installment of my mini series called “1 City 5 Ways,” showcasing the surprising
number of ways you can experience some of Historic Highlight of Germany’s
Today's post focuses on Mainz, Historic Highlights of Germany's most wine-inspired
happens to be in the heart of the Rheinhessen region, Germany’s largest wine
growing region. As such, it is Germany’s Wine Capital as well as one of the
world’s recognized Wine Cities. So, not so surprisingly, the German Wine Institute
is headquartered there. However, you may have also heard of Mainz as being a
neighboring city to Frankfurt. Mainz has become one of Germany’s most popular
stopover stay cities when flying in and out of Frankfurt because of its quick
connection to the airport. From
Mainz, you can be at Frankfurt International airport within around 15 minutes.
It has become a booming conference town for the same reasons.
However, no matter what it is that brings you to Mainz, there’s truly no
shortage of activities there for every traveler’s interest!
SO, WHAT’S YOUR TRAVEL STYLE?
Cycling a city really is a fun way to get around while also getting off of the
main pedestrian paths to see even more of what makes a city tick. Mainz is a rather
cycle-friendly city and recently introduced share bikes-- like the ones found in Paris and many other European cities -- that
can be rented at bike stations throughout the city.If you drop the bike off at another bike station within 30
minutes, the ride is free. The rate is only about one Euro per half hour though if you go over
the 30 minutes. So, it's a fun and affordable way to see the city. And it is
great to combine walking portions of the day with biking portions, if you
discover you are near one of the city's many bike stations.
The Museum Hopper
There’s certainly no shortage of museums in Mainz.
A starting point for any museum tour should most certainly be the Gutenberg
of the Millennium,” Johannes Gutenberg, lived in Mainz and created
movable type (individual letters) for the printing press there, leading in
large part to the industrialization of book printing. While you can learn all
about printing history at this museum, a highlight of the museum is the display
of the priceless Gutenberg Bibles. Less than 50 of these bibles remain in the
world, and this museum is one of the few places in the world where these books
– the first books printed with modern, movable type and considered to be among
the most valuable books in the world -- are on public display.
As you tour around Mainz, you’ll discover various other museums and historic
buildings (or historic ruins), many in the unlikeliest places.The area of Mainz was once
another Roman stronghold. Another museum highlight is the Museum of
Ancient Shipping where an Roman warship is on display after being discovered in
The Treasure Hunter
Mainz has so many historical gemsscattered throughout the city. For instance, inside a non-descript mall in
the city center, you’ll find a Roman museum, as the foundations for Roman
buildings were found and preserved right there. As you walk around the city,
you might find mini monuments. For most of these small historical items
around the city, there aren’t any signs pointing the way. In most cases, you
just stumble upon them as you are walking around the city, as you notice a
small plaque on the site, explaining its significance. It really is a bit like
a treasure hunt going around the city.One of my favourite sites in Mainz is anancient
Roman theatre that was unearthed during the planning for a train
station. Now, the modern train station exists alongside the excavated
ruins, and the train station stop is aptly named "Roman Theater."
The Wine Connoisseur
The Rheinhessen region is
known as "The land of 1000 hills. " Endless hours can be spent touring
the region’s impressive wineries. While there are too many choices to count,
it’s worth checking out some of the area’s innovative wineries to really get to
know what’s happening on the German wine scene. This region has really been central to Germany’s rise in young vitners, known as “Generation Riesling.”
Along those lines, Raddeck winery is a multi-generational
winery on the famous “red slopes” that has recently expanded as it has begun
being managed by the youngest generation. This is happening to many area vineyards as they get passed
down to the younger generations, and these young owners are infusing great
ideas and innovations into the wine growing traditions.
At the end of the day touring vineyards, back
in Mainz you can enjoy wine, food and friendly ambiance
at a local-style “weinstuben” (wine house). Tradition is what these places
are all about. They are often wood panelled, the room cast in low light.
Some of these wine pubs have also been family run for generations. Weinhaus Wilhelmi, Weinhaus zum Spiegeland Weinhaus Michel
are all great choices to end a day in Mainz. At Weinhaus Michel, you can enjoy
wine from its very own vineyard. The Party Animal
Ah yes, Germans do enjoy themselves a good party…and
the party of the year is Carnival.
…and Mainz is one of Germany’s “Carnival Capitals.” While Carnival takes place
throughout Germany, the Carnival experience in Mainz is a highlight in all of
This is an all-ages, all-out party as Mainzers of all ages take to the streets,
restaurants and pubs for six full days to “chase away the winter woes”… On
Rose Monday, Mainz hosts the region’s longest Carnival parade, stretching some
6.5 kilometres. There’s also Europe's biggest children's masked parade on
Carnival Saturday. While partly political and satirical in nature, it’s
basically just a fun six days in February when Germans have great fun dressing
up in crazy costumes, being a little bit crazier and quirkier than their
everyday selves and treating life like an ongoing party for a few days. In 2015,
Carnival took place 14 - 17 February 2015.