City Orientation Walk, Mainz (Self Guided)

Mainz, one of the oldest German cities, located on the Rhine River, is famous for its distinctive deep red sandstone buildings, such as the Romanesque Mainz Cathedral, Baroque style Augustinerkirche, Mainz Staatstheater and others. Architecture and history buffs will also take interest in the local half-timbered houses and medieval market squares; some buildings spanning back as far as the Roman era. Many of Mainz's most prominent sights make up this orientation walk, promising an exciting journey.
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City Orientation Walk Map

Guide Name: City Orientation Walk
Guide Location: Germany » Mainz (See other walking tours in Mainz)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 19
Tour Duration: 4 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.0 km
Author: ellen
Carnival Fountain (Fastnachtsbrunnen)

1) Carnival Fountain (Fastnachtsbrunnen)

The Carnival Fountain is located at Schiller Square. The fountain was unveiled on January 14, 1967. The Carnival Fountain is about nine feet high and the bronze statue is famous for more than 200 bronze figurines and allegories. Father Rhine, the monk, the "fool with his attributes", the Harlequin, the "man with the board in front of the head", the cat, Till Eulenspiegel, the clown and the city goddess Moguntia are just some of the few fountain motives related to the city of Mainz and the Carnival history.
St. Stephen's Church

2) St. Stephen's Church (must see)

The Collegiate Church of St. Stephan is a Gothic hall collegiate church, which was originally built in 990 at the order of Archbishop Willigis. The church was founded on top of the highest hill in the town. The current church building dates from the late medieval era; construction of the main area of the church began in about 1267 and was completed in 1340. The successional building kept the guidelines of the floor plan of the original building and with it the design as a double quire church.

St. Stephan is the oldest Gothic hall church in the Upper Rhinedistrict, and is (besides Mainz Cathedral) the most important church in the city of Mainz. Only a few changes have been made to the church since the 14th century. The cloister, for instance, was added between 1462 and 1499 to the southern side of the church, and the outer face of the church was updated during the Baroque period.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
St. Augustine's Church (Augustinerkirche)

3) St. Augustine's Church (Augustinerkirche) (must see)

Augustinerkirche is a catholic church built between 1768 and 1771. The exterior of the church features Baroque style and the interior tends toward Rococo. The magnificent frescoes (created by the painter Johann Baptist Enderle from Donauwörth) reflect the life of Augustine, the founder of the church.

4) Kirschgarten

Kirschgarten is one of the most picturesque corners in old town Mainz, as several half-timbered houses are placed on parallel lines. In 1976-1979 Kirschgarten was renovated extensively. Zum Aschaffenberg, located in the Kirschgarten, is the oldest half-timbered house of the city and dates back to 1500. There is also a famous fountain, called the Virgin Mary.
State Theatre (Mainz Staatstheater)

5) State Theatre (Mainz Staatstheater)

As previously mentioned, Mainz's theatrical life has a very long and prosperous history, clearly evident at The State Theatre. The theatre has received international recognition and offers a wide range of programs, including opera, orchestra, drama and ballet performances which equal approximately 500 performances a year.
Marktplaz Market

6) Marktplaz Market

Marktplaz Market is the most popular market in the city. It is located in the heart of Mainz and is surrounded by many of the city’s architectural masterpieces. The market is open every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. This is by far the best shopping venue for fresh products such as flowers, fruits, vegetables, meat, spices, wines, and pastries.
Mainz Cathedral

7) Mainz Cathedral (must see)

Mainz Cathedral or St. Martin's Cathedral is located near the historical center and pedestrianized market square of the city. This 1000 year-old Roman Catholic cathedral is the site of the Episcopal see of the Bishop of Mainz. Mainz Cathedral is predominantly Romanesque in style, but later exterior additions over many centuries have resulted in the appearance of various architectural influences seen today. The first post-Romanesque addition to the cathedral was the western rood screen. This was done in the Gothic style at the time of the western renovations. Following this example, the intersect area was heavily renovated in the next few centuries in the Gothic style. The interior of the cathedral houses tombs and funerary monuments of former powerful Electoral-prince-archbishops, or Kurfürst-Erzbischöfe, of the diocese and contains religious works of art spanning a millennium. The cathedral also has a central courtyard and statues of Saint Boniface and The Madonna on its grounds.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
Gutenberg Museum

