Sights of the Southern Rhine
Dominated by the magnificent Cathedral, this has one of
the best markets in Germany
Like Breisach, much
of the centre of Mainz was destroyed by Allied bombing in
the Second World War. Over 1.5 million cubic tons of rubble
had to be removed and everyone aged between 14-60 was asked
to perform voluntary work to help achieve this. The city has
been rebuilt and again the new complements the
The C13th church of St Christoph was destroyed by bombing on 27th February 1945 and has been left as a memorial to the destruction of the city and the dead of the city.
A modern extension has been built and this is used to celebrate mass by Catholic and Orthodox denominations.
The city is just a few minutes walk from the mooring point for river cruises and is a city of big buildings and wide streets.
The Regional Parliament meets here in Deutschhaus, the Baroque Palace, built for the Archbishop of Mainz.
Near it is this rather nice (unidentified) building dated 1603.
The Eisenturm or Iron Tower is one of the original gateways into the city. Built in 1240 it also served as a watch tower and later as a gaol. It was damaged by bombing and has been rebuilt. It now houses artist’s exhibitions.
Mainz has one of the best markets in Germany and from the river is approached through a garden of herbs and brightly coloured medicinal plants.
The Market Place is lined with medieval houses and stalls sell fruit, vegetables and flowers, all carefully displayed.
There are stalls selling bread and honey and even a stall just selling different varieties of potatoes.
The Romanesque Cathedral towers above the market stalls, dominating the city.
Impressive from the outside, it has the WOW factor as soon as you walk in with gloriously carved statues and memorials on the pillars of the arcades and side altars with splendidly carved reredos. It is also unusual in that it has two chancels - one at each end.
Also in the Market Place is the Gutenberg Museum.
Gutenberg was born in Mainz and was responsible for the introduction of the printing press in Europe and the first printed Bible. The museum covers the history of printing with examples from across the world and even has an exhibition on electronic books. There is a reconstruction of Gutenberg’s print shop and hand press.
The Museum of Ancient Sea Travel on Neutorstrasse, 1km south east of the Market Place has the remains of five C5th century Roman warship wrecks salvaged from the Rhine in the 1980’s. Next to them are replicas re-constructed from these.
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