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Mainz / Mayence


Mainz (Mayence): This city has over two thousand years of written history and centuries more, before that may only be guessed. It was a politically important seat of the Prince-elector, who as Archbishop was an influential ecclesiastic and secular prince in the Holy Roman Empire for 100 years (780 to 1802.) Previously, it was a fortified Roman city (castrum) rhar commanded the west bank of the Rhine, part of the northern-most frontier of the Roman Empire. The site also was a Celtic one before Rome arrived. The Christian faith found an early foothold in this Roman provincial capital called Moguntiacum, surviving the waves of invasions from the east. The first bishops before the 4th century have legendary names, beginning with Crescens (80–103AD). The first verifiable Bishop of Mainz was Martinus in 343. The ecclesiastical and secular importance of Mainz dates from the accession of Saint Boniface to this Holy See in 747.

Mainz / Mayence

Another picture from: Mainzdailyphoto

Saint Boniface (Bonifacius 672 – June 5, 754), the Apostle of the Germans, was born Winfrid or Wynfrith at Crediton in the Kingdom of Wessex (now in Devon, England). As a missionary he propagated Christianity in the Frankish Empire during the 8th century, especially to those living north and east of the old Roman border. He is the patron saint of Germany and the Netherlands.

Tradition credits Boniface with the Christmas tree. An Oak of Thor at Geismar was chopped down by Boniface. A fir tree growing up, protected in the roots of the old oak, was to become a new symbol of a new Faith. This humble tree's wood is used to build your homes; let Christ be at the center of your households. Its leaves remain evergreen in the darkest days; let Christ be your constant light. Its boughs reach out to embrace and its top points to heaven; let Christ be your Comfort and Guide. His remains were eventually buried in the abbey of Fulda after resting for some time in Utrecht, and they are entombed within a shrine beneath the high altar of Fulda Cathedral.

Mainz Cathedral, formally known in English as St. Martin Cathedral (in German Mainzer Dom, sometimes Der Hohe Dom zu Mainz) is located near the historic city-centre and pedestrianized market square of the city of Mainz, Germany. The cathedral also has a central courtyard and statues of St. Boniface and The Madonna on its grounds. This impressive building was part of Willigis' vision of Mainz as the second Rome. There is much more HERE. During the Middle Ages, the exclusive authority to sanctify German kings (and queens) was given to the Archbishop of Mainz. The crowning in Mainz awarded the monarch the kingdom of Germany, and a subsequent one in Rome would grant the Crown of the Holy Roman Empire (mostly a nominal difference). Because the cathedral was damaged several times during this period, many crownings were not held there, but at least six were.

The Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum is home to Medieval, Roman and earlier artifacts; The Antique Maritime Museum (Museum für Antike Schifffahrt) houses the remains of five Roman boats from the late 4th century. Other Roman remains, include Jupiter's column, Drusus' mausoleum, the ruins of the theatre and the aqueduct, usw. -- and don't forget Mr. Gutenberg, a citizen of Mainz, he has a Museum, too.

Johan Gensfleisch {Johannes Gutenberg} erfindet den Buchdruck mit beweglichen Lettern; und, um 1452 - 1455 Gutenberg druckt die Gutenberg-Bibeln in Mainz. Die Erfindung der beweglichen Lettern, erst durch Johannes Gutenberg, ermöglichte eine weite Verbreitung der Bibeln in deutscher Sprache und förderte dadurch die Ausbreitung der Kenntnisse über die Grundlagen der kirchlichen Lehren, verbesserte aber auch die allgemeine weltliche Bildung.

February 23, 1455: Johannes Gutenberg (Johan Gensfleisch, c1400-1468) printed his 1st book, the Bible. Gutenberg printed Latin Bibles of which 11 were still extant in 1987. The availability of inexpensive books soon resulted in the Bible being printed in native languages, such as English (On Oct 4, 1535, the 1st full English translation of the Bible was printed in Switzerland. Miles Coverdale’s translation of the Bible into English (from Dutch and Latin) was the first complete version in English and was dedicated to Henry VIII.), French (Calvin) and German (Luther).

