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.
Learn more about Speyer with a free trial on Britannica.com.