The Gates of Speyer and Worms
Discovering the Town from Gate to Gate
The two magnificent town gates, the gate of Speyer and the gate of Worms, date back to the 18th century, one of the most brilliant periods in the history of Frankenthal. They were parts of the former baroque town wall which in the meantime has totally disappeared except for some small remains and the replacement of more simple gates built under Elector Carl III. Thus, Frankenthal became known as “Third Capital of the Electoral Palatinate”.
The Gate of Worms, formerly located at the northern end of the town, and today the northern end of the town centre, was erected between 1770 and 1772. It is a triumphal arch type of construction made of unplastered ashlars with a two-bay cross-vaulted passage. The front sides are differently designed: the one towards the former battle field emphasises with double columns and a wide gable more the military function whereas the side towards the city presents itself in courtly elegance with its flat relief ornamentation, ascribed to Augustin Egell. The medallion portrait of the elector Carl Theodor at the southern gable is particularly interesting.
The southern counterpart to the Gate of Worms, i.e. the Gate of Speyer, was built according to the plans of the senior architect Nicolas de Pigage in 1772/73. It was constructed immediately before the Karls-Gate in Heidelberg, originating from the same architect and taking in many aspects of its bearings forerunner in Frankenthal. Both pairs of columns still show the damage from the wars of the French Revolution.
Today the Gate of Speyer is regarded as the landmark of the town serving as a pattern for the official logo of the town. Both town gates are aptly illuminated in changing colours during the evening and night hours.