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Jewry-Court Speyer – At the heart of the city

The Jewish Courtyard Speyer is at the heart of Speyer and at the heart of the SchUM-cities. Here was a cultural hub of the Middle Ages. The Courtyard‘s grand architecture can be seen as evidence for the significance the jewish community had within the city. Its position documents how Jews and Christians lived as neighbours side by side in medieval times. Jewish scholars came to Speyer from all over Europe to study at the local academy, the yeshiva.

The stones of this courtyard also tell a tale of women. And the important part they played in the SchUM-communities. Because adjoining to the synagogue you can still see the remains of the Frauenschul, the women‘s place for prayer. It was richly  decorated with tiles made of sandstone.

Equally impressive is the ritual bath in Speyer, the Mikve. You can experience its unique architecture. At the food of the stairs you will find a well filled with crystal clear water. It was an important part of jewish life to immerse youself in this bath. This immersion in crystal clear groundwater symbolised a new beginning. This Mikve is almost completely preserved. That makes it unique. It is the oldest preserved ritual bath north of the Alps.

Would you like to find out more about jewish life in medieval Speyer? Visit the exhibition “Innovation made in SchUM” presented by Museum SchPIRA. It features the important places and stories of the SchUM-cities. All of them are part of the UNESCO-World Heritage Nomination.

Still curious? Check out the SchUM-cities Speyer, Worms and Mainz and their homepage

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