After having seen Odenwald and Main valley, next day we headed south. Our first stop was Worms, the second oldest city in Germany, the city which was, like Mainz and Speyer, an Imperial residence on the banks of the Rhine, and where, just like in Mainz and in Speyer, an impressive Romanesque cathedral has remained to witness the city's eventful past. I guess the English-speaking members of this site know the old chestnut about Luther and the "diet of worms", bandied about to much hilarity during school history lessons. In fact, this particular Diet had perhaps the most far-reaching consequences of any conference before the two world wars. Summoned before it by the young Charles V in 1521, after a Papal Bull condemning everything he believed in, Luther arrived in Worms "as though going to the torture chamber". He went nevertheless without hesitation, held back by the anxiety of his friends but acclaimed by enthusiastic crowds. Refusing to retract his beliefs, he was banned to the outer parts of the Empire.
Here we see the west towers of the Worms cathedral. Started in 11C and completed in 1230, the cathedral is among the finest Romanesque creations in Germany. This magnificent basilica, with four round towers, two large domes, and a choir at each end, has a specially imposing exterior, though the impression produced by the interior is also one of great dignity and simplicity, heightened by the natural color of the red sandstone of which it is built.
This is the most I could get from the grey rainy afternoon. I have converted to BW to emphasize the austerity of the towers. In the WS, an alternative view of the west facade.
For other pictures of the trip - click on the travelogue on the left.