At the beginning of the Christian era Mainz was a small settlement on the left bank of the Rhine, connected by a bridge with the Roman fortifications. In the early eighth century it became an archbishopric, and church politics shuffled control of the city between different German factions. Nowadays Mainz is regarded as a bustling city, with flourishing trade in wine and a number of other businesses.
Most visitors enjoying their Mainz holidays take particular interest in the Altstadt that has been carefully and tastefully restored. The heart of the Altstadt is the Marktplatz, dominated by the Cathedral. Some of the greatest attractions located here include Dom and Diozessan Museum, Gutenberg Museum and Landesmuseum Mainz among others. Rising above the houses' roofs in the Altstadt are six towers of St Martin's Cathedral, recognized as the second most important Catholic cathedral in Germany after that of Cologne. It dates from 975 AD, but was restored and rebuilt reaching its present appearance in the eighth and fourteenth centuries. A number of the supporting pillars along the aisles of the nave are decorated with painted and carved statues of German and French saints. A definite must during your Mainz holidays, the Diocesan Museum of the Cathedral houses an extensive collection of religious art. There are also exhibitions of medieval sculpture and reliquaries, including a contemporary gold reliquary of Mainz's saints.
Another renowned attraction, the Gutenberg Museum is a unique memorial to the most famous son of the city. In the Gutenberg workshop guests can trace history of printing that began with hand press of Johannes Gutenberg. Covered by the collection is the whole spectrum of graphic arts in all countries, along with binding, illustration and printing. Among the most popular exhibits are two Gutenberg Bibles.
Those interested in Mainz's pictorial history from prehistoric times to the present are welcome to Landesmuseum Mainz and Lapidarium that features a fascinating collection of Roman monuments in Europe. Among the most impressive exhibits are the towering Column of Jupiter erected around 65 AD, and Roman tombstones of soldiers of the I century AD.
For many visitors Mainz holidays are associated with its exciting nightlife spots and cultural venues. The cultural center of Mainz is Frankfurter Hof, home to concerts of pop, folk, jazz and classical music. Hosted by the center is also an annual tent festival with a mix of international performers.
Mainz holidays also provide a wonderful opportunity to indulge in the fantastic shopping venues of the city. The most active shopping area is the short boulevard Am Brand, lined with shops and stores on either side. Whatever you won't be able to find in the shops along the Am Brand, is available among the inventories of the largest department store in Mainz - Kaufhof. Other noteworthy choices include Peek & Kloppenburg, Sinn and Leininger.
For car hire Mainz visitors can take advantage of Europcar, Hertz, Alamo and Thrifty among others.