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Worms, Germany


Worms (pronounced Vorms) is one of the oldest cities in Germany.  It was settled by the ancient Celts well before 14 BC when it was subsequently conquered by the Romans. The Celts named the city Borbetomagus which meant “settlement in a watery area” and after the Roman conquest, the city was referred to in Latin as Vormatia.

Worms Signage

Worms is located on the west bank of the Rhein River and located about 45 miles (75km) south of Frankfurt.  So, if you fly into Frankfurt Airport, Worms is a great historical visit if you are on your way to the more visited Heidelberg (approx. 40km).

Cathedral 3

(Worms Cathedral -- exterior)

There is so much Roman history and things to see in Worms, but the main attraction is St. Peter’s Cathedral (Wormser Dom St. Peter) which was mostly completed in the 12thcentury. The famous Diet (formal assembly) of Worms of 1521 was when Martin Luther was summoned to appear in front of the Catholic Church at St. Peter’s. Luther was to defend his challenging stance against the Pope and power of the Catholic church as a result of his posting of his 95 Theses outside of the Catholic church in the town of Wittenberg, Germany (just south of Berlin).

Cathedral Interior 2

Cathedral Interior
(Worms Cathedral -- interior)

Because he did not recant his stand, Luther was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church.  He was also declared a heretic as issued by the famous Edict of Worms by the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V who was presiding. Instead of being arrested and executed as happened to many before and after him, Luther’s local Prince of Saxony sent a military escort to ensure his safe passage to and from Worms.  This event began the Protestant Reformation throughout Europe.


Besides the cathedral, a few other attractions are the Wasserturm (Water Tower)i n the Karlsplatz which was completed in 1890 and is the tallest structure in Worms. The Nibelungenturm is an original eight-story tower built on the bridge over the Rhein.  There were towers at both ends, but one was destroyed in 1945 during WWII and the damaged bridge was rebuilt in 1953.


The famous Liebfraumilch wine originated at the Worms vineyard of the Capuchin monastery "Stiftskirche Liebfrauenkirche". It was founded in 1786 by a native Dutchman Peter Joseph Valckenberg (1764-1837).  Apologize for my dark photo.



Images (8)
  • Cathedral 3
  • Cathedral Interior 2
  • Cathedral Interior
  • Cathedral
  • Liebfrauenstift
  • Nibelungenturm
  • Wasserturm
  • Worms Signage

George G

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Thanks for the pictures and reminder of Worms! I visited Worms with my family in 1959 or 1960, following my father's interest in Jewish history. The synagogue in Worms dates to the 11th century, although it has been destroyed many times (most recently in 1938) and rebuilt many times (most recently in 1961).

I believe it still has a small functioning Jewish congregation, but one of its greatest roles in Jewish history is that it is where Rashi, the great medieval Talmudic scholar, born in France, was educated in Jewish law and lore.

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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