Mainz Tourist Attractions
Capital of the Land of Rhineland-PalatinateMainz, capital of the Land of Rhineland-Palatinate and a university town, a former Electoral and Archiepiscopal capital with a great past, is situated on the left bank of the Rhine opposite the mouth of the Main. It lies in the fertile Mainz Basin, the most northerly part of the Upper Rhine plain, and is the western focal point of the Rhine-Main economic region. It is Gutenberg's city, with important publishing houses, but also a major traffic junction and commercial and industrial city, with the headquarters of two broadcasting corporations, ZDF (Second Television Channel) and SWF (Southwestern Broadcasting), and it is one of the great centers of the Carnival.
The Cathedral of St Martin and St Stephen is a masterpiece of Romanesque architecture. It was begun in the 10th C but most of the building was constructed between the 11th to 13th C.
On the banks of the Rhine in Mainz are the Town Hall (1970-73) and the Rheingoldhalle (1968). In Rheingoldstrasse are two towers which formed part of the town's fortifications, the Eisenturm (Iron Tower; c. 1240) and the Holzturm (Wooden Tower; 14th C.).
In Mainz's old town with its narrow streets and half-timbered houses, to the south of the Cathedral, are two fine Baroque churches, the Seminary Church and St Ignatius's (St Ignaz).
In Mainz's Gutenbergplatz (in which the 50th degree of latitude north is marked in the paving) is the theater. Opposite stands a statue of Johann Gutenberg (1398-1468), a native of Mainz, who invented the art of printing with movable type about 1440.To the west, in Schillerplatz, are a number of handsome noble mansions and an unusual Carnival Fountain (1966).
St Stephen's Church
The Gothic church of St Stephen (14th century) in Mainz has magnificent stained glass by Marc Chagall (1973-84).
Just downstream from the Theodor Heuss Bridge in Mainz is the old Electoral Palace (17th and 18th C.), with fine state apartments. It now houses the Roman-Germanic Central Museum, with collections of prehistoric and Roman antiquities and material of the early historical period, restoration workshops and laboratories.
Museum of the Middle Rhineland
In the Grosse Bleiche in Mainz stands the twin-towered Peterskirche (St Peter's Church; 1752-56). In the Marstall (Court Stables) is the Museum of the Middle Rhineland (antiquities, pictures) and a little way east the Natural History Museum (Naturhistorisches Museum).
Johannes Gutenberg University
To the southeast of the University in Mainz are the Römersteine, the remains of a Roman aqueduct of the first century A.D.
The Mainzer Sand nature reserve, between Mainz's two western suburbs of Mombach and Gonsenheim, has interesting steppe flora.
Museum of Ancient Navigation
20km/12.5mi south of Mainz is Oppenheim, with the Katharinenkirche (St Catherine's Church; 13th-15th C.), one of the finest Gothic churches on the Rhine.Oppenheim is the largest town on the Rheinterrasse. Estates of special interest include Staatsweingut mit Domäne Oppenheim and Weingut Louis Guntrum.
Map of Mainz Attractions