Founded around 12 BC as a Roman military post, Mainz is a gem of a city sitting on the Rhine River with a rich history and vibrant present. As with any city, it’s character is determined by its inhabitants. And Mainz has had a lot of interesting ones. Fist the Romans, of course, then the Franks, the Germans, and, perhaps most famously, the inventor of moveable type, Johannes Gutenberg, whose name now graces the gates of the city’s university. From 1919 to 1930, following WWI, the city was occupied by French military forces. This French occupation was the fuel for much of the city’s Carnivale (or Fasching) traditions mocking political figures (and the French military) that continue today and make up the most famous Fasching parade in Germany next to Cologne’s.
I can’t seem to walk past the Marktplatz in Mainz without whipping out my camera. A transportive scene, feeling both modern and historic at the same time, the Markplatz is so many things: door step to our apartment; home to Mainz’s thrice weekly market and several lovely cafes; stage to the occasional opera singer and accordion player; and location of the massive Mainzer Dom or St. Martin’s Cathedral. I have no doubt that this will be one of several ode’s to the Marktplatz.
Marktplatz during the Saturday market: