In the Middle Ages, Mainz was the capital of the German part of the Roman empire, and its landmark Romanesque St. Martin's Cathedral is over 1,000 years old. St. Martin's has been destroyed numerous times by fire and war, but has always been reconstructed. Our walking tour strolled through the large town square and into the cathedral. Its interior was much simpler than the cathedrals at Melk or Passau, and different types of architecture had been used during rebuilding periods.
Mainz was the home of Johannes Gutenberg who revolutionized communication when he invented printing with moveable type. We saw a demonstration of Gutenberg's methods and two of the original Gutenberg Bibles in the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz. Our guide also took us inside the ornate St. Augustiner Church, whose baroque interior reminded us of the cathedral at Melk.
After our walking tour, we used our free time to walk up the hill to St. Stefan's Cathedral, with its famous Marc Chegall stained glass windows, and to explore the old town. We even found time to try some delicious grape cider. During lunch, the Viking Spirit sailed the short distance down the Rhine River to Rudesheim.