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:

www.bistummainz.de/pfarrgruppe/worms-dom-st-peter/

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.

 

www.tiergarten-worms.de

 

Bürgerweide

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 5 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.

Hagendenkmal

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.

www.abenheimer-skulpturenweg.com

 

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:

www.schumstaedte.de

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.

Raschi-Haus

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

App-Tip

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.

www.schumstaedte.de/schum-app/

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

The Luther dossier in Worms

Two days in Worms that changed the world 

A compact summary of the Martin Luther thriller

Worms has an eventful historical past. As early as 5,000 BC, the climatically favoured area was settled by the Celts. Around 35 BC, the Romans finally found their way here and brought more than just wine to Rheinhessen. With the Romans, Worms became more than just a settlement area. It first became a “province” and increasingly gained in importance. Quite a few events that happened here still have an impact on the Christianised world today. Who is not familiar with the expression “going to Canossa”? That penitential walk in which the emperor had to ask the pope for forgiveness, simply put. This walk was ultimately a consequence of the Imperial Synod in 1076, to which Emperor Henry IV invited in Worms with the aim of breaking away from the Roman Catholic Church in Rome.

Probably even more famous is the saying “Here I stand and can do no other! The phrase is attributed to the pugnacious theologian Martin Luther, who was summoned to Worms in 1521 to recant his 95 Theses published in 1517. As is well known, he did not do so and is said to have uttered those famous words in the process. As texts now suggest, Luther’s saying was a little different, but not so far removed from the famous quote:

„(…) Und so lange mein Gewissen durch die Worte Gottes gefangen ist, kann und will ich nichts widerrufen, weil es unsicher ist und die Seligkeit bedroht, etwas gegen das Gewissen zu tun. Gott helfe mir. Amen“

The consequences of this sentence shook Europe, led to the division of the church and the Thirty Years’ War. So you could say that the idea of the Reformation spread from Worms to the world. But how did it come about in the first place and why was Worms chosen as the place where the Imperial Diet was held?

Martin Luther, born in 1486, studied theology in Wittenberg and was a convinced representative of humanism. In 1510 he travelled to Rome on behalf of his order. There he was appalled by the pomp with which the Roman Catholic Church demonstrated its power. The God-fearing man began to wonder whether this was in the spirit of Christian teaching, which preached humility and modesty. Back in Germany, which was still the “Holy Roman Empire” at the time, he increasingly began to denounce the abuses.

In particular, the practice of selling indulgences, God’s forgiveness in exchange for money, and simony, the practice of buying and selling influential church offices, came into focus in his texts and formed the basis for the 95 Theses, which Martin Luther effectively nailed to a door in Wittenberg on 31 October 1517. In addition, these 95 Theses, originally written in Latin, were sent to the Archbishop of Mainz. A translation into German followed. The invention of printing (in Mainz) finally ensured that Luther’s theses spread throughout the empire at breakneck speed and he became something like the first media star.

In 1520, Charles V, just 20 years old, was elected Holy Roman Emperor. Under the influence of Pope Leo X, the young emperor declared Luther a heretic on 3 January 1521 and imposed on him a bull of excommunication and the imperial ban (without rights and outlawed). For Luther, who firmly believed in purgatory, this was a human catastrophe. Nevertheless, he refused to back down from his powerful criticism.

On 27 January 1521, the Emperor opened the Imperial Diet in the “free city” of Worms. Originally, it was to take place in Nuremberg. Since the imperial city of Nuremberg was ravaged by several epidemics at the time, the choice fell on the historically rich city on the Rhine (there had already been an Imperial Diet in Worms in 1495). Charles V finally travelled to the city, which at the time had 7,000 inhabitants, on 28 November to prepare for the important and, above all, nationally popular Imperial Diet. In short, the Imperial Diet was the outstanding event of its time.

The main topic was to be the reorganisation of the balance of power between the crown, princes and cities. Along with the 80 or so princes, some 3000 other envoys and followers travelled to the city. Some sources even report that about 10,000 additional visitors arrived. This led to an increase in the cost of food, housing became scarce and disputes broke out everywhere.

