Electoral Palatinate

Regional Overview

At the Heart of an Empire

The story of the Electoral Palatinate starts with a leading role as the heartland of the medieval Holy Roman Empire. The Salian and Hohenstaufen Dynasties founded cities and raised monuments to cement their rule. As their glories faded into the past, their monuments fell victim to those seeking to erase their legacy. The story we see today is about reconstruction from the ashes of war.

Regional Identity

What to Lookout For

  • Romanesque Architecture of the Salian and Staufen Imperial Dynasties, e.g. in Mainz, Worms, Speyer, Otterberg and Maulbronn.
  • The Austere Baroque Architecture of the Palatine Court as is still visible in Heidelberg, Schwetzingen, and Mannheim.
  • The Dramatic Cultural Landscape of the Rhine Valley

8

6

4.5

Justin Bunch | CityscapeTravel My suggested travel destinations with the top three destinations highlighted.

What is the Electoral Palatinate?

For a region so central to German geography, the Electoral Palatinate is a region far off the radar for most tourists. Heidelberg, of course, features prominently in travel guides to Germany, but few guides give cities like Speyer or Mainz similar weight. Three German states now divide the ancient region of the Palatinate, and these modern borders prevent easy travel across the old territory. This guide reconnects the divided pieces of the Palatinate and retraces the forgotten connections that once defined one of the most powerful states of the Holy Roman Empire.

Regional Overview

Thematic Tours of the Region

The Elector Palatine

The Elector Palatine

The goal of this guide is to take you through the reconstruction of the Rhineland following the devastating War of Palatine Succession which ended in 1697. The focus is on the Baroque architecture of Mannheim Court, with brief excursions to the different styles of Mainz, Meisenheim and Mosbach.
Remnants of a Forgotten Empire

Remnants of a Forgotten Empire

Travel through the heartland of the most powerful state in Medieval Europe and uncover the vestiges of past imperial glories. In focus are the cities of Speyer and Mainz.

Hiking in the Region

Hiking: The Salian Legacy

Hiking: The Salian Legacy

This forest excursion takes you to several sites with strong ties to the Holy Roman Empire in the High Medieval period. The first is the…

Hiking: Panorama of Trifels Castle

Hiking: Panorama of Trifels Castle

This hike is for photographers interested in the most spectacular views of the Trifels castle. The building is a partial reconstruction of one of the…

Hiking: Redcliff Bastion

Hiking: Redcliff Bastion

This hike takes you through the most dramatic portion of the Nahe Valley. In a dramatic upheaval, the rolling hills of the Palatinate suddenly transform…

Hiking: Refuge of the Electors

Hiking: Refuge of the Electors

This walk takes you on a panorama tour of the Upper-Neckar Valley focused on the walled town of Dilsburg. The town was constructed in the…

Hiking: Panorama of Frankenstein

Hiking: Panorama of Frankenstein

This hike takes pictures of a mysterious ruin deep in the Palatine Forest. While there are several “Frankenstein” Castles, this is probably not the one…

Hiking: Traces of an Empire

Hiking: Traces of an Empire

This hike takes you from the main station in the town of Ingelheim to the nearby village of Gau-Algesheim. You start off with a visit…

Cities of the Palatinate

My Subjective Travel Rankings

To understand where the categories come from, see this article here.

8 / 10

The score is based on the following:

  • Accommodation: 10
  • Transportation: 10
  • Volume/Capacity: 5
  • Infrastructure: 10
  • Interactivity: 5

6 / 10

The score is based on the following:

  • Context: 2
  • Monuments: 8
  • Quality: 8

4.5 / 10

The score is based on the following:

  • Abstraction: 5
  • Tradition: 4

Navigation

Upper-Rhine

The legacy of the Empire in stone can be seen in the villages of the Alsace and in the soaring cathedrals of the Palatinate.

Leave a Reply