“This Cathedral, towering in all its might and grandeur above the Rhine plain, would have remained in my memory, even if I had never seen it again.” – author Anne Seghers.
Begun in 975, the Dom is one of three Romanesque imperial cathedrals along the Rhein (the other two are in Worms and Speyer) and served as the location of seven coronations through the years. The original church burnt in a fire in 1036 and was rebuilt with the red sandstone starting the following year, continuing through 1239. It has endured several fires and has had several additions along with being reconstructed due to the fires.
While the original plan was in the Ottonian architectural style (pre-Romanesque) the church is very much a Romanesque style church with three naves and two chancels (one in the east and one in the west) and two transepts. The cathedral is built in the red sandstone that is predominant in the Mainz area. The center nave has small windows at the top of the walls above some very nice murals with gold in them. The ceiling was replaced (probably after one of the fires) with a ribbed vaulted ceiling of the Gothic era in the 13th century.
Beside the church is a lovely green cloister lined with statues and reliefs open to visitors. On a clear day the view upwards towards the six towers is very nice. There are also public restrooms in the cloister, something you don’t always see in cathedrals (fee is 30 cents). Below each of the chancels is a crypt with a chapel. The stained glass windows in the cathedral are interesting – there are some recent more modern windows in the side chapels and along the bottom many of these windows is a running timeline of the various bishops of the cathedral.
Mainz was the ecclesiastical center north of the Alps from 746 on through the work of St. Boniface and became a Holy See somewhere in the years 975-1011 for the Bishop of Mainz. However, Mainz lost its archbishopric in the early 1800s and is now a diocese.
During World War II, Mainz was a target for Allied bombs many times. While the cathedral was hit in August 1942, much remained intact and was restored. Currently, there is a renovation project going on at the Dom and you will find (as with many cathedrals) the outside has scaffolding on it. The project also includes the inside so you will have to tour the cathedral working around the work crews.
The cathedral is surrounded by buildings, some of which are now shops and restaurants. You can enter from the market square side of the cathedral; it is open daily with guided tours available through the Cathedral Information Center (phone number below).
Visit Googlemaps for the location of the cathedral.
There is also an Episcopal Cathedral and Diocesan Museum at the cathedral that houses religious art treasurer from the Middle Ages and modern periods.
Each December, the marketplatz beside the cathedral hosts the Christmas Market.
One thing I do like about many of the cities in Germany is that they have small tactile models of the cathedral or city so that visually impaired persons may get a better idea of what it looks like.
But when I do see them, I often wonder how do people know these models exist or where to find them? Thus, I'm writing this tip so that if you need to know where Mainz's tactile model is, you will be able to find it.
In the Liebfrauenplatz outside the Dom and in front of the Gutenberg Museum is one of these models - this one of the Dom itself - and has Braille as well as letters to identify the areas. Click HERE for a Googlemap of the location of this tactile map.
It is also a nice thing to show children who may not be able to envision such a massive building in its entirety.
The Romanesque Dom is Mainz's most imposing building. It is huge, central, and while it doesn't tower above the city like some, you can see it peeking out through many of the streets. Up close, in the squares around its base, a very impressive sight, and unlike a lot of cathedrals its buildings crammed in around the city's offices and shops, rather than being set back in its own special grounds. This can make it more difficult to get a clear photograph, but it does allow for some wonderful pictures of the monuments and buildings dotted around in the squares, like the Gutenberg Denkmal, the Roman column and the fountains.
Construction of the Cathedral started in 975 when Mainz was proclaimed the Holy See, and it was modelled on St Peter's in Rome. Despite several fires, Napoleonic sieges and the bombing of the Rhein in World War two much of the original cathedral buildings remains intact, along with additions through the centuries. The grand building, due to its size and centrality, is easy to locate and makes a great place to base your trips about the city center. The open squares around its base also offer a wide range of eating and drinking possibilities, making the area a great place to come at all times of the day.
The cathedral is now rightfully called one of the most famous buildings in Germany.
It is a place of worship – an Episcopal church.
