Easily reached from our German Rhine Untour, the historic and lively town of Mainz is a favorite day trip. Guests find it interesting and easy to navigate in a day. This capital city on the Rhine offers numerous historically significant attractions.
Foremost among its important buildings is the 1,000-year-old Dom, an impressive cathedral built in a pre-Romanesque Ottonian architecture style. It dates from the days when Mainz was a wealthy city, the seat of a papal elector who aimed to make Mainz the “second Rome.”
Another must-see is St. Stephan’s Church, renowned for the beautiful stained glass windows created by artist Marc Chagall toward the end of his career, in the late 1970s. These are set against a lovely blue background, showing luminescent angels and biblical scenes in an unexpected color play.
Mainz’s most famous son is Gutenberg, the inventor of the printing press. The Gutenberg Museum of the history of printing puts in context the significance of this invention, which revolutionized the printing process and ultimately brought literacy to the masses. The museum displays the priceless Gutenberg Bible in a heavily guarded replication of Gutenberg’s print shop.
Mainz has an extensive pedestrian zone that starts not far from the main train station. It contains a variety of interesting shops and many pleasant cafés and restaurants. Its marketplace is a charming place to stroll.
A great place for lunch is Grünewald Delikatessen on top of the department store across from the Dom, where you can dine on the outside terrace and enjoy a nice view of the cathedral and rooftops of Mainz.
If you are on a German Rhine Untour, you may wish to plan your visit so that you can travel home on a KD river boat. Enjoy!