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Schillerplatz and Fastnachtsbrunnen
The centrally located Schillerplatz is one of those squares where you can find a lot of cafés and take a break while you watch the busy scenery of a city centre. Beside the pastel coloured buildings you'll also fine a large fountain and a couple of sculptures on the Schillerplatz. One of them is German author Friedrich Schiller (namesake of the square), two others (the jester and the "Prinzengarde" drummer) are related to the Mainz Carnival.
The fountain was unveiled in 1967 and has over 200 figures related to either Mainz' history or Mainz Carnival. It ranges from medieval trickster Till Eulenspielgel to the allegorical goddess of the city, Moguntia. Probably the most popular figure is the cat at the bottom. The German word for tomcat (Kater) is the same word as for hangover...
Away from the Cathedral, along the wide boulevard of Ludwig Str. leading from Gutenbergplatz, is the large open space of Schillerplatz and its charming cream and pink buildings. Perhaps the most striking element of the square, other than the statue of a Prussian soldier with a pénis graffitied onto his nether regions, is the tall and ornate Narrenturm (Tower of Fools) with its behatted jesters and fools diving from on high into the water. It looks fantastic, and perhaps even a little fantastical, juxtaposed with the Cathedral behind it in the distance.
Famous carnival in November
Mainz combines history and partying, it likes to celebrate and has numerous festivals throughout the year. Its famous carnival, for example, is one of Germany's largest and longest-lasting. It starts on November 11 and lasts until Ash Wednesday the next year. Talk about a party that doesn't end. The best place to go to get an idea of the city's party atmosphere is the famous Carnival Fountain (Fastnachtsbrunnen), which has been located on busy Schillerplatz since 1967. This whimsical sculpture by Blaius Spreng of Munich shows some 250 figures and carnival symbols in a towering sculpture, where water bubbles over enthusiastic party goers--from cats to clowns. Be certain to notice the soldier at the bottom who is washing his empty purse.
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