The twin onion domed spires of St Peter's Church make a distinctive sight at the end of Grosse Bleiche. The rococo style church dates back as far as 944, and contains an extravagantly interior with 18th century frescoes from Joseph Appiani and a 16th century rood altar from the same Hans Backoffen who sculpted the outrageously colourful Marktbrunnen well in the Marketplace.
This Protestant church is only a century old. Catholics have always enjoyed a majority status in Mainz, and previous to the building of this church Protestants were restricted in their religious rights, being only a "tolerated" people, along with Jews. With growing liberalism in the newly founded German state the Protestants of Mainz built this, Christchurch, as a counterpart to the Catholic cathedral in the city centre. On the outside it shares its rival's ostentation - with a marvelous 80 meter high domed roof that has a touch of St Paul's and St Peter's about it. On the inside it is more traditionally Protestant - all plain walls and solemn, uncomfortable pews.
The monastic Karmeliter Church belongs to the Order of the same name and has been in use since the 13th century. There are still monks living in the monastery, in the new buildings, about eight of them. To be honest this isn't really a must see, but it is one of the places in Mainz I will remember most fondly. I came upon it by accident in the last hour before I left the city, as I was rushing around trying to see a few of the places I'd missed earlier. Suddenly a heavy shower halted my progress and I took refuge in the doorway of the church. Sitting there watching the rain fall outside was a wonderfully contemplative experience and reminded me that life doesn't always need to be lived at a breakneck pace.
St. Ignatius Church is just down the street from the old town of Mainz. Named after St. Ignatius of Antioch (ca. 110), its façade is easily recognizable as the pinkish sandstone is different from the building surrounding buildings. The church was built in the mid-1700s and replaced an older church in that location.
The interior of the Catholic church is baroque in style, but because it was built towards the end of the Baroque era so it has some hints of neo-Classicism in its design. The ceiling has frescoes by Johan Baptist Enderle depicting scenes from the life of St. Ignatius, but they are in need of cleaning; they are very dark and very difficult to see.
The organ in the back of the church has a nice neo-classic organ casing, its painted white with some gold add a brightness to the church’s interior. I found the high altar interesting and the baldachinno was interesting looking – a semicircular piece with four classic columns and unique top. Again, the mix of Baroque and Classicism can be seen in the high altar.
Outside the church is an interesting sculpture grouping of the crucifixion to the left of the façade. The church is situated on a small platz on a narrow side street in Mainz. It is easy to walk to but there is limited parking nearby.
The church is open daily from 0930 to 1900.
We take first time visitors on a walking tour of Mainz and usually start at St. Christopher’s, simply because we normally head that way and it is a quick look around with history. The church, Kirche St. Christoph, was the parish church of Johannes Gutenberg and it is thought that he was baptized in this church. Inside the eastern part of the church is an original 15th century late Gothic baptismal font, although this part of the church has been locked each time we go by, but looking in the window you can see the font.
This early Gothic church is really a shell of what it used to be. The original chancel remains and is used as a chapel today for services. The nave was destroyed and is open to the elements. The original church was built between 1292 and 1325 but was destroyed in 1945. It contains a memorial in the form of concrete columns with a modern relief by sculptor Heinz Hemrich. These columns help to give a visual idea of the missing wall of the church. Visitors can walk all around it and inside, although the chancel/chapel area is typically locked on the many times I’ve visited the church.
There is an interesting statue of Gutenberg in the front of the church.
Mass is held on the 1st and 3rd Sunday each month at 17:00 and on Tuesday/Thursdays at 1900.
Visit the Googlemap to see the location of St. Christopher's Church.
While Christ Church looks like a traditional church, it’s interior shows a truly modern look.
The High Renaissance outside would appear very similar to St. Peter’s in Rome, but the interior has been redone in with a center altar. This Protestant church was built in 1903 but was heavily damaged in 1945 and reconstructed in 1952.
It is definitely worth looking at if you are into architecture.
The church is open at irregular hours (check the website below for details) and holds services on Sundays at 08:30 and 10:00.
