Speyer (formerly often called Spires in English) is a city in Germany (Rhineland-Palatinate) with approx. 50000 inhabitants, located on the Rhine river. It neighbours Worms and Mainz.
Archaeological data suggests that the site of the city was originally inhabited by Celts around 500 BC.
- In 10 BC, the first Roman military camp is established (situated between the city hall and the episcopal palace).
- In 346 a bishop for the town is mentioned for the first time.
- In 496 or 506 the name "Spira" first occurs.
- In 1030, emperor Conrad II starts the construction of Speyer cathedral, today one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
- In 1076, emperor Henry IV embarks from Speyer, his favourite town, for Canossa.
- In 1294 the bishop loses most of his previous rights, and from now on Speyer is a free city of the Holy Roman Empire.
- Between 1527 and 1689 Speyer is the seat of the Imperial Chamber Court (Reichskammergericht).
- In 1529 at the Diet of Speyer, the Lutheran estates of the empire protest against the anti-Reformation resolutions (hence the term Protestantism.)
- In 1689, the city is heavily damaged by French troops.
- Between 1792 and 1814 Speyer is under French jurisdiction.
- In 1816 Speyer becomes the seat of administration of the Palatinate and of the government of the Rhine District of Bavaria (later called the Bavarian Palatinate), and remains so until the end of World War Two.
- Between 1883 and 1904 the Memorial Church is built in remembrance of the Protestation of 1529.
- In 1947 the State Academy of Administrative Science is founded (later renamed German University of Administrative Sciences Speyer).
- 1990 2000th anniversary of Speyer.
Famous sons of the city