Speyer is a town in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, with approximately 50,000 inhabitants. Located beside the river Rhine, Speyer is 25 km (16 miles) south of Ludwigshafen and Mannheim. Founded by the Romans, it is one of Germany's oldest cities. The first known names were Noviomagus and Civitas Nemetum, after the Teutonic tribe, Nemetes, settled in the area. Around AD 500 the name Spira first appeared in written documents and, as well as the French, this is still reflected in the names Spira and Espira used in Italian and Spanish. The city's name may be the origin of the Ashkenazi Jewish name, Shapiro, and its variants.
The city is famous for the 1529 Protestation at Speyer.