Dear members of the media,
I am so happy that the Palatinate region has been selected for this year’s Porsche Heritage Experience as a cultural ambassador for Germany, and that you have the opportunity to discover part of our beautiful state of Rhineland-Palatinate. It lies at the heart of Europe, and not just geographically. Here, future and tradition come together. Rhineland-Palatinate is a young, modern, progressive state with an ancient story. In prehistoric times, humans settled on the Rhine and the Moselle, and traces of the Romans can be found in a good many places. In the Palatinate region, building work often unearths remains from Roman times.
This region – like the rest of our country – has been blessed with great cultural treasures. It goes without saying that some of our particular cultural highlights are Speyer Cathedral and Hambach Castle, which you will be visiting on your journey. Indeed, at the time it was completed in 1061, Speyer Cathedral was the biggest church in the world. It remains the biggest Romanesque church in the world today, a real milestone in the history of Romanesque architecture. Its exceptional value as a truly significant Romanesque work was recognised in 1981, when it was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list.
Together with Mainz and Worms, Speyer is one of the ShUM cities and a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The name ShUM is an acronym that comes from the first letters of the Hebrew names for the three most important Jewish centres of the Middle Ages, which had a lasting influence on the architecture, religion, culture and jurisprudence of European Judaism. The ShUM sites show how deeply rooted Jewish life is in our state, having been a part of our culture and our country for more than 1,000 years.
The Palatinate Forest huts have also been recognised by UNESCO – as one of the world’s intangible cultural assets. They represent tradition and sustainability. Hikers have been provided for on a voluntary basis for almost 100 years here and visitors to the huts can enjoy our regional cuisine, our wine, and our joyful Palatinate way of life.
And your visit to Hambach Castle will take you to the birthplace of German democracy. As a memorial of the Hambacher Festival of 1832, it embodies the struggle for democracy and the European idea in a very special way.
You will experience the Palatinate as a region with a unique identity, a long tradition, great openness to the world and a warm heart, just as you will find in the rest of our beautiful country. The Palatinate region represents culture, joie de vivre, togetherness, a wonderful landscape and, of course, excellent wines. I wish you a wonderful and informative stay in our very special region.
Minister-President of Rhineland-Palatinate