairs are rewarded at the end with a sublime view over the city and into the vastness of Rheinhessen. zugleich auch eindrucksvolles Stadtportal ist. www.nibelungenturm.de 

Sculpture trail in Worms Abenheim

At the beginning sits a singing rabbit! He looks at you with alert eyes, as if, like the white rabbit in “Alice in Wonderland”, he wants to invite his viewer to follow him into his wonderland, which is located in the middle of the vineyards on the eastern edge of Abenheim. The wonderland goes by the name of “Abenheim Sculpture Trail”. The district of Abenheim lies to the west of Herrnsheim about 3 kilometres away. Below the castle park, a cycle path surrounded by vineyards leads directly into the district, which, like Herrnsheim (see Herrnsheim Castle), is also known for its numerous winegrowers and their delicious wines. The hare, in turn, which crouches on a stone at the edge of the path and marks the beginning of the sculpture path, was carved out of stone by the artist Carmen Stahlschmidt. The inspiration for the art trail came from the countless high stands in the middle of the vineyards. In the 1960s, these were used as “Wingertschützen” to ward off starlings before they were replaced by self-firing systems.

The sculpture trail, which is maintained by the Abenheim Heimatverein 1953, was opened in 2009. In the course of eleven years, the sculpture trail has grown to a total of eleven points of contact, designed by different artists, which can be marvelled at along a circular trail of about four kilometres. Not everything, however, was created by contemporary artists; some attractions have been in place for centuries and have thus become silent witnesses of time. For example, the St. Michael’s Chapel on the Klausenberg with its Stations of the Cross is a centrepiece of the trail, which also offers a view over the extensive vineyards and the town. Not far from this historic building is also the “Table of Wine”. This is not a work of art in the true sense of the word, but rather a place that has been created in addition to the works in order to linger a little or to engage in conversation with other visitors. For art lives not only from viewing, but also from dialogue about it. It is not at all unlikely that you will meet a group of hikers there, especially on sunny weekend days, as various other paths (Jakobsweg, Rheinterrassenweg) cross at the Sculpture Path. If you don’t want to walk the path alone, you can also take part in one of the group tours. In addition to the local history society, local winegrowers also offer hikes and wine tastings.



The city of Worms and the Jewish UNESCO World Heritage

It has been official since 27 July 2021. The historical heritage of the Jewish communities in the cities of Worms, Speyer and Mainz has been part of the Unseco World Heritage since then. Under the name SchUM, the three cities joined forces many years ago to be included in the coveted list. It is not only the tourist aspect that drives the cities, but also recognition for their historical significance. SchUM is an abbreviation of the first letters of the medieval Hebrew city names of Speyer (Schpira), Worms (Warmaisa) and Mainz (Magenza). At the same time, the three cities are also considered the birthplace of “Ashkenazi Judaism”. This is understood to mean European Judaism. From around 960 AD onwards, wealthy families in particular were lured to the cities on the Rhine with the promise of reduced customs duties. While today Mainz is the mother community of the few Jews living in Worms, in the Middle Ages the significance was reversed. Numerous important scholars, such as Rabbi Meir von Rothenbur or the mystic Elasar ben Juda lived and taught in Warmaisa. Worms became Little Jerusalem, as it was reverently called by many Jews. The Jewish religious teacher Salomon Rothschild declared as early as 1905: “Worms is one of the cities of the Occident to which the most and most significant memories are attached for the history and literature of Judaism.” In 1849, Ferdinand Eberstadt, Germany’s first mayor of the Jewish faith, was elected in Worms. In the process, the popular politician had to assert himself against much opposition. In the Rhenish Treason Trial in July 1850, Eberstadt was accused of extortionate coercion as an “intellectual author”. In the autumn of the same year, however, he was acquitted. After his end in office as mayor in 1852, he was elected to the municipal council. Shortly afterwards, he was relieved of office by ministerial decree. The final end of Jewish history in Worms came with the National Socialists’ seizure of power. Today, around 60 Jews live in Worms, most of whom moved from Eastern European countries to the former Little Jerusalem in the 1990s. Meanwhile, the Rashi House is the home of Jewish history in Worms. The synagogue and the “Holy Sand” cemetery, meanwhile, are witnesses to the times that invite visitors to experience history.

