Reformation Tour: You Must Stop at Worms, Germany

June 26, 2017

Worms, Germany

Every Reformation Tour group visits Germany and must stop at Worms, Germany. Worms (pronounced "vorms") is a city of about 85,000 people in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, about 28 miles south of Mainz.

The ancient city of Worms can trace its beginnings from the earliest civilizations. Even before the Romans came, Germanic peoples had made Worms their capital. The Romans arrived in 14 BC, and built a small town with the Roman street plan, a forum, and temples to the gods Jupiter, Juno, Minerva and Mars.

worms in literature

It was in Worms that Siegfried began his legendary adventures, recorded in The Nibelungenlied, the epic poem based on ancient German myths of the founding of the world. The myths take place around Worms which considers itself the Nibelungen City with the Rhine gold treasure buried somewhere under it. The poem was written by an anonymous author who obviously lived in or near Worms.

worms and our faith

Worms became a Christian bishopric in 614 AD during the Frankish Empire. The city was the location of an important palatinate of Charlemagne, who built one of his many administrative palaces and an imperial cathedral here. The bishops administered the city and its surrounding territory until the bishopric was passed to Hesse-Darmstadt in 1801.

the edict of worms

In April 1521, the town's most famous visitor, Martin Luther, arrived under less than desirable circumstances, when he was called by the Holy Roman Emperor (basically the German king) Charles V to appear before the Imperial Diet ("dee-it") at Worms. Luther was called to answer to Pope Leo X’s papal declaration denouncing the 95 Theses of protestant reforms Luther had nailed to the church doors in Wittenberg four years before in 1517. Luther refused to recant his views and was ordered arrested in the Edict of Worms. He escaped and hid for a year in the Castle Wartburg in Eisenach, where he began his own translation of the bible, beginning the Reformation of Christianity.

 Now that Worms is mainly Protestant, a large monument to Luther and other giants of the Reformation has been erected in the city, and it is a “must-see” stop on any Reformation Tour from Minneapolis.



Reformation Tour Stop: Worms, Germany
Reformation Tour Stop: Worms, Germany

the cathedral of saint peter

Worms is also famous for its Romanesque architecture. It boasts five Romanesque churches, including the Cathedral of Saint Peter).  The Cathedral of St Peter at Worms, sometimes called the Kaiser Dom (Emperors Cathedral), was built in 1125-1181. This towering cathedral is considered one of the finest examples of High Romanesque architecture in Germany. It also has splendid Romanesque and Gothic carvings, a gilded Baroque altar, and an eerie crypt.

The Cathedral of St. Peter in Worms.
The Cathedral of St. Peter in Worms.

Finally, Worms is a popular base for a tour of the Deutsche Weinstrasse, a 50-mile route through local wine towns. Don’t miss Worms when you take your Reformation tour!

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