Xmas on the Rhine: Mainz

Mainz Market in the center of town.

Mainz Market in the center of town.

Another re-built city on the Rhine, Mainz is most famous as the home of Johannes Gutenberg, inventor of the movable-type printing press in 1456. We started our brief time here with a visit to the Gutenberg Museum. We watched a demonstration of the printing process on a replica of the early hand press. Most significantly, we saw one the few remaining (maybe there are 46 of 180)original Gutenberg Bibles – simply beautiful. We learned that the Bibles were all customized at the direction of their owners and so no two are alike.

The ride to Mainz from Boppard was beautiful along the Rhine, even thought it was still raining. On the way, we drove along the river and saw more castles and many slopes with vineyards, mostly for Riesling in this region.

Dodging rain showers, we checked out the colorful Xmas Market held in the town’s main market square in front of the thousand-year-old cathedral. I would’ve loved to see it fully lit up, since there were lights strung everywhere. Two features were the large ‘Pyramid’ on one side of the square and the life-sized manger on another.

We are getting to these towns by bus, since the low water has made the Rhine unnavigable for riverboats. Barges are only able the get down the river with about ¼ of their normal load. From our bus, we could see the exposed rocks and sandbars in this section of the river. When we left Mainz we crossed the Rhine by bridge and continued our trip back in the direction of Boppard, to Rudesheim.


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