Christmas Markets on the Rhine travel blog

Speyer cathedral

Inside the cathedral

Front door of the cathedral

Angel on the cathedral holding a pretzel

Ruins of the synagogue

The mikveh

Today we walked into Speyer for a brief walking tour. We visited the cathedral in the town which is absolutely huge, both in overall size, as well as in height. What is even more amazing is that it was built in 1029 and completed in 1061. Quite a feat of architecture and quite beautiful. We then walked on to the Jewish section. Apparently back in the day the Archbishop of Speyer was very progressive and welcomed the Jews into the city. They built housing and a synagogue back in 1105. By 1195 the synagogue was destroyed under accusations of ritual murder. Part of the walls of the synagogue remain, as does the Mikveh (Jewish ritual bath) for,, as our guide said, after men or woman have "done things". My personal recollection of Mikvehs at home is that they are strictly for women once a month, but perhaps it was/is different in Europe. The Mikveh is the oldest in Western Europe. We learned that a Mikveh is required to have running water and that part of the reason the Jews were persecuted was because they got sick much more infrequently because of their cleanliness habits and so were blamed for causing the sickness of the other residents. We walked back through town - one more pretzel and one more bratwurst, then back to the ship. We are cruising this afternoon which gives us some downtime. Massage on my agenda. Tonight we dock in Mainz.

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