Worms Cathedral

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Worms Cathedral: West end.

The Cathedral of St Peter (German: Wormser Dom) is a church in Worms, southern Germany. It was the seat of the Catholic Prince-Bishopric of Worms until its extinction in 1800.

It is a basilica with four round towers, two large domes, and a choir at each end. The interior is built in red sandstone. Today, the Wormser Dom is a Catholic parish church, honoured with the title of "Basilica minor".

Only the ground plan and the lower part of the western towers belong to the original building consecrated in 1110. The remainder was mostly finished by 1181, but the west choir and the vaulting were built in the 13th century, the elaborate south portal was added in the 14th century, and the central dome has been rebuilt.

The ornamentation of the older parts is simple; even the more elaborate later forms show no high development of workmanship. Unique sculptures depicting salvation stories appear above the Gothic-era south doorway. The baptismal font contains five remarkable stone reliefs from the late 15th century. The church's original windows were destroyed by bombing in 1943; between 1965 to 1995 new windows were made by Mainz artist Alois Plum.

The cathedral is 110  m long, and 27 m wide, or, including the transepts, which are near the west end, 36 m (inner measurements). The height in the nave is 26 m; under the domes it is 40 m.


The cathedral has three bells, all of which are housed in the southeast tower. They were cast in 1947 by Albert Junker to replace the old peal of 4 bells destroyed in WWII.


  • Conrad I, Duke of Carinthia
  • Conrad II, Duke of Carinthia
  • Conrad, Duke of Lorraine
  • Henry of Speyer
  • Queen Matilda (d. 1034), consort of Henry I of France and daughter of Conrad II, Holy Roman Emperor

Worms Cathedral in the Nibelungen Saga

An episode in the Nibelungenlied takes place at the portal of the cathedral. The rival queens Brünhilde and Kriemhild disputed over which of their husbands (Siegfried or Gunther) has the higher rank, and therefore, which of them should enter the cathedral first. This is a key episode which leads to Siegfried's death and the destruction of the Nibelungs.

The portal in question was on the north side of the cathedral and was considerably more elaborate before it was destroyed in 1689.

In connection with this episode, the Nibelungenfestspiele have taken place on an outdoor stage in front of the cathedral since 2002.


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