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city, Rhineland-Palatinate Land (state), southwestern Germany. Speyer is a port on the left bank of the Rhine River at the mouth of the Speyer River, south of Ludwigshafen. An ancient Celtic settlement, about 100 BC it became a Roman military and trading town, Noviomagus, and later became known as Nemetes after the local inhabitants (Nemetae); it was destroyed about AD 450 during the barbarian invasions. Rebuilt and created a bishopric in the 7th century, it was a free imperial city from 1294 to 1797 and was the seat of the Reichskammergericht (Imperial Chamber of Justice), the Holy Roman Empire's high court, from 1527 to 1689.