Mainz

The massive St. Martin’s Cathedral, unique churches, and rustic wine cellars give this city its extraordinary atmosphere.


Kupferberg Sekt Winery

The German word for sparkling wine is “Sekt” and the Kupferberg in Mainz is the Museum of Sekt, located in the headquarters of one of Germany’s oldest sparkling wine vinters, the Sektellerei Kupferberg. The museum offers a journey through the history of effervescent wine along with tours into the historic wine caves and deep vaults which go down several levels. The museum also features massive, decorated oak wine barrels and a collection of over 600 different kinds of champagne glasses, making it one of the largest collections in the world.

 

Johan Gutenberg Museum

The name of Johan Gutenberg remains notable even in today's breathtakingly rapid world of visual and audio media. This museum in the city center pays hommage to the inventor of the printing press and features his world renowned, 42-line bible as cemtral exhibit. One can also visit the museum's workshop and watch a "live" printing demonstration using 500-year-old methods.  

 

Gutenberg Bible

The crown jewel of Gutenberg’s efforts is considered to be the 42-line Bible (B42). The 2-volume Bible with a total of 1,282 pages was created with the help of a staff of 20.  Today, 49 copies remain in existence. Of these, two are owned by the Gutenberg museum. With this Bible, which remains to this day one of the most beautifully printed books in the world, Gutenberg proved that the "nova forma scribendi" was aesthetically equal to hand-writings, which were the most popular form of publishing at that time.

 

Church of St. Stephen

St. Stephen's is a main attraction in Mainz; tourists from all over the world go up to Stephansberg just to see the blue, glowing stained glass windows by the artist Marc Chagall. St Stephen's is the only German church for which the Russian, Jewish artist Marc Chagall (1887-1985) designed stained glass windows. THe blue light that shines through the windows has a way of bringing the angels and other biblical images to life. "These colors address our vital consciousness directly because they express optimism, hope, and the love of life."

 

Roman Germanic Central Museum

Located in the former market hall near the historic quarters, the ancient shipbuilding research section of the Roman Germanic Central Museum became an independent museum in 1994. In a collection unparalleled in Germany, the museum presents the original remains of five ships dating back to the late antiquity era. These were discovered in 1981/82 during excavations for the extension of the Hilton Hotel of Mainz. The shipwrecks were located about 7.5 meters below the current street level, apparently in a shut-down section of the harbour. Based on their typical shape, these were military ships that were abandoned following the catastrophic defeat of the Roman Rhine army by invading Teutons in 407 AD.

 

Old Town

Embark on a journey through Old Mainz’s historical inner city; Mainz’s historic Old Town extends itself from the shadow of the southern façade of Mainzer Dom, St Martin’s Cathedral, to the Mainz-South Rail Station. Life pulsates in the zig-zag alleyways with their funny names, like Little Nose Way, Hering’s Fountain Alley or Corpse Yard. There’s always something happening in the Old Town. During the day, there’s heavy street activity and the boutiques, shops and stores are buzzing with business. After work, Mainz locals and their guests take time out to enjoy a drink in the cozy, comfortable and ancient wine bars and taverns. It is easy to forget the hectic, stressful day when you sit back and enjoy a good Schoppen (a 1/4-liter) of our local Rheinhessen wine at Klingelbeutel’s, Beichtstuhl’s or Goldstein’s vinotheque.

 

The Cathedral

This Roman pillar basilica was built by Archbishop Willigis and first consecrated in 1009. The leaves of the market portals date back to the 11th century. The west chancel is christened St. Martin, and the east St. Stephan.
Mainz was proclaimed the Holy See during Willigis' reign (975-1011). This archbishop, who acted simultaneously as Arch Chancellor of the First German Empire, started to build the church for the Ottons in 975, modelling it after the old St Peter's cathedral in Rome. Seven coronations took place in the Mainz cathedral.

 

Market places

The Hoefchen is the first of three market places found near the Dom. Its name, "Little Court", reveals that the residence of Mainz's archbishops was located here until the 15th Century. Continuing on straight ahead we come to the Markt, or market place, the heart of Mainz's municipal life. The market fountain is made of sandstone and is one of the oldest and most beautiful Renaissance fountains in Germany.

 

Cherry Garden

The Kirschgarten (Cherry Garden), with its romantic half-timbered houses and Marian-Fountain, counts as one of Mainz’s most beautiful little squares. There is precious little left of the cherry orchard from which it got its name, only a cherry tree stump which can be found at the Zum Beymberg bakery, House #19. The unmistakable charm of this little patch of Old Town, in addition to the architectural array of buildings and the pretty, decorated shops within this historical ambience, is augmented by the fountain which was erected in 1932 in the style of a flowing Baroque fountain.

 

Rhine River Cruises

The most leisurely way to enjoy Mainz is by indulging in a cruise. What better way to take it all in than from the decks of a ship floating down Germany’s most famous waterway? There are several options to be considered, whether it be one-way, round-trip and to which location. One option is to travel one way by train from Mainz to, for example, Cologne, about 160 kilometers north, and then take the boat back. 

 

Augustinerstraße and Augustinian Church

The picturesque Augustiner Street is Mainz’s “stroller’s mile,” or better said, our version of 5th Avenue or Champs Elysée. Up until the 17th Century, this street was the city’s main business thoroughfare. Today you find an atmosphere and array of shops that are typically Mainz – small businesses and boutiques, shops, cafés, pubs, restaurants, taverns and winehouses. Surrounded by all of this activity and embedded within the row of house-fronts is the magnificent Baroque façade of the towering Augustiner Church. Built to accommodate the needs of the former Augustinian monastery between 1768 and 1776, it is now a seminary church. Also of impressive beauty is its interior. The ceiling frescoes provide insights into the life of St Augustine, as well as the history of the mendicant order which had its home in the Augustinerstrasse since the 13th Century. In contrast to many other Mainz churches, the Augstinerkirche had the great fortune to survive WWII undamaged.

 

Electoral Palace

The Electoral Palace in Mainz (German: Kurfürstliches Schloss zu Mainz) is the former city Residenz of the Archbishop of Mainz, who was also Prince-Elector of his electoral state within the Holy Roman Empire. It is one of the most important Renaissance buildings in Germany. Stylistically, the Electoral Palace is one of the last examples of German Renaissance architecture.

 

Leichhof

Ignaz Michael Neumann, the son of the renowned baroque architect Balthasar Neumann, built the cathedral houses on the Leichhof, a former cemetery. He provided them with fireproof stone roofs.

 

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