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Friday, October 8, 2010

Mainz

Today we explored the two-thousand year old city of Mainz. Home of St. Martin Cathedral, Johannes Gutenberg and his printing press. The cathedral was first built in 975 and was added on over the centuries. In my photos, you can see the progression in a series of models on display.

Click here to view my photos of Mainz.

There were about 11 churches all within walking distance. Each had a distinct style. We spent a ton of time at the Gutenberg Printing Museum, so we were unable to get inside the churches before they closed. My favorite was St. Christopher's which was actually in ruins left over from WWII. Rather than raze the building, it serves as a monument to the scars left from the war.

We saw some amazing things today, included Gutenberg's original bibles, books printed by Martin Luther, a 12th century bishop's miter, jewelry worn by bishops that were discovered in tombs, and decorations used by the cathedral dating back from 11th century to the mid 1900s. There was even a crucifix sculpted by Salvador Dali.

I didn't realize that the Gutenberg Museum included history of printing from ancient times to today. It was a huge museum, and lots of things I didn't expect to see. There was a diorama depicting Korean monks making and using movable type, among other Asian forms of printing. I also enjoyed the progression of handwriting in Germany, including that in 1941, Nazis banned a certain type of print from being used, ultimately changing the way people in the country write today. There were tons of very old books on display, they were neat, but there were so many. After awhile the novelty wore out, and it became," great, another 16th century book.... " What a museum snob, right?

We ate at a restaurant on the square right in front of the cathedral. I loved the fact that they had fleece blankets available for use while dining outside. How smart! I had my first flammkuchen, which is similar to a pizza.

1 comment:

  1. LOVE Flammkuchen, it is one of our favorite street foods when we can find it (normally at the fests and fairs!) This place sounds awesome, I think we may have to check this out! Glad you're out exploring :)

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