The powerful negotiated for four months when, surprisingly, Martin Luther was put on the agenda. Actually, the Pope and the Emperor thought that the ban was the end of the story. But they were wrong! For the Pope’s envoy in Worms stated that “nothing else was being sold except Luther’s writings”. So there was no getting around the subject any more.

So Charles V summoned Luther to the Imperial Diet with the aim of having him recant his 95 Theses before the secular and ecclesiastical powers of the land. On 2 April 1521, Martin Luther set off from Wittenberg to Worms. When he arrived in Worms on 16 April, trumpet fanfares greeted him while the people cheered him.

On 17 April, the emperor and Luther met for the first time at a preliminary hearing. At first Luther believed he could convince the Emperor, but after only a few hours he was proved wrong. Charles V let Luther know that he expected a retraction the following day. On 18 April, the popular theologian and the powerful emperor finally came to a big showdown. The encounter finally ended with the above-mentioned quotation. Further rounds of talks followed over the next few days, with scholars in attendance, which were supposed to persuade him to recant after all. As it turned out, in vain.

On 26 April, Luther and his companions finally started their return journey. On the way back, there was a staged attack and the abduction of Luther. This was initiated by Elector Frederick the Wise, who was well-disposed towards Luther. He had the “outlaw” brought to Wartburg Castle. The Diet in Worms ended again on 26 May with the Worms Editkt, i.e. the imperial ban imposed on Martin Luther. In 1524, the first Protestant mass on German soil was held here in Worms. Likewise, the first English-language version of the New Testament was written here in 1526. To this day, despite the architectural dominance of the Catholic churches, the city has a Protestant influence, which is reflected above all in the population structure.

In the footsteps of Martin Luther in Worms

The former imperial city of Worms was twice the victim of great destruction. Once as a result of the Palatinate War of Succession in 1689 and finally shortly before the end of the Second World War, by two air raids. As a result of these destructions, many historical buildings were irrevocably destroyed, including the then Bishop’s Court in the immediate vicinity of the cathedral, where Luther had to appear before the Emperor. Nevertheless, it is still possible to follow Luther’s footsteps in Worms today.

This can be done most impressively at the Luther Monument, the world’s largest monument to the Reformation, designed by the Dresden artist Ernst Rietschel. It took twelve years to complete. It was finally unveiled in the presence of Prussian King Wilhelm I and numerous spectators on a blazing hot summer day on 25 June 1868. Historical sources say that 3,000 guests of honour alone had travelled to the site at that time. There were 15,000 grandstand seats and allegedly 100,000 visitors. The monument celebrates not only Martin Luther, who, with a fist on the Bible, so to speak, symbolically represents his theses with a proud and clear gaze, but also other important figures in the history of the Reformation. Explanations of the people depicted can be found on the homepage:

www.worms-erleben.de/erleben/entdecken-und-staunen/sehenswuerdigkeiten/lutherdenkmal.php

The technically interesting app “Experience Worms (AR)” also offers comprehensive information. The monument is enclosed in a crenellated wall that symbolises the well-known Luther hymn “Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott” (“Our God is a Mighty Fortress”) in a way that you can touch. At the same time, other people, places and scenes of the Reformation are illustrated in the tour. The monument is surrounded by an impressive green area, Lutherplatz, which is attractively landscaped by the city’s Parks Department depending on the season.

Immerse yourself in the Diet of Worms with a virtual reality app

The app “Experience Worms (AR)” just mentioned does not offer detailed information about the monument, but sends the user on a Luther tour. By using a so-called “Argumented Reality (AR) technology”, past and present merge into an entertaining experience. The technology gives the viewer a virtual insight into the time of the Imperial Diet in 1521. The tour begins at the Luther Monument and leads to six historically significant locations marked by stelae. By means of a QR code, which can be scanned on the steles, the visitor is immersed in the past. Buildings appear before your eyes, while people also appear directly in front of you. The journey, during which you also meet Martin Luther, is guided informatively by the imperial herald Kaspar Sturm. Based on the look of a graphic novel, the app offers an entertaining way to experience history. However, those who want to do without virtual reality can also have it told to them. It makes sense to use headphones when using the app. Since the app consumes quite a bit of power during the 90-minute tour, it makes sense to make sure the battery is well charged beforehand. The app is free and can be found in both the AppStore and the Google Play Store. However, it is important to enter the exact term “experience Worms”, otherwise you will come across numerous apps that refer to the game “Worms”.