High Mess takes place on Sundays at 10 a.m.
A vesper service is held at 3 p.m.
On Sundays there are also masses on Sundays a 7 a.m., 8 a.m. and 11.30 a.m.
On weekdays mass is celebrated at 6.25 a.m., 7.30 a.m. and 8.15 a.m. and in the afternoon at 4.45 p.m.
The cathedral information service can provide you with more detailed information.
It is on your left as you leave the cathedral through the main entrance.
The address is:
10 Am Markt,
tel. +49 06131 25 34 12
as well as Touristik Centrale Mainz
(Mainz Tourism Center)
(in the Brückenturm/Rathaus
tel. +49 06131 28 62 10.
St Martin's cathedral is considered Germany's second most important catholic church, with Cologne's Dom being first. Originally a Roman-style basilica, built in 975 AD, the church reached its current form in the 13th and 14th Centuries. The oldest part of the church is the crypt, dating back to the origins of the structure, over 1000 years ago.
This huge, towering Romanesque cathedral dates back to 975, with most of it built during the 13th and 14th centuries. On March 27, 1188, the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa joined in the Third Crusade, declared by Pope Gregory VIII. The cathedral survived World War II with surpisingly little damage.
It is a mix of Romanesque and later Baroque styles, mostly Romanesque. It is known for its gold reliquary containing the relics of the saints of Mainz.
Mainz Cathedral, formally known in English as St. Martin Cathedral (in German Mainzer Dom, sometimes Der Hohe Dom zu Mainz) is located near the historical center and pedestrianized market square of the city of Mainz. This Roman Catholic cathedral is the site of the episcopal see for the Bishop of Mainz. wikipedia
Mainz Cathedral is without doubt the most impressive building in town. It look back on an over 1000-year-long history. The first Cathedral from the 10th century was destroyed by a fire. The new one was built by Archbishop Willigis in order to create an new "Rome" to make Mainz a centre of faith. Some ornaments on the cathedral are still from that period. For example the leaves of the market portals date back to the 11th century. Over the centuries several additions were made so that you can see now Baroque and Gothic elements.
The Dom has been called the most important Romanesque (i.e. 11th to 13th century) structure along the Rhine, and it is certainly the gem in the crown of Mainz's attractions.
Perhaps some of its appeal comes from its fortress like appearance, the relatively smaller window, the hazy light which filters through its corridors.
An interesting aspect of this cathedral is that there are separate choirs at both ends of the cathedral - and the eastern one is well elevated, approachable via a series of significant steps that makes it seem almost like an entirely separate church.
Mainz has been a center of religious significance for well-nigh a millenium, and the Cathedral is an important piece in understanding the continuity of European history, from the era of the Roman invaders, to the era of the Holy Roman Empire and beyond to the time of Gutenberg, whose early European printing press was just a stone's throw away.
The Mainz Cathedral is a piece of art in itself. Much of the building was built in the 12th century while Mainz was the center of religion in Germany. The museum offers audio tours while you walk at your leisure. The main focus is The Church during the Middle Ages, especially The Crusades. There are a number of artifacts to draw the attention of the visitor.
They started building this cathedral in 975 a.D. and have been working on it off and on ever since.
It is easily the most prominent landmark in Mainz. Evidently the local zoning regulations don't allow tall buildings in this neighborhood, so you can see the cathedral from across the river and from many places in Mainz itself.
From here it is only a few meters to the State Theater and the Gutenbergmuseum.
Crikey!!!!! how is this one last?..... ok forgot to scan this pic, but probably the most memorable sight in Mainz is the Dom. Huge Cathedral in ths center, most of the city leads to here, and very beautiful to look at. This photo from our hotel, looks good?
More photos in travelogue
This DOM lies in the heart of Main city.The archbishops of Mainz made this DOM their laying place. This monument is huge and made with sandstone. A beautiful piece of art.
The Cathedral has some interesting statuary -look for a statue of one of the architects, groaning with an aching back from having to serve as a pillar for a doorway.