The history of the Salian dynasty
The family of Salian dukes, who were the kings of Germany between 1024 and 1125, has historically been closely linked to the area around Worms, Speyer and Bad Dürkheim. This area was a stronghold of the dynasty since before the year 1000, and is where they developed their wide-ranging dominion of forests, castles and monasteries, in other words their hold over the land and people of the region.The clan of Salians chose Speyer Cathedral as their first burial site in the 10th century, which was almost unheard of in those days. The Salian graves were discovered in 1906 and are open to the public. When Conrad II became King of Germany, the first Salian to sit on the throne, he had Limburg Castle converted into a Benedictine abbey, which was designed as the family’s private abbey. The expansion of the still very modest Speyer Cathedral began at almost exactly the same time. It was to become the burial site of the royal family in the course of the 11th century. The Salians ensured that the city of Speyer enjoyed a golden age when the cathedral was consecrated in 1111, and the city became known as “Metropolis Germaniae” in around 1125. The Salians had a significant impact on the scenery of the region between the three main cities, and left many traces behind.
Ruins of Limburg Abbey
Limburg Abbey, an imposing pillared basilica, was built under Emperor Conrad II and was the Salian dynasty’s private abbey.It was consecrated in 1042 and destroyed in 1504. Sadly, of the earlier three-tower façade of the Benedictine abbey and its main hall with three aisles, only the outer walls remain intact. The reconstructed crypt is of architectural interest as it served as the burial ground for the Salians after the cathedral of Worms was built until the completion of the lower church in Speyer Cathedral. The ruins of Limburg Abbey are the most architecturally significant holy ruins in the Palatinate.The name of the cycle route harks back to the legendary ride undertaken by Emperor Conrad, the first Salian on the German throne in the Holy Roman Empire, on 12 July 1030 from Bad Dürkheim to Speyer. Legend has it that, on this day, Conrad laid the cornerstone of Limburg Abbey in Bad Dürkheim before riding back to Speyer on the same day to begin construction of Speyer Cathedral.
Speyer Cathedral – UNESCO World Heritage Site
The Romanesque Imperial Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption and St Stephen in Speyer owes its existence to the first Salian Emperor Conrad II. The imposing three-aisle basilica is a perfect example of a floor plan that subsequently had a major influence on the development of Romanesque architecture. The crypt under the eastern part of the cathedral is the largest in the western world. The imperial cathedral is still one of the most important architectural Romanesque monuments and is the largest surviving Romanesque church in Europe. As the burial site of Salian, Staufer and Habsburg rulers, the cathedral is considered a symbol of the medieval empire. As a major work of Romanesque architecture, the cathedral was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1981.
Cathedral of St. Peter
Worms Cathedral, located at the highest point in Worms city centre, is the most important Romanesque building in Worms and is closely associated with the name of Bishop Burchard and the golden era of Worms in the 12th and 13th centuries. The cathedral is associated with major events such as the papal election in 1048. It was built between 1130 and 1181 and is now a Catholic parish church, which the Pope elevated to a minor basilica in 1925.
Rest StopRestaurant Poseidon
Hotel Restaurant Fronmühle
Horchheimer Scheune Café - Schokolaterie
Safety informationPlease note: Some of the route uses agricultural roads. Watch out for heavy machinery and dirt on the road.Please wear a helmet. Cyclists must obey the German highway code (StVo).
Tips and hintsFeedback, errors or omissions? Contact us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.radwanderland.de (responsible for infrastructure and route description).
To Bad Dürkheim
Travelling west on the A650 (towards Mannheim/Ludwigshafen):
- A650 towards Bad Dürkheim
- Follow the sign for Bad Dürkheim Kuranlagen/Saline/Salinarium
- After approx. 5 km, local sign for Bad Dürkheim
- On the right-hand side there is a mountain with a small chapel; the saltworks is on the on the left-hand side
- You will see a large car park after the saltworks; this is Wurstmarktplatz
- At the roundabout, turn left into the car park
- Starting point at Wurstmarktplatz
Travelling on the B37 from Kaiserslautern:
- Take the B37 straight into Bad Dürkheim, past the Giant Barrel to the Wurstmarkt roundabout
- At the roundabout, turn right into the car park
- Starting point at Wurstmarktplatz
Speyer exit, continue to SP-Zentrum exit, continue on B9 towards Cathedral/Museums
Follow the parking guidance system to Festplatz, from where you can walk to the cathedral: 5 mins. Wurstmarktplatz in Bad Dürkheim
Parking in Speyer
Park & Ride car park at Festplatz (Sat Nav: Klipfelsau) or alternatively at Naturfreundehaus (Sat Nav: Schillerweg) or the Technik Museum (Sat Nav: Am Technik Museum 1)
Book recommendation by the author
Author’s map recommendations
Please wear a helmet. Touring bicycle or bike with multiple gears, weatherproof clothing, drinks and supplies.