Here I stand and can’t help myself: Luther’s shoes in Heylshofpark Worms

If you want to follow in Luther’s footsteps, you should of course visit the Heylshofpark in Worms, not far from the Luther Monument. Anyone using the app will be guided to the green oasis in the middle of the city anyway. The Bishop’s Court was located there 500 years ago. A bronze sculpture in the shape of oversized shoes symbolises the place where Luther is said to have stood before the emperor. Incidentally, anyone who suddenly hears voices in the park should not worry about possibly having acoustic hallucinations after their tour of the city. 24 loudspeakers with small, but easily recognisable, light and quietly pulsating light sources are distributed throughout the park. Motion detectors register when someone comes close to the specific spot and activate a loudspeaker with questions of conscience. 24 questions are asked, one question per location. “Questions to the “today”, arising from a moment 500 years ago with answers from us now”, it says on the homepage wormserleben. The city itself calls this a “thinking space”. However, one can simply also be inspired by the lush green of the meadows, the gnarled ancient trees and the mighty cathedral that seems to watch over the park with its massive towers. Or, to put it another way, it’s a place ideally suited to unwinding.

Luther exhibition in the Andreasstift

If you want to follow in Luther’s footsteps, you should of course visit the Heylshofpark in Worms, not far from the Luther Monument. Anyone using the app will be guided to the green oasis in the middle of the city anyway. The Bishop’s Court was located there 500 years ago. A bronze sculpture in the shape of oversized shoes symbolises the place where Luther is said to have stood before the emperor. Incidentally, anyone who suddenly hears voices in the park should not worry about possibly having acoustic hallucinations after their tour of the city. 24 loudspeakers with small, but easily recognisable, light and quietly pulsating light sources are distributed throughout the park. Motion detectors register when someone comes close to the specific spot and activate a loudspeaker with questions of conscience. 24 questions are asked, one question per location. “Questions to the “today”, arising from a moment 500 years ago with answers from us now”, it says on the homepage wormserleben. The city itself calls this a “thinking space”. However, one can simply also be inspired by the lush green of the meadows, the gnarled ancient trees and the mighty cathedral that seems to watch over the park with its massive towers. Or, to put it another way, it’s a place ideally suited to unwinding.

 

In the premises of the 1000-year-old St. Andrew’s Abbey and church, the national exhibition “Here I Stand. Conscience and Protest – 1521 to 2021” will take place. The focus is on a historical examination of the theme of “taking a stand”. Arranged in 14 thematic islands, the exhibition presents an attractively designed journey through 500 years of protest history, roughly divided into two parts. Particularly in Protestant milieus, “Worms 1521” is regarded as the birthplace of modern, Western freedom of conscience and is appropriated accordingly in terms of historical politics, which is why the first part explicitly refers to the historical events. In a second part, the exhibition focuses on the topic of “freedom of conscience”, both with and without reference to Luther’s work. The national exhibition deals with important personalities who, from the 16th century to the present day, stood up for their ideals in word and deed and not infrequently paid for their civil courage with their lives. Examples of this are the pugnacious writer Olympe de Gouges and the young Sophie Scholl. Using exhibits, documents, film clips and music, the exhibition makes history tangible. Among the exhibits, for example, is a Bible with a recess in it in which you can hide a pistol. This Bible was given to Winnie Mandela in the 1960s as a warning to her husband Nelson Mandela. The latter was to end his protest to eliminate apartheid. In addition to such moments when people had to stand their ground against hatred and violence, the exhibition also deals with the peaceful protests in the GDR that eventually led to the fall of the Wall.

