The river port city of Mainz is located in southwest Germany on the banks of the Rhine. Now better known for its winemaking, the capital of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate was of great importance during the Roman Empire and obtained fame when the modern printing press was invented in the city during the fifteenth century. The area was used as a Roman stronghold from around 13 BC and later became the capital of the Germania Superior Province. Its position was viewed as strategic because of its proximity to the confluence of the Main and Rhine rivers. The city also neighbours the Mainz Sand Dunes and the Lennebergwald forest, and is approximately 30 kilometres southwest of Frankfurt.
Location: Getting to Mainz
Situated to the west of the River Rhine, Mainz is a major transport hub, and the busy Port of Mainz in the north of the city is connected to both the rail and road networks. Mainz is easy to get to from Frankfurt International Airport, where the regular Wiesbaden-train can be caught, taking approximately half an hour. Budget airlines may arrive at the Frankfurt-Hahn Airport, and from here, there are direct shuttle buses to Mainz that take about an hour. Alternatively, if arriving at Cologne, there is a direct InterCity Express train, but for a more scenic journey, embark on a leisurely river cruise along the Rhine. The centre of Mainz can be explored on foot, however, there are trams, S-Bahn trains, and bauses that run from the main train station for travelling further afield.
Business: The Mainz Congress Centre
Mainz is home to a number of well-known brands including Nestlé, DB Schenker Rail, and speciality glass manufacturer Schott. The Mainz Congress Centre hosts the majority of the city’s business meetings and conventions. Offering a choice of three venues, there is a strong focus on ‘green’ events. The Rheingoldhalle is the largest of the venues, located in the city centre with a total of eleven rooms. The Frankfurter Hof is also in the city centre and offers a striking, modern venue spread across three rooms. The Electoral Palace is a stunning Renaissance building that used to be the city residence of the Elector of Mainz. Situated just over 1 kilometre from the city centre, the venue comprises eight sizeable meeting rooms.
Culture: Religious Heritage
There has been a Jewish community in Mainz since the tenth century, and a new synagogue was constructed in 2010, which has a striking modern angular design. Visitors in spring may be able to join in the Carnival celebrations. On ‘Rose Monday’, before the Christian period of Lent, a large parade takes place, attracting 500,000 revellers to the streets. There are numerous religious buildings that hold historical and architectural interest, and these include Mainz Cathedral and the Rococo-style St. Augustine’s Church and St. Peter’s Church.
Activities: Shopping and Recreation
During the daytime, there are good mainstream shopping facilities in the city centre, but by venturing into the Old Town, much more interesting shops and boutiques can be found in the alleyways, where hand crafted clothes, gifts, and food can be purchased. While in Old Town, seek out The Cherry Orchard, a beautiful square with timbered houses, a pretty fountain, and some shops. For those who enjoy observing nature, the Mainz Sand Dunes are home to a variety of rare plants and animals, while the neighbouring Lennebergwald woods are the perfect place for a stroll. In the evenings, visit the Mainz Staatstheater for a performance of theatre, opera, or ballet, before indulging in some food and wine in one of the many taverns or restaurants. There is a variety of cuisine to choose from in Mainz including Italian, Greek, and Chinese, as well as ample local fare.