A few weeks ago, I sailed aboard Vantage Deluxe World Travel’s River Voyager on a short repositioning voyage from Basel, Switzerland to Amsterdam, Netherlands. Along the way, we found the time to stop in Mainz to for a quick taste of this historic German city.
It was under cloudy skies and chilly weather conditions that we set out on a walking tour of Mainz on a blustery Sunday morning. Even for March, the weather was abnormally chilly; if you’re taking a Rhine river cruise near the start of the season, you’ll want to bring a heavy coat, gloves and a scarf.
The capital of Germany’s Rhineland-Palatinate region, Mainz (pronounced mines) was founded by the Romans in the first century and today is famous for two things: it’s long-standing rivalry with the town of Wiesbaden, situated directly across the river; and the movable-type printing press, invented here by Johannes Gutenberg in the 1450’s.
Over 80 percent of Mainz was destroyed by repeated bombing raids during Wor