MAINZ, GERMANY: Mainz, a delightful German town situated at the confluence of River Rhine and River Main. This is the home of famous publisher Johannes Gutenberg who introduced printing to Europe and the town where one of the Europe’s oldest and largest music publishing house, Schott Music, is located. Old Town of Mainz is a little cozy place to hang out or get together with someone over a meal.
Most of the historic sites are in Old Town and have information boards near them; but they were all written in German, nothing in English. There is a paid parking lot very close to Mainz Dome and the Old Town.
TIME of TRAVEL: We were driving from Belgium to Stuttgart, Germany on the 2nd week of June 2014 to one of our friend’s house for one last time before leaving Belgium for good. We chose Mainz as our dinner-venue and to spend couple hours before reaching Stuttgart. It was already around 6pm when we reached Mainz and we stayed mainly in the Old Town.
EATING and SHOPPING: Old Town has plenty of options for drinks or meal from McDonald’s to decent local or international kitchens (like “Konoba” a Croatian bar/restaurant). We had dinner at “Maredo” right opposite of Mainz Theatre in Gutenbergerplatz. They had many options for soup, salad bar, steak, and scrumptious choices for desserts.
It was already too late to find any store open when we arrived Mainz but Old Town has lots of fashion and other stores all around it. We couldn’t find a single souvenir shop, may be they were on the other streets or further down.
PLACES WE’VE VISITED: City center of Mainz is pretty compact and all the attractions are within walking distance. Here are only few things we could see in Mainz:
1) ALTSTADT or OLD TOWN: As I mentioned before, we mainly stayed in Altstadt of Mainz. This is the place to be on any lazy afternoon or for strolling after dinner or just for some coffee time. It’s lined with some very artistic and gorgeous buildings opposite of Mainz Dome. We sat down in front of a fountain while our girls were soaking their feet and playing in the water. All the stores were closed when we arrived, but I can imagine this place during day time when everything is open and locals are going on with their lives…a fantastic place to be a part of that atmosphere.
2) MAINZ DOME (CATHEDRAL of ST. MARTIN and ST. STEPHEN): The magnificent steeples of Mainz Dome dominate whole Altstadt and can be seen from any corner. Construction of this Romanesque cathedral started in 975 AD (yep, it’s that old), but its current look is from the 11th to 13th centuries. This is one of Germany’s oldest cathedral and a historic landmark of Mainz. It was closed by the time we were there, but still could enjoy its spectacular exterior from every side. Square in front of the cathedral “Markt”, and on the side are really beautiful. There is a miniature version of the dome in Markt.
3) GUTENBERGERPLATZ and MAINZ THEATER: Mainz Theater and opposite of it the statue of Johannes Gutenberg are the highlights of this square. Johannes Gutenberg was a well-known inventor who introduced printing in Europe. His invention of movable type printing is regarded as the most important event of modern printing and publishing. There is also “Gutenberg Museum” in Mainz for those who are interested.
Gutenbergerplatz is surrounded by many cafes, restaurants, and old buildings. Bunch of young people gathered around in front of the theater and were chatting away and laughing. We didn’t go further down the street and stopped here to come back to our car after finishing the dinner. What a short but lovely trip that was!