An eye-catcher, of course, is the museum itself, where the exhibition, which is well worth seeing, takes place. The St. Andrew’s Abbey was first mentioned in 1016. As early as the 13th century, however, the original building was extensively rebuilt. It was used as a monastery for a long time. In the course of the Palatinate War of Succession, the building was burnt down. What remained were the masonry and part of the cloister. Reconstruction lasted until 1761, but even after that, little good happened to the building. In 1792 Worms came under French occupation. The new masters used the monastery as barracks. After the building returned to municipal ownership, the church in particular, which is now the entrance to the exhibition, was used as a car park. When the Worms Antiquities Society was looking for a new home for its historical collection at the end of the 1920s, the city offered the rooms of the Andreasstift as a museum. The collection has been housed there ever since. During the Luther exhibition, however, the upper floors, which house a major part of the collection, are closed. Thanks to the generous donation of a Worms patroness, the former cloister has been lavishly reconstructed and rebuilt over the past two years. This frames the inner courtyard, where readings and small concerts take place during the exhibition period. As exhibition curator Dr Olaf Mückain reveals, the courtyard can also be used as an extra-parliamentary protest space during the exhibition. Posters and demonstrations are expressly welcome.

To visit the exhibition, an online reservation is necessary in advance. Due to Corona, 30 guests are currently allowed to visit the exhibition every 20 minutes. Group tours will not take place due to the current situation.

Further information can be found at:

www.luther-worms.de

Summer is festival time in Worms:

The Nibelungen Festival presents “Luther

The Nibelungen Festival has long been one of Germany’s most important theatre events. Against the impressive backdrop of Worms, the open-air festival is usually dedicated to the titular Nibelungen. On the occasion of the anniversary year, the makers are leaving their comfort zone and putting Luther at the centre of this year’s production from 16 July to 3 August, based on original text by Swiss author Lukas Bärfuss. The artistic director of the festival, Germany’s most successful film producer Nico Hofmann (“Der Junge muss an die frische Luft”), explains about the performance that the play is about inner attitude and courage. What exactly the audience can expect in terms of content has not yet been revealed. What is known, however, is the cast. This includes the popular actor Jürgen Tarrach (“James Bond 007 – Quantum of Solace”, “Wambo”) and the actress Sunnyi Melles, who is a welcome guest in numerous series and most recently starred in the lavish cinema production “Narziss und Goldmund”. The Heylshofpark is also an integral part of the Festival and is often rightly described as Germany’s most beautiful theatre foyer. It is unclear at the moment in which setting it will be used this year due to Corona. In normal years, the audience can expect an extensive gastronomic offer in the romantic park, which of course includes a wide range of tasty regional wines. For a small fee (2 euros), the park can also be visited by strollers without a festival ticket. Whether this will be the case this year is questionable. It is also questionable at the moment how many visitors the festival will be able to welcome. At the moment, they are planning on 530. Normally, the grandstand offers space for 1,400 guests. Since the seats are coveted, one should react quickly if interested.

Further information can be found at:

www.nibelungenfestspiele.de 

Alle Texte: Dennis Dirigo

Weinstadt Worms – The wine heart of Rheinhessen

Worms and wine are two that are inextricably linked, and not just because they share the same initial. When about 50 BC. When the Romans first arrived in the area that is now Worms, they not only provided the first urban structures, but also brought the wine with them. Since transporting the popular drink was too expensive in the long run, people began to cultivate their own vines in the new province, just as they had done in Gaul. Over the centuries, wine has become increasingly important economically for the region. Worms is now the third largest wine-growing community (after Neustadt and Landau). Around 80 winegrowers maintain the winegrowing tradition today. Worms is in turn in Rheinhessen, the largest wine-growing region in Germany. In particular, the mild climate in Rheinhessen, plenty of sun, coupled with little rainfall, creates ideal conditions for an all-round successful wine. The hilly landscape of Rheinhessen is therefore characterized by endless rows of vineyards. A main part of the sweet fruit, almost 73 percent, is reserved for the white wine. Of these, Riesling claims the most vines and regularly causes a sensation at wine awards. Wine also plays an important role in social life here. Numerous wine festivals, taverns, vinotheques and wine fairs bear witness to this love of wine. In Worms, the celebration of wine reaches its peak at the end of August with the Baked Fish Festival and the accompanying Wonnegau Wine Cellar. In the form of the market winegrowers, he is represented almost all year round on Saturdays at the weekly market.

