The history of the hotel and brew-house Domhof
In the year 1990 when Speyer celebrated its 2000th anniversary, the Hotel Domhof was opened. This, however was not the first time this location served as a place where people used to eat, drink and sleep. Royalty has been guest on this ground. For example emperor Sigismund 500 years ago or King Wenzel. And many more of their 'colleagues'. From this spot Heinrich IV started his famous 'Walk to Canossa'. In 1340 the city council of Speyer bought this territory from a family named 'Ebelin' and used it as a 'Rathof'. The property served not only as a place for conferences, but also as a hotel for German kings and emperors when they visited Speyer. And they often visited Speyer.
Many imperial diets were held here. One of them was very important: In 1529 the Protestant Church was founded while 5 imperial princes and the representatives of 14 imperial cities voted against the supremacy of the Catholic Church. In a certificate of the year 1347 the 'Domhof area' was called 'the hotel of mine and of the empire' by King Karl V. But it was not celebrated as much as today. The territory was exclusively reserved for the roman king and for the High Council of Speyer. 'Marriages, meetings, festivals, dances or other amusements' were not permitted at that time.
In 1530/31 the Imperial Chamber Court, the highest legal authority of the German empire at the time, moved to Speyer which made Speyer the centre of Germany and also of Europe. Everything changed over night, when in 1689 the French burned down the whole city including the Imperial Chamber Court which was left in ruins even 100 years later.
The building then served as an imperial academic high school from 1704 on. The today's 'Barbarossasaal' was used as a school theatre. From 1928 to 1963 the 'Domhof area' was a cinema which had 500 seats. Later on, the former cinema was used as a flea market which then had to be completely renovated.
Today's "Hausbrauerei Domhof" is historically seen much younger than the hotel: In 1821 the building was constructed as a 'German Public School' on the ground where after the great town fire little and low valued houses had been built. What you find as our beergarden today, served as a school yard after the old library of the Imperial Chamber Court had been demolished. The foundation walls of this library can still be seen in our underground parking garage.