These translations loosened the hold of the Catholic Church, eventually contributing to the Reformation and engulfing Europe in decades of Civil strife and War. On February 25, 1570 Pope Pius V issued the bull Regnans in Excelsis which excommunicated Queen Elizabeth the First of England (daughter of Henry VIII). This absolved her subjects from allegiance. Elizabeth responded by hanging and burning Jesuits. On March 1, 1562, General de Guise at Vassy sanctioned the murder of 1200 Huguenots and sparked a series of conflicts in France, collectively known as The Wars of Religion. The 5th War of Religion, against the Huguenots, broke out on February 23, 1574. Finally, on this date in 303AD, Emperor Diocletian ordered a general persecution of Christians.

Le 3 février 1468: Meurt à Mayence un certain Johannes Gensfleisch, plus connu sous le nom de Gutenberg. Il nous a légué un cadeau merveilleux, l'imprimerie. À prix réduit et une version imprimée de la bible dans la langue commune ont contribué à la réforme du 16ème siècle.

Mainz has suffered the ravages of war, in one form or another, because of its strategic location. After World War I, the French Nation occupied Mainz (between 1919 and 1930) under the Treaty of Versailles (June 28, 1919). The Rhineland (in which Mainz is located) was to remain demilitarized until 1935. The presence of the French garrison, representing the Triple Entente, depended reparations being paid by a bankrupt Germany. This force left in 1930; by then the French were experiencing economic depression. War returned in 1939. More than 30 Allied air raids destroyed nearly 80 percent of Mainz city-centre, including most of the historic buildings. Mainz fell to XII Corps, 90th Division, of the Third Army under the command of General George S. Patton, Jr. on March 22, 1945. Patton used the ancient strategic gateway through Germania Superior to cross the Rhine south of Mainz, drive down the Danube towards Czechoslovakia. For the next 5 years, the city was part of the French zone of occupation. Following the withdrawal of French forces, the U.S. Army Europe occupied the military bases in Mainz. When the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate was founded on 18 May 1947, Koblenz was the temporary capital; in 1950 Mainz became the capital of this new state.

Mainz is called by a number of different names in other languages and dialects. These include: Määnz (formerly Meenz) in the local West Middle German dialect, and Mentz in English or Mayence in French. The latter name was also used in English, but this usage of Mayence has almost completely disappeared, although Google Maps and Google Earth use it. Other names for this city are: Magonza (Italian), Maguncia (Spanish), Majnc (Serbian), Mogúncia (Portuguese), Moguncja (Polish), and of course, Moguntiacum in modern Latin.

The map shows some of the places we mention frequently throughout our Website in this region. Do you notice un peu pattern ?

Click booklet cover (above)
for link to 20 old Pictures
of Mainz (Mayence)
4 more added

A link to the nearby Rheingau Wine region.

Metz -- Belfort -- Troyes -- Colmar -- Mulhouse -- le Saint-Suaire -- Strasbourg -- Grenoble -- Lyon -- Nantes -- A page about Paris -- Boulogne-sur-Mer, Dunkerque, Calais & Lille -- Lens, Arras & Cambrai -- Reims

Link to Another page about cities in Southern France: Montpellier, Nîmes, Arles, Orange et. al. -- Avignon -- Narabonne -- Toulouse -- Carcassonne -- Béziers -- A look at Lanuguedoc's Fab Four -- Aix-en-Provence

Celtic/Frank History -- Germaniæ Historiæ -- Anglo Saxons
Reformation from a French-Protestant point of view -- Current Newsletter --

A few more German Cities: Trier (Trèves) -- Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle) -- Lörrach {twin city of Sens} -- Essen -- Frankfurt -- Köln / Cologne -- Dresden -- Duisburg, Düsseldorf und Dortmund -- Düren, Bonn und Koblenz -- Baden-Baden, Karlsruhe, Speyer, Kaiserslautern und Saarbrücken -- Heidelberg, Heilbronn, Stuttgart und Tübingen -- Mannheim, Worms, Darmstadt und Würzburg -- Magdeburg, Halle (Saale), Dessau und Leipzig -- Münster -- Lübeck, Kiel, Rostock und Schwerin -- Fulda, Kassel und Erfurt -- Switzerland: Geneva, Nyon et Lausanne (Vaud) -- Basel, Berne und Zürich

New: 08/13/09 (but based on an older page)