The Kurfürstliches Schloss, or Elector's Palace, was once home to the Prince Elector of the Holy See. The building, being in such a tumultuous part of central Europe, has been destroyed several times, most recently in 1793 during a siege by Prussia, but was rebuilt again in the gaudy pink Baroque style you see today. Its location, just off the Grosse Bleiche and overlooking the Rhein is fantastic, and once you see it as you cross over the Theodor Heuss bridge on entering the city, its shocking colours and excessive Baroque design will remain in your mind as a symbol of the city, along with its mirror building on the opposite side of the Grosse Bleiche, the Federal State Parliament (Landtag).
The building was also recently the site of a high profile (and high-security) meeting between Germany's Gerhard Schroeder and George Bush - their first meeting on German soil since the Iraq war.
Making up the second half of the pink partnership is the sandstone building of the Landtag, the Parliament for the Rhine-Palatinate region. This huge fleshy pink Baroque house is probably even more striking than its more historically important neighbour to the right, the Kurfürstliche Schloss. The Deutschaus was originally used as the Commandery of the order of the Teutonic Knights, but has been used as the State Parliament since 1951. Also making up this huge building is the Zeughaus, to the left of the Deutschhaus as you look at it, and also containing the modern parliament.
Hidden away behind the fleshy pink Deutschaus is a copy of the Jupitersäule, built in honour of Emperor Nero and the most important Roman triumphal column in Germany. The original is protected in the Landesmuseum on the opposite side of the road.
There are two interesting things about this square: First, there are many buildings of importance around it, including government buildings and the Roman and Germanic Museum. Because of the latter, the square gained its appearance in the 1960s. Replicas from Roman stones found in Mainz (including tombstones, beautiful reliefs and an arch) are put up here, together with some text (German) summing up the most important historical events in Roman Mainz. The replica stones were incorporated into an ugly fountain from the 1960s – not really beautiful to see as a whole, but its cool to see the stones outside in a living atmosphere while the originals remain preserved in a museum. If you want to see the originals, you will find them either in the Roman and Germanic Museum or the Landesmuseum which is just a short distance away.
Ernst-Ludwig-Platz was once the Schlossplatz, a representative square in front of the Electoral Prince's Palace.
Excellent architects created the general character of Mainz in the 17th century and founded unique palaces for the nobility. Aside from the Renaissance and Roccoco buildings in "Regierungsviertel" (quarter of the town), you can admire Elector's Palace, once home to the Prince Elector of the Holy See or the recently restored sandstone building of the Landtag.