Liebfrauenmilch – A wine goes around the world

The best-known wine-growing areas in Worms are the Luginsland and the Liebfrauenstift. Both vineyards are in the middle of the city. In particular, the wine that came from the Liebfrauenstift and was marketed under the name Liebfrauenmilch ensured that the wine town of Worms also enjoyed a worldwide reputation. The 17-hectare small vineyard around the Church of Our Lady is surrounded by walls and is therefore particularly sheltered from the wind. The church, built between 1267 and 1465, watches over the “church piece” like a patroness and provides important shade. The vines also benefit from the city’s somewhat warmer climate and its proximity to the Rhine. After the Dutch merchant PJ Valckenberg acquired the city’s vineyards, he began selling the wine throughout Europe. England in particular, including the English royal family, proved to be happy buyers. Soon after, the precious drop also made it to America, where it was demonstrably served in the restaurant of the Ritz-Carlton in New York. Liebfrauenmilch became an export hit and even made it to dizzying heights. When the zeppelin made its first round-the-world flight in 1929, 2 of the 10 white wines offered on board were Wormser “Liebfraumilch”. A lack of laws to protect a brand meant that more and more wine merchants and winegrowers began to baptize their grape juice Liebfrauenmilch without, however, meeting the quality requirements. Weinkontor Valckenberg finally added the location “Kirchenstück” and had this term protected. So if you hold a wine with the name “Liebfrauenstift-Kirchenstück” in your hand, you know that this is the only genuine original. 10 hectares of the area are now cultivated by the newly founded Weingut am Dom. The remaining areas are tended to by the Worms wineries Spohr, Schembs and the Gundheim winery Gutzler. The Liebfrauenstift wines are Rieslings that are made both dry and sweet.

Where does the Riesling actually come from? Of course from Rheinhessen….

The important German viticulture historian Friedrich von Bassermann-Jordan noted in his two-volume work “History of Viticulture” published in 1907 that the origin of the “most important German white wine vine – Riesling” will probably never be conclusively clarified. The theory that Riesling made its way from the Moselle to the Rhine persists to this day. In his work, however, Bassermann-Jordan refers to a literature source from 1857, according to which “the area from Neustadt/Weinstraße to Worms can be regarded as the original home of Riesling”. In the “Rheinhessen grape variety guide”, which was published in 1978 by the Rheinhessischer Rebenveredler producer association, it says about the Riesling: “The origin of the Riesling could not be determined exactly. However, there are many indications of the Wonnegau. The Wonnegau is in turn a southern region of Rheinhessen, which also includes Worms. A Riesling cultivation area with a size of “half an acre” was first mentioned in a document in Pfeddersheim in 1490. Today’s largest district of Worms enjoyed independent city rights at the time and has belonged to Worms since 1969. The author Dieter Braaz claims to have found another indication that Riesling was located in Worms and the region even earlier. In an entry on the subject of Riesling, Wikipedia refers to its “Wine Atlas of Germany”. In it, the author explains that the first written mention of the Riesling vine and the city of Worms dates back to 1402. However, he does not provide any evidence for this claim. In fact, the oldest document mentioning the popular vine dates back to 1435. The administrator of Burg zur Rüsselsheim noted the purchase of Riesling vines, which were transplanted into their own vineyard. But how did the vines get to Opelstadt? Although there are no documentary mentions, legend has it that Count Johann IV from the Katzenelnbogen family, to whose county the aforementioned vineyard also belonged, was on a shopping spree in 1435. This also led him to Pfeddersheim, where he bought wine. Whether he also bought the seedlings there is not documented.