An overview of the “SchUM happenings” can be found on the homepage:


You should have seen this in Worms / Warmaisa:

Holy Sand

Almost inconspicuous, it lies on the edge of the city centre, the oldest surviving Jewish cemetery in Europe, the “Holy Sand”. Bordered by a railway line and a main road, it is hard to imagine at first glance that behind the mighty grey walls lined with trees lies an inner-city oasis of peace and at the same time a place of worship. Triangularly laid out, the cemetery fascinates with a peculiar mixture of enchanted garden and monolithic contemporary witness. Scattered over gently rolling land are 2,500 gravestones, the oldest of which dates back to 1074 AD. When visiting this historic site, it is essential to pause at the “Martin Buber View”. From there you have a majestic view over the cemetery, while in the background the approximately 1000-year-old Worms Cathedral of St. Peter towers majestically over everything, as if keeping a watchful eye on the Jewish neighbourhood. Those who want to be inspired not only by the magical atmosphere of this extraordinary place can take one of the numerous guided tours offered by the city or download the SchUM app, which doesn’t just deal in knowledge, but puts faces to the gravestones. The cemetery, whose stones are unusually aligned from north to south, is not simply a historical document of days long past, but also enjoys an extremely prominent significance as a place of pilgrimage for Jews from all over the world. To this day, religious Jews come to Worms for the Holy Sand. Just beyond the wooden entrance gate, to the left of the path, the graves of the medieval rabbi Meir von Rothenburg and his disciple Alexander ben Salomon Wimpfen have become veritable pilgrimage sites. Countless paper notes with messages and petitions gather under small stones. For some time now, due to the quantity of notes, a letterbox has been set up next to the grave, which is around 1000 years old. Incidentally, men are asked to wear a head covering when entering the resting place.

Synagoge, Mikwe, Frauenschul

The former Jewish quarter of the city is located in the old town, more precisely in Judengasse. A narrow cobblestone street just two minutes’ walk from the Nibelungen Apartments. Here, too, the destruction of the city in 1689 and 1945 has left its mark. New buildings from the 1980s nestle against the medieval city wall that marks the north of the former city boundary. The 80s buildings repeatedly alternate with buildings whose origins date back to the 19th century. In the middle of this street or alley is the synagogue. Worms is not only home to the oldest burial place of the Jewish faith in Europe, but also to the synagogue, which was completed in 1034. It is not only a place of interest, but is now also used as a place of prayer again. The synagogue can look back on an eventful history, which was also marked by pogroms. It was repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt. In 1938, for example, it was burnt down by the National Socialists, only to be reopened in 1961. The prayer house also includes the first surviving women’s school, which was added to the synagogue in 1212/1213. Also included are the mikvah, the Jewish bathhouse, which was completed in 1186, and the foundations of the former community house, on which the Rashi House now stands with its exhibition on the life of the Jewish community in Worms. The synagogue grounds cannot be visited at present, as fundamental renovation work is taking place there.


On the site of today’s functional building was an influential Talmud school in the Middle Ages, the Rashi Teaching House. Named after its teacher Rabbi Shelomo ben Jichaki, today the property houses the Worms City Archives as well as the Rashi House, the Jewish Museum of the City of Worms. Numerous pictures, handwritten or typed documents take visitors on a journey through the eventful history of Worms’ Jews. Sometimes persecuted, sometimes esteemed, Hitler’s National Socialists ensured that there was no longer a Jewish community in Worms after the Second World War. Meanwhile, the museum bears witness to how glorious and proud the thousand-year-old community once was. The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am – 12.30pm & 1.30pm – 5pm. General distance and hygiene regulations apply in the museum, which is why currently only 15 people can visit the museum at a time.

