In Europe, there are only a few cathedrals created in the traditional Romanesque proportions. The construction of one of them is connected with the name of Emperor Conrad II and dates back to 1030. This is the Speyer Cathedral or the Great Imperial Cathedral in Speyer, Germany. The service is still held In the Cathedral; thus, the tourists have a great opportunity to hear the singing of the hymns. It also hosts organ concerts with the old music repertoire.
Usually, the construction of a magnificent building precedes a particular history. The history of Speyer Cathedral is the history of confrontation between popes and emperors. In that troubled time, the highest authority of the Church was not stable: the emperors fought for influence with the popes. At the same time on the sacred throne could sit two and sometimes three popes. At that, the German Emperor could spoil relations with each of them. For instance, some emperors had never been crowned, because this procedure required the papal participation.
Thus, in 1030 Kaiser Konrad II started the construction of the cathedral. He planned to build a Grand Church away from the hated Rome, thus showing to the Pope, who was in the ascendent of the Empire. Speyer Cathedral is very long; the length of its side facade is 134 meters. As things went on those days, the construction outlived its founders. It happened that the successor of Conrad, Henry III was finishing Speyer Cathedral construction. But the Cathedral was finally completed during the reign of Henry IV in 1106. All three of the Emperors, the builders of the church, are buried in the crypt of the Cathedral, an underground room which is now the biggest attraction for the tourists.
The structure is ancient, and during its lifetime it had endured many historical events in Europe. The Cathedral died, came alive, but after any disaster, it became even more beautiful. In the second half of the 80s of the XVII century it was burned by the soldiers of Louis XIV, but one hundred years later the Cathedral was rebuilt with the facade and lobby attached. In 1794, the French army ruined the Cathedral, but after five decades, it was restored and adorned with exterior frescoes. But despite that, Speyer Cathedral has maintained its unique image.
The Cathedral remains one of the great examples of Romanesque architecture. Given the fact that it was built from the red sandstone, the Cathedral preserves the natural simplicity.
In Europe, there are only a few cathedrals created in the traditional Romanesque proportions. The construction of one of them is connected with the name of Emperor Conrad II and dates back to 1030.