In the center of the Domplatz, or the market place by the cathedral, is a tall, thick column sitting within a bronze base that has shields on it. For quite a while, we thought that this must be a Roman column, especially since Mainz was at one time a Roman city. However, further review and assistance from local girl and VTer Trekki, we have come to the conclusion that it is not a Roman column.
The columns have a name: Heunesäulen.
What is it? Well, that answer is still very much in debate. What we do know is that this column, along with an original 41 others, came from the Bavarian town of Miltenberg, which today displays a similar column (as does Munich and Nüremberg). The columns, each weighing around 145 tons, are believed to have been quarried and made in Miltenberg and then were to be shipped to Mainz as part of an 11th century reconstruction project for the cathedral, which had suffered destruction from a fire. However, the columns were never used and only a handful of them exist today.
While this is the current thought about the columns, others believe that they could be from an earlier medieval period, based on a similar stone in Trier that was quarried from the Odenwald (not far from Miltenberg). And some still believe that they are possibly from an even earlier time period dating back to Constantine.
Mainz has a number of wonderful fountains and wells dotted about the city, especially near to the Cathedral, and the Marktbrunnen is one of the most spectacular, at least in terms of design. The incredibly colourful Renaissance construction, with its statue of the Virgin and Child on top, was crafted in the workshops of Hans Backoffen. The well itself has been used since Roman times, although long since dried up as a useful source of ground water, and the Marktbrunnen was placed in the square in 1524. During WW2 the city had the sense to encase the well with bricks to protect it from allied bombers, so we can still enjoy its beauty today.
There are a lot of old historical buildings in this square and in adjoining side streets.
I enjoyeed my stroll in Old Market a lot!
So many splendid old buildings!
You could spend hours there marveling at the lovely architecture.
We were very lucky to be in Mainz during Christmas time. Right in the middle of the market place was a Christmas Market just by the side of the Dom.
Plenty of Shopping. Jess just could not stop looking at Shoes. Plenty of food when you get sick of the Christmas Carnival Food as there are restaurant all round the place.
Take your time to walk around. We love the small Cafe around the Market Place where they serve Freshly Baked Bread and pipping Hot Coffee. Usually a lot of older German gentleman hanging around inside the Cafe and having fun looking at 2 of us trying to try every single food on the display counter.
The market place in Mainz on Easter Saturday has to be one of the busiest and crowded I have ever seen. The whole square was jam packed with stalls, some flowing over into neighbouring Liebfrauplatz and around the Höfchen with its huge fountain square. The throngs of people moving hastily from one pile of vegetables to another was a real obstacle to overcome when trying to navigate around the Cathedral. Not that I minded as it was great to see such a huge amount of humanity around such a traditional community activity. The market place itself, when empty of the market stalls, is actually a beautiful and restful place, with some great cafés, like Extra Blatt. You can see how empty it was on the previous day, Good Friday, from some of the other images I have here of some of the Marktplatz sights, like the Marktbrunnen.
Beautiful German Style houses lined the whole old town of Mainz. Its amazing how each of these houses are carefully conserved. The cobblerstone pathways also makes the notalgic walk thru the town a lovely one. However, heels can get stuck in between the stones very easily! =)
What a beautiful fountain! It's the Renaissance fountain on the market Square! It is the oldest Renaissance fountain in Germany! Dating from 1526, as a gift from the bishop, Kardinal Albrecht from Brandenburg
Mainz - has many beautiful buildings waiting to be explored. Wish I'd spent more time enjoying this city now.
The market square fountain, the MARKTBRUNNEN (1526) is the oldest of its kind in Germany. It commemorated the victory of Emperor Karl V over the French at Pavia.
The street market is in the centre of the city and it was really nice place to hang around. One of the largest streets market I saw in Germany.
There are beautiful old houses and on saturday, there is a local market ( fruits, vergetables, flowers, meat, wine ...)
Thursday and Saturday (maybe others too) there is a market in the square next to the Dom. Loads of fresh produce here,(even a live cockerel) stock up for a picnic.