Worms Cathedral - History and Facts | History Hit

Worms Cathedral

Worms, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany

Worms Cathedral is a twelfth century church in Worms in Germany and a burial site of the Salian Dynasty.

Peta Stamper

06 Jul 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Worms Cathedral

Worms Cathedral (Wormser Dom) also known as the Cathedral of St Peter is a Romanesque cathedral in the German city of Worms. A sandstone structure with distinctive conical towers, Worms Cathedral was constructed in phases throughout the 12th century and mostly completed by 1181 and today features as one of our Top Tourist Attractions in Germany.

Worms Cathedral history

In fact, the present Worms Cathedral is not the first to be built on this site: a previous, smaller version having existed as early as the 7th century and a further incarnation built in the 11th century. This earlier cathedral was also built on an even earlier Roman forum on the tallest hill in the city.

The second version of Worms Cathedral was famous for being the burial site of the Salian Dynasty, a medieval German royal line of Holy Roman Emperors. This Salian crypt can still be seen at Worms Cathedral.

In 1792, when French revolutionary forces captured Worms, Worms Cathedral was used as a storage facility and stables. During World War Two the building was damaged by Allied air raids but largely survived.

Worms Cathedral today

Today, visitors can explore the thousand years of history at Worms through its cathedral. The glass window inside is dedicated to this history, showing the moment when Martin Luther refused to recall his writings in front of Emperor Karl V.

You can learn more about the origins and additions of the church on one of the guided tours, wandering the lavish Baroque interior, going down into the tombs to view the royal sarcophagi and up into the roof truss and onto the roof itself to enjoy stunning views across the city.

You can also get a great feel for the cathedral’s presence during one of the renowned Nibelungen festivals where Worms Cathedral sets the stage for a medieval re-enactment.

Getting to Worms Cathedral

Within the historic centre, Worms Cathedral is found just off the 47 central road for those driving. From Worms’ train station, with great links to Bensheim, Frankfurt and and Mannheim, the cathedral is just a 9 minute walk.