Wherever the Riesling first dug its roots into the earth, it is clear that this is inextricably linked to Rheinhessen and thus also to Worms. This is already shown by the proportion of vineyards. This is 18 percent for the white wine vines. The somewhat less glamorous Müller Thurgau takes second place. In wine tastings in gourmet magazines and blogs, Rheinhessische Riesling regularly gets the best ratings. The density of quality in the self-proclaimed “Riesling City” of Nierstein is particularly striking. Located along the Rhine route in the direction of Mainz, wines from the city with a population of almost 8,000 are now regulars in the top 10. The Riesling has since received a new boost in popularity thanks to the American pop star Pink. In an interview, she confessed to her love for Riesling. Time for the musician to make her way to the home of Riesling. The range of tastes of the demanding vine is enormous and overwhelmingly well chilled not only the palate of a world star. Another prominent friend of Rheinhessen and Worms wines was the famous French writer Victor Hugo (“The Hunchback of Notre Dame”). He traveled to the Nibelungen city of Worms in the hope of getting to know the places of the Nibelungenlied, was ultimately disappointed by the few historical traces, but was all the more enthusiastic about the Worms wines. With his flattering quote: “Truly, I would come to Worms for the sake of three glasses of Worms wine,” he adorns the Am Roman Emperor winegrower’s fountain in the pedestrian zone.

Summer, sun, wine and Worms: Worms’ market winegrowers invite you to relax and enjoy wine on Saturdays from spring onwards

The Wormser Marktwinzer are, how could it be otherwise, six Worms winegrowers who alternate weekly and invite you to enjoy wine together on the edge of the weekly market. Between the cathedral and the Trinity Church, the Marktwinzer-Treff is now not only an insider tip for market visitors, but also for tourist groups. Seating sets lined up around the Siegfried Fountain, which is well worth seeing, invite you to linger. The enjoyable morning can be rounded off with a few delicacies such as pickled olives, Spundekäs or the unbeatable trio “Weck, Worschd and Woi”. Of course, bought fresh at the weekly market. The wine stand is also a good opportunity to take a few delicious wines away from a visit to a winery, either as a souvenir or to enjoy at home, and to chat with the winemaker for a while in a relaxed atmosphere. However, inexperienced wine connoisseurs are advised to apply lotion in the summer months, as the site offers little shade and it can get really hot under the Rheinhessen sun. The wineries Spohr, Weinmann and Klosterhof Loesch from Worms-Abenheim, Weingut Müsel and Schäfer from Worms-Herrnsheim and Helmut Kloos from Worms-Horchheim offer their products in rotation. In the winter months there is no open bar, but the opportunity to buy bottles. The exact dates can be found here:

www.weinstadt-worms.de/weinstadt/home/Wormser-MarktWinzer.php

Worms Wine Fair

When the Worms Wine Fair was launched 16 years ago, the primary aim was to place the subject of wine much more prominently in the cityscape. One can say frankly that this mission was a success. After Corona had to be canceled last year, the organizers hope to be able to hold the popular wine fair again on two days in November this year. Around 50 winegrowers, most from Worms and a few from the surrounding area, invite you to try wine and talk about wine together in the stylish ambience of the conference center. There is probably no better place to get an idea of the city’s rich wine offerings. Theme-oriented events such as “Old Vines” or “Wine and Chocolate” enable small groups to immerse themselves intensively in the secrets of wine in addition to the trade fair. Since the tickets are in great demand, it is worth securing them in good time. At the box office it can sometimes be said, unfortunately sold out!

You can find more information here: www.worms.de/weinstadt/weinmesse/

Wormser Vinothek – A permanent home for Wormser wine

Since the beginning of summer 2019, Wormser wine has finally had a permanent home in the city center. In the Worms Vinothek on Parmaplatz, 16 winegrowers have joined forces with Stadtmarketing Worms eV to present wine lovers with 80 selected wines, 16 of which are on tap. The selection is tailored to provide the most comprehensive possible overview of all important Rheinhessian grape varieties. With a view of the colorful green areas and the Luther monument, you can feel like you’re on vacation in the summer months. Mediterranean conviviality makes it possible to quickly get to know people who were previously strangers, so that at the end of a vinotheque evening, new friendships for life can sometimes be made. The visit is rounded off by fine culinary delicacies, which are of course tailored to the demands of the wines. Those who like it non-alcoholic can fall back on all-round refreshing grape juice spritzers, which of course also come from the winemakers. Small concerts, readings and guided wine tastings are also part of the offer.

You can find more information at: www.wormser-vinothek.de