Christ Church is located on Kaiserstasse 56, 55116 Mainz. For a Googlemap of Christ Church, click HERE
If you have to choose one church (after the Dom), make it St. Stephen’s! This church has a blue hue about it from the glorious windows designed by Marc Chagall.
St. Stephen’s was originally built in 990 and the new Gothic building was built in 1290-1335. Unfortunately, the church was almost completely destroyed in WWII and was rebuilt with the new dome and lantern being added in 1962.
Artist Marc Chagall, a Jewish artist, created the beautiful blue stained glass windows as a sign of Jewish-Christian understanding in 1978, completing his last window before he died at age 97.
The church is open daily with varying times depending on day and season. Check the website below for exact times.
Click HERE for Googlemap of St. Stephen's Church.
Richly decorated in the Rococo style, St. Peter’s Church interior features bright colors and gold – it was lovingly restored in 1989. There are beautiful frescoes on the ceiling that have been replicated (they were destroyed in the war) with paintings depicting the life of the church’s namesake, the Apostle Peter. The church was founded in 944 and the new building was built in 1748.
The church is open daily from 0900-1800 and mass is held on Wed, Fri, and Sat at 1800, Sun at 0930 and 1130.
The church can be found on Petersstraße 3 in Mainz.
Click HERE for Googlemap of St. Peter's Church.
The ruins of St. Christoph's Church have been left unrestored after its destruction by Allied bombing in World War 2 as a memorial to all those who died. The original church was built between 1292 and 1325 and is said to be the baptismal place of Johannes Gutenberg himself.
Up a slight hill away from Schillerplatz through some wonderful timbered old buildings is the Church of St Stephen. Its location in the green Stephanplatz is an oasis of calm in isolation from the busy streets around the Cathedral below, and there is a nice feeling of calm and contemplation about the building. This is probably part of the reason it attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors and pilgrims each year. The church was originally built back in 990, but has been constructed, reconstructed and repaired several times since. The latest incarnation dates back to 1857 when a nearby gunpowder store blew up and damaged the church so badly it had to be almost completely rebuilt.
Inside the church are nine stunningly blue stained glass windows created in the 1970s by Russian-Jewish artist Marc Chagall. While never having visited the city, and living most of his life in France, Chagall became an honourary citizen of Mainz for his work on these magnificent windows, which were designed as a symbol of Jewish-Christian unity.
The Baroque and rococo-styled Augustinerkirsche (St. Augustine's Church) is located along the pedestrian-only Augustinerstrasse. Upon stepping into the church, I was wowed by its ceiling frescoes depicting St. Augustine. At the back of the church is an organ built by Stumm.
This fine baroque church is one of the best, good enough to deserve its own separate tip. Nearly undamaged in World War II, it has a red sandstone facade and an incredibly beautiful interior. Dating from the 18th century, it was obviously well-endowed financially, since this was the capital city of the Elector.
This is a small church tucked away on a hill in the Old Town not to be confused with the Dom, the main cathedral. While most tourists are flocking to its more popular sister, you can have this gem all to yourself. This church has exited for about ten centuries and has been nearly demolished during Word War II. During its reconstruction Marc Chagall has been invited to do its stained windows. While still conforming to classic expectations, they bright color and edginess of compositions, offer a rewarding break from traditional church art.
This impressive Roccoco building get a beautifully reddish golden color when the late evening sun strikes the walls. It was founded by archbishop Friedrich von Lothringen in 944. In 1748 the chruch was rebuilt in the current style by the architect Johann Valentin Thoman.
While I was here the chruch was closed to public. According to my guide book the interior with fresco paintings of Joseph Appiani is a highlight of Mainz.
This Protestant church was built in the style of High Renaissance in 1895 by Eduard Kreyßig as a counterweight to the Cathedral. With its 80 m high copper dome the church dominates the skyline of Mainz. The carillon from the 1950s can be heard three times a day.
The chruch is open to visitors except during worships. Admission is free.