The memorial to Mainz’s favorite son can be found on Gutenbergplatz, across from the Theater and along Ludwigstrasse where he stands looking over the town he was born in. You can easily find it just behind the Dom.
Click HERE for a Googlemap that shows you where the Gutenbergplatz is -- if you look on the satellite view you will see the shadow of the Gutenberg statue.
Just down the road and across the market square is the Gutenberg Museum dedicated to his work and invention, the printing press, and includes many early books, including two Gutenberg Bibles.
The downtown part of the Mainz sits along the 50th parallel, that imaginery latitudinal line marking where on the globe we are located.
The line is represented by a line in the Gutenbergplatz, right next to Gutenberg’s statue (located across from the Theatre and behind the Dom). Look down and you will find the thick gold line in the sidewalk.
Unless you are really into cartography, you probably won’t make a special trip to see this, but if you happen to be in the area, take a stroll over to the statue and see if you can find it!
Click HERE for the Googlemap to the Gutenbergplatz (if you use the satellite view, you can see the shadow of the statue of Gutenberg).
Hailed by some as "the Man of the Millennium" there is little doubt as to the impact that Johannes Gutenberg had on the world. His dream of reproducing manuscripts without losing quality, but equally without the labourious manual work that had traditionally been required, inspired him to invent the printing press. While the Chinese had discovered the printing press many centuries previously, it was the automation of this work and the way this allowed the production of books for the masses that changed the Western world, and perhaps the entire world, forever.
Prior to Gutenberg books were only accessible to a privileged few, and the bible, the most common source of stories and parables of the time, was not written in the language of the people who it was taught to. Gutenberg's press changed all that, and soon there were books all over Europe, and bibles that people could read and discuss. Political and religious movements flourished with the ability to get their message across to massive audiences. It's hard to imagine what kind of a revelation it must have been in the day to suddenly have access to books from all over the world, telling stories of lives that you could never have experienced before.
Gutenberg himself, like many a great man, did not have his greatness recognised in his day. In fact his invention ruined him: the cost of development was so great that when it was complete his greedy creditors confiscated his inventions and left him with nothing. He died living off charity in order to fund his continued research into his dream of mass publication. Thankfully the city that once ruined him now recognises his greatness and celebrates him all over the city, from the monument here to his very first printed bible hidden in the vaults of the Gutenberg Museum.
This is the statue of Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of the printing press, on Gutenbergplatz near the cathedral. He is looking straight at the State Theater.
A short distance away in the same pedestrian zone is the highly interesting Gutenberg Museum (next tip).
Gutenbergplatz is one of the central squares of Mainz. Except for buses, no motorized traffic is allowed.
When you sit down at one of the outdoor cafés, be sure you get a seat facing either the State Theater (shown here) or the Cathedral, because those are the only two buildings that are worth looking at. The others are highly undistinguished, to say the least.
The people are nice, though.
Whoever wishes to do things on his or her own going about on foot, can make use of the actual guides and immerse themselves in a historical trip through time.