Visiting picturesque Mainz

  • Published
  • By Iris Reiff
  • 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
About 200,000 tourists from around the world visit Mainz, Germany, every year to enjoy the city's culture, history and scores of must-see attractions for first-time visitors. 

Countless exhibits, shops and restaurants dot the city's old town section, which also features religious structures, museums, theaters, halls and half-timbered houses. 

Of the many sites to see for tourists and locals alike, there are a few that stand out in their interesting architecture and history. One such place is the Dom, or Cathedral, of St. Martin, built between 975 and 1011 to replace an earlier church. The structure was finally finished in 1036, but it required extensive rebuilding after severe fires. The cathedral possesses picturesque sections from the in Gothic and new-romanesque styles. A Dom and Diocese Museum is located inside the rococo choir and late Gothic cloister. 

Another religious site is St. Stephen's Church, which is one of the nine collegiate churches in Mainz, founded in 950. The Gothic-period church carries exquisite cloisters, nine stained-glass windows with scenes from the Old Testament of the Bible, and it was designed by renowned artist Marc Chagall. 

Not far from there is the St. Ignatius church, dating back to 1775 and showing the transition from Baroque to rococo building styles. 

Various other sites include museums, theaters and halls. 

The renowned Gutenberg Museum is located inside the Renaissance residence "Zum Roemischen Kaiser," where memorabilia of a Bible printer, and other historical printings and books are on display; the State Theater, built in 1833 and expanded in 1912, offers everything from concerts to popular theater plays; and Rheingold hall was built in 1968 as the modern reconstruction of the old 1884 Stadthalle or city hall, which is now home to a casino. 

Other attractions are sprinkled throughout the area, as well. 

The 14th century Holzturm is the former "wooden gate" of the medieval city wall and a famous symbol of the city. Wood markets used to be held at there on the banks of the Rhine river. 

The Old Armory of the Prince Elector from 1604 and the new armory from 1740 serve as State Chancery of Rhineland-Palatinate and is the seat of the prime minister. 

The Deutschhaus was built in 1732 as headquarters for the German Knights. Later, it served as residence of Napoleon I and, and then of of the Archduke of Hesse between 1816 and 1818. Today, it is the seat of the Rhineland-Pfalz state. 

Schoenborner Hof is an estate dating back to 1670 as the late Renaissance palace of the Prince Elector Johann Philipp von Schoenborn. Extensive gardens and sandstone structures were erected in 1865 on the northern part of the building. 

Mainz is also a media metropolis, home for several major German broadcasting stations. Tours of broadcasting stations are available upon request. 

Overall, there is plenty to see in Mainz, most of which can easily be reached by foot once inside the city.