Eight questions for...

Johannes Hermanns, assistant of the Custos Diocese at Speyer Cathedral.

When I visit the World Heritage Site of Speyer, what should I definitely not miss?

You shouldn't miss the Romanesque hall crypt at the Speyer Cathedral World Heritage Site. It is the largest Romanesque columned hall in Europe.

What do you particularly like here?

During a visit to the cathedral, especially the crypt, you feel transported back to the Middle Ages. The imposing space has a very unique atmosphere. The arrangement of arches, vaults and columns in these dimensions is unique in Europe.

Do you have an insider tip?

The Afra Chapel. It is hidden and not immediately apparent behind a door in the north nave of the cathedral. It provides a bolt-hole from the guided tours and the masses of tourists, where you can find peace and come to rest.

What impressed you most during your first visit here?

As a child I visited the cathedral on vacation with my parents. The imposing grandeur of the space and the vast pillars fascinated me even then.

Which time of the year is the most attractive here?

Whoever visits Speyer Cathedral should really look at it in detail. Medieval symbols can be found across the entire cathedral. You should definitely take part in a guided tour to recognize them and unlock their meaning to the Christian faith.

What else should I see here?

On the western side of the cathedral some 304 steps lead up the spire to a viewing platform. From there, at a height of 60 meters, you can enjoy the best view of the entire Rhine plain.

Visiting World Heritage Sites means working up an appetite. What regional specialty should I try?

For small appetites in between I would recommend a Speyer Brezel. It's best to combine it with a glass of Palatinate wine.

And which World Heritage Site would you like to see one day?

The Inca Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu in Peru, because I'm fascinated by its location in the mountains.

Johannes Hermanns

was born in the World Heritage city of Aachen. The historian grew up in the northern Eifel, a low mountain region between Aachen and Cologne.

He completed his university studies in history in the World Heritage city of Trier. He has been an assistant of the Custos Diocese at Speyer Cathedral for more than two years. He is responsible for, among other things, making the cathedral accessible and comprehensible for tourists.



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