Link: www.worms.de/juedisches-museum/

Excursion destinations Speyer and Mainz

Speyer (Schpira)

Speyer is about 50 minutes south of Worms by car and can be reached easily from Worms via the motorway and the main road. The site is accessible from the street on the cathedral side through the Schpira Museum, which displays gravestones, double-arched windows and fragments of the medieval synagogue in a relatively small exhibition area. The remains of the synagogue can be seen in the form of preserved walls, the adjacent women’s school and the yeshiva, which has been preserved as an archaeological monument. In the centre of the former Jewish quarter (“Judenhof”) is the impressive building of the mikveh from around 1120. The Romanesque ritual bath is the oldest preserved of its kind in Europe. You have to descend about eleven metres into the cool darkness before you come upon the actual bathhouse. When compared, the mikvah in Worms feels like the small “role model” that served as a model, but was to be surpassed at all costs. The mikvah and its facilities were a central place for the Jews in Speyer until the dissolution of the community in the first third of the 16th century.

Linktipp: www.speyer.de/de/tourismus/planen-und-buchen/rundgaenge-und-touren/fuehrungen-fuer-gaestegruppen/fuehrungen-in-historischen-sehenswuerdigkeiten/judenhof-mit-museum-schpira-und-mikwe/

Mainz (Magenza)

The state capital Mainz, the third city in the alliance, north of Worms also about 50 kilometres away, has the fewest architectural monuments to show. Numerous wars have reduced the haptic heritage to a minimum, including a synagogue. The synagogue in Mainz-Weisenau was built in 1737/38. It is the only synagogue in Mainz to have survived the Nazi period and bombing raids and is the oldest surviving building in Weisenau. As the Weisenau Jewish community accounted for almost a quarter of the village population in the 18th century, the synagogue was built on Wormser Straße. Parts of the “Jewish cemetery” have also been preserved. The oldest part dates back to 1286 and, like the Worms cemetery, it is also located on a main road. While in Worms this fact is quickly forgotten, in Mainz it is difficult to ignore. Cars roar noisily around during the day, creating a contrast that couldn’t be starker.

Linktipp: www.förderverein-synagoge-mainz-weisenau.de


The app offers a tour of the Judenhof in Speyer, the old Jewish cemetery “Heiliger Sand” in Worms and the synagogue district in Worms. In addition, the app explains with fascinating stories what SchUM, the architecture of synagogues, women’s rooms and ritual baths are all about – and why Jewish cemeteries are “places of eternity”. Four different stories tell of Jewish history and its significance for the present. Whether Abel and Anton, Maayan or Rebecca and David – the protagonists are inquisitive, eager to discuss and love history. The user can choose between listening and reading. The app is also enriched with many pictures. Furthermore, there is additional information on opening hours, regulations for visiting, among others, a synagogue and a Jewish cemetery, tourist tips and information on restaurants. Supported languages: German and English.


Book tip

Jerusalem am Rhein

Of course, one can make history one’s own in the usual way via informative websites or in the classical way with the help of specialised literature. But you can also make history comprehensible through stories. This is done wonderfully in the book “Jerusalem am Rhein”. Karl E. Grözinger, professor of religious studies and Jewish studies, has compiled numerous stories, legends, sagas and also everyday stories for this book. Sorted into eight chapters (e.g. “Wormser Wundermänner und Magier” or “Aus den Gerichtsstuben”), he has historically authenticated personalities describe their respective times / experiences. Sometimes this is humorous, sometimes it is sad, but the stories always unite to make the reader aware of this time and thus to get a feeling for the importance of the three cities. History lessons can hardly be more entertaining.


Jüdische Geschichten aus Speyer, Worms und Mainz

Von: Grözinger, Karl E.
Worms-Verlag, 2018, 256 Seiten, 60 Abb., 16 x 24 cm, kartoniert I 26 Euro
ISBN: 978-3-944380-83-4

Link: www.wormsverlag.de