Speyer Cathedral – the largest Roman-style church in the world

Speyer Cathedral, Germany was recognized as the World Cultural Heritage in 1981 by UNESCO.

Speyer Cathedral, also known as St. Mary's and St Stephens Cathedral, is a church located in southwestern Germany, in Speyer city. So far, this church is the largest one built in the style of the Roman architecture in the world.


The Speyer Cathedral consists of several buildings in which the main buildings consist of a cathedral and four guard towers with two domes. This world cultural heritage was built in 1030 under King Konrad II. This is not only a valuable architectural work but also one of the most important monuments from Roman times. In 300 years of history, the Speyer Cathedral is home to the remains of German emperors.


In 1030, right after the throne, King Konrad II allowed to design and build Speyer Cathedral. The church was further refurbished in 1077 under King Henry IV. After reconciling with the Pope at that time, King Henry IV allowed to build the church's domes. It is the first cathedral with domes built in Europe, and is also the largest domes in Europe for a long time.

So far, the Speyer Cathedral is still a valuable art work with Roman architecture standards. It is not impossible to mention the historical values that have accrued over the years, adding to the value of this heritage.


Built in a period of intense conflict between the royal court and the Pope, so right from the start, the Speyer Cathedral was created with a strong sense of competition with the Cluny Abbey. With perfect calculations, architectural works are extremely well balanced between the East and West blocks.

Once completed, the Speyer Cathedral immediately became a prominent architectural work. However, until King Henry IV repaired and built the domes, this architectural work really resonated in Europe. The influence of the architectural style as well as the way of building this church became the basis for the design of many other churches.



If the architecture of the church was so unique, the interior is so impressive. Most of the sculptures inside the church were created by famous Italian sculptors. After the Cluny Abbey was destroyed, the Speyer Cathedral officially became the largest and oldest church built in Roman style.


Since the reign of King Konrad II in 1309, eight kings were placed there after death. In 1689, the Speyer Cathedral was severely damaged by a fire. It was not until 1772 that the renovation was implemented and completed six years later in 1778. Despite the renovations, the basic architecture and the magnificence and the impression of the Church isn’t almost changed. This is due to the great achievements of research and preservation of European monuments.


By: Gitta Russell

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