In contrast to Speyer's Romanesque cathedral, the Worms Cathedral of St. Peter is much more Gothic. In part this is simply a matter of chronology, since Speyer Cathedral was finished in 1061, nearly 70 years before the one in Worms was even begun—and long before the lighter, more vertical lines of the Gothic style evolved. In addition, Speyer Cathedral was left largely untouched, but the Worms Cathedral underwent frequent remodeling. The Gothic influence here can be
seen both inside and out, from the elaborate tympanum with biblical scenes over the southern portal (today's entrance) to the great rose window in the west choir to the five sculptures in the north aisle recounting the life of Christ. The cathedral was gutted by fire in 1689 in the War of the Palatinate Succession. For this reason many of the furnishings are baroque, including the magnificent gilt high altar from 1742, designed by the master architect Balthasar Neumann (1687–1753). The choir stalls are no less decorative. They were built between 1755 and 1759 in rococo style. Walk around the building to see the artistic detail of the exterior.