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City Profile: Mainz

The state capital of Rhineland-Palatinate is best known for being the home town of Johannes Gutenberg, who invented the modern printing press. The history of Mainz dates back to Roman times, when it was founded as a military post in late first century BC. It was also the Romans who introduced wine growing to the area. Nearby, numerous wine taverns invite visitors to spend a relaxing evening enjoying local wine. Mainz is only a short drive from Wiesbaden, the state capital of Hesse, and Frankfurt, making it the perfect place to spend a long weekend and to explore the different cultural specialties of the regions.

Things to see and to do:

St Martin’s Cathedral

Mainz: cathedral
Bildnummer: 978 Aus der Bilddatenbank der Deutsche Zentrale für Tourismus - http://www.bilddatenbank-dzt.de© dzt

Construction for the Roman Catholic cathedral started more than 1000 years ago in 975 but a fire on the day of its consecration in August 1009 severely damaged the new building and made further construction work necessary. In the course of the centuries, the cathedral was impaired by fire six more times. Nevertheless, the embroidered interior of the cathedral, the multiple tombs and the central courtyard attract thousands of visitors each year. The church of predominantly Romanesque style adds to the city’s character and has shaped its history.

For more information and pictures:
www.mainz.de

Carnival

Rosenmontagszug 2015 in Mainz
Zahlreiche Zuschauer s�umen am 16.02.2015 am Theaterplatz in Mainz (Rheinland-Pfalz) den Weg des Rosenmontagszuges. Foto: Christoph Schmidt/dpa© picture-alliance/ dpa

Mainz is one of the strongholds of Carnival along with Cologne and Düsseldorf in the rhenish carnival tradition. The highlights of the so called ‘fifth season’ take place during Ash Wednesday and Shrove Tuesday when the city turns into one colourful party with costumes, music and parades. Carnival in Mainz also has a strong political component and the carnival orators and floats often address current political affairs.

www.mainzer-fastnacht.de (in German only)

Farmer’s market and market breakfast

Farmer's market in Mainz
Farmer's market in Mainz© German Tourism Board

Every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday the farmer’s market takes place on Liebfrauenplatz where you can buy local and regional produce. Seasonal vegetables, fresh fruit, dairy products, spices or meat – whatever your heart desires, you will probably find everything you need for a home-cooked meal. From April to November on Saturdays local vintners offer a market breakfast where you can try new flavours of wine and also enjoy sausages, bread and other specialties.

Click here for a livestream of the market area.

Johannisnight

Traditional baptism for printers on Midsummer's Eve
Traditional baptism for printers on Midsummer's Eve© German Tourism Board

Johannisnight is one of the biggest public festivals in Mainz during the summer. It takes place in the city centre and along the Rhine promenade. It is not only a fair with street music, food and wine, but also closely connected to Johannes Gutenberg and the printing press. There are multiple events happening throughout the fair that act as a reminder of the printer’s art, for example the christening of the printers or the book market, where you can buy second-hand literature. The event concludes on Monday night with a big firework.

More information: (in German only)
www.mainz.de/johannisnach

St Stephen‘s

Chagall-Fenster in der Kirche Sankt Stephan in Mainz
ARCHIV�- Die von dem russischen K�nstler Marc Chagall gestalteten Fenster im Ost-Chor der Kirche Sankt Stephan, aufgenommen am 27.09.2008 in Mainz. Foto: Fredrik von Erichsen/dpa (zu lrs "Chagall-Skizzen f�r Mainzer Stephanskirchen-Fenster versteigert" vom 09.05.2014)© picture-alliance/ dpa

St Stephen’s might not be as big as St Martin’s Cathedral but it is still a very special place, containing 177 square metres of stained glass created by artist Marc Chagall. Light shining through the glowing blue stained glass creates a mystical atmosphere inside the Gothic church. Almost completely destroyed during the Second World War, it is now the only church in Germany for which Chagall designed windows.

More information in English:
www.st-stephan-mainz.de