8) Gutenberg Museum (must see)

The Gutenberg Museum is one of the oldest museums of printing in the world, located opposite the cathedral in the old part of Mainz. It is named after Johann Gutenberg, the inventor of printing from moveable metal type. The collections include printing equipment and examples of printed materials from many cultures. A group of citizens founded the museum in 1900, 500 years after Johann Gutenberg’s birth, to honor the inventor and present his technical and artistic achievements to the public at large. They also aimed to exhibit the writing and printing of as many different cultures as possible.

Operation hours: Tuesday - Saturday: 9 am - 5 pm; Sunday: 11 am - 5 pm

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
St. Christoph Church

9) St. Christoph Church

St. Christoph Church is an early Gothic church built between 1240 to 1330. The church was the baptistery of Johannes Gutenberg. Its Romanesque tower with double windows dates back to 1240. During the 17th and 18th centuries the church was renovated into a classic Baroque style. The church was ruined in World War II and today serves as a war memorial for the city.
Museum of Natural History

10) Museum of Natural History (must see)

Naturhistorische Museum is the largest natural history museum in Mainz as well as Rhineland-Palatinate. The museum is located in a church of a former abbey. The collection includes rare tracks of dinosaurs and insects from the Permian perion on the Rhine. The museum also owns more than 20,000 ice-age animals: lions, jaguars, wolves, hippos, elks, sabre-toothed cats and quaggas who inhabited the area half a million years ago.

Operation hours: Tuesday: 10 am - 8 pm; Wednesday: 10 am - 2 pm; Thursday - Sunday: 10 am - 5 pm
St. Peter Church

11) St. Peter Church

The Catholic Church of St. Peter is one of the most important Baroque buildings in Mainz. The church was originally known as the St. Peter monastery. The present building is a baroque hall with a twin-tower facade built between 1749 to 1756 by architect Johann Valentin Thoman. The church is decorated with ceiling frescoes by Giuseppe Appiani, choir stalls, amazing Baroque altars and stucco decorations.
Mainz State Museum (Landesmuseum)

12) Mainz State Museum (Landesmuseum) (must see)

Landesmuseum is one of the oldest museums in Germany. It is located in the heart of Mainz, in a baroque building. The museum’s art and cultural collection extends from the prehistoric period to Roman, Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Art Nouveau as well as 20th century Art. The prehistoric department of the Museum collection is especially sacred, including works from about 300,000 BC to the birth of Christ.

Operation hours: Tuesday: 10 am - 8 pm; Wednesday - Sunday: 10 am - 5 pm
Jupiter Monument (Jupitersäule)

13) Jupiter Monument (Jupitersäule)

The Great Mainz Jupiter column is one of the memorials built in honor of the Roman god Jupiter in the second half of the first century. It is the oldest and largest Jupiter column found in Germany. The Great Mainz Jupiter column consists of two different size cubic blocks as well as five column drums which slightly taper upward in diameter. Twenty-eight different deities of the Roman-Celtic mythology are presented in the monument.
Iron Tower (Eisenturm)

14) Iron Tower (Eisenturm)

The Eisenturm is a medieval tower which dates back to the early 13th century. The iron tower was used as part of the city walls (as a watch tower and city gate), and later as a prison. In World War II, the tower was severely damaged and later reconstructed in the 1960s.

