Rhineland-Palatinate's "ShUM" cities of Speyer, Worms and Mainz have been nominated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
With their Jewish centres, Speyer, Worms and Mainz are regarded as "cradles of learning" for Judaism in Europe during the Middle Ages. Located in close proximity to each other, these cities with their important Talmud schools developed strong links. From the 11th century onwards, this unique alliance played an influential role in shaping Jewish culture, religion and intellectual life in Europe. Religious edifices, unique examples of their kind in Europe, bear witness to this vibrant period in the Middle Ages. The word "ShUM" is an acronym of the initial letters of the Hebrew names for the cities of Speyer, Worms and Mainz in the Middle Ages: Schin (Sh) standing for Schpira, Waw (U) for Warmaisa and Mem (M) for Magenza.