15) Holzturm

Holzturm is a medieval city tower with a present Gothic appearance that derives from the early 15th century. The wooden tower was used as part of the city wall and at the same time as a gateway passage. Together, with the Iron Tower and the Alexander Tower, it is one of three existing wall towers still left in the city. During the Second World War, Holzturm was heavily damaged and reconstructed between 1961 and 2000.
St. Ignaz Church (Ignazkirche)

16) St. Ignaz Church (Ignazkirche)

The Mainzer Ignazkirche is a classical church hall. It was built between 1763 to 1774 under the architect Johann Peter Hunter. The sandstone facade is a French model of the early 17th century. The vault above the cross-shaped floor is a work of Johann Valentin Thoman. The interior also features magnificent ceiling paintings (dating back to 1773-1776).
Museum of Ancient Shipbuilding

17) Museum of Ancient Shipbuilding (must see)

Museum of Ancient Shipbuilding is a unique museum that displays remains from five ships of the Roman era. The museum first opened in 1994 and lies in Old Town directly across from the place where the ships were discovered.
Roman Theatre (Römisches Theater)

18) Roman Theatre (Römisches Theater)

Roman Theatre was excavated a few years ago. It was once one of the largest Roman theaters north of the Alps. The diameter of the Roman Theatre stood at 116 meters, the width of the stage - 42 meters. The theater also seated 10,000. Today, the ruins of the theater are used for musical and theatrical performances.
Citadel (Zitadelle)

19) Citadel (Zitadelle)

The Mainzer Zitadelle (Citadel of Mainz) is situated at the fringe of the Old Town in direct proximity to the railway station "Mainz Römisches Theater". The fortress was constructed in 1660 and was an important part of the Fortress Mainz. The Mainz Citadel belongs officially to the cultural heritage since 1907. The trench in the southern part of the citadel had been considered natural heritage since the 1980s. One of the buildings near the Drususstein accommodates the Historical Museum of the Town Mainz today. The citadel and its surroundings bear witness to the entire history of Mainz concentrated in one spot: commencing with the Roman cenotaph Drususstein via the barracks of the federal fortress up to the air raid shelters of World War II. Since 1975 every year, a non-commercial youth festival, the Open-Ohr Festival, takes place at the citadel over the Pentecost weekend.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Mainz, Germany

Create Your Own Walk in Mainz

Create Your Own Walk in Mainz

Creating your own self-guided walk in Mainz is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Mainz Art Galleries

Mainz Art Galleries

Art is prospering in Mainz and thus the city is becoming a witness to a very large boom in art galleries. Today, Mainz features a number of highly recognized galleries and art centers, most of which really specialize in contemporary art. While visiting Mainz’s galleries, you will be impressed with its figural and abstract art, pop art, classical modernism as well as contemporary sculpture.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 km
Mainz Culture

Mainz Culture

Mainz offers a unique cultural experience that dates back all the way back to the beginning. Every epoch of Mainz history has thankfully been recorded through impressive art and is preserved today in numerous world famous museums and art centers. Theatre is another phenomenal example of Mainz culture, and evident through the plethora of plays, opera, and ballet.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 km
Mainz Specialty Shops

Mainz Specialty Shops

Mainz specialty shops are must-visit when in the area and searching for the hottest as well as most unique spot in the city. Thankfully, Mainz provides a large number of these outlets and are well worth your time. Take some time out of your vacation to enjoy all that Mainz has to offer.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 km
Mainz Nightlife

Mainz Nightlife

At night, a new life wakes up in Mainz. The city is home to numerous night clubs, disco bars, pubs as well as dance clubs and they are always crowded. Mainz nightlife will satisfy everybody, from rock to funk, chaos to grunge, techno to hip hop. Thus, each venue is sure to impress thanks to the phenomenal design, ambiance, and large selection of drinks.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 km
Mainz Religious Buildings

Mainz Religious Buildings

Mainz boasts a number of churches and parishes which are worth visiting. The city’s oldest churches are especially impressive due to their grand architecture as the exterior and interior of the churches are built in Baroque, Gothic, Rococo, Classical and Renaissance styles. Not only that, but splendid frescoes, old organs, beautiful glass windows and rich high altars only add to the pleasure.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 km
Mainz Architecture

Mainz Architecture

Mainz architecture is very impressive due to its originality and variety of styles. Inside the city, several buildings date back to the 12th century and medieval times. Despite the devastating effects of World War II, these buildings have also survived and are cherished today by many.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.9 km

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Mainz for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Mainz has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet

To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Mainz, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device

Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.