What’s Mainz is yours

In Saturday’s post I rhymed Mainz with rains which is phonetically incorrect. It’s actually pronounced more like “mines”. Rookie tourist mistake. 🙂 I tried posting this yesterday (Sunday) but lost internet. So I apologize in advance but I’m too lazy to correct all of the tense – I’m posting this a day late.

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This morning I tried to be a big girl and find my way to the train station alone to meet up with Lisa, Mike and Lisa’s friend Anke to visit the Domaine du Steinberg or as we have been calling it “Steinberg Winery”. That was a fail. There were a couple of levels of confusion one of which was that I went to the wrong train station and therefore was unable to locate the train they were on. I threw in the towel on making it to the winery and instead explored the more historic parts of Mainz that we didn’t get to yesterday. 

I’m a bit challenged blogging on my phone so I’ll try to be as historically accurate here as possible but I may be wrong about some things and am not gonna fact check myself so yeah, grain of salt. 

It’s hard to spend time in Germany without facing some of the brutally depressing realities of what happened here before, during and after world war two. Thousands/millions of lives lost and historically significant places obliterated. I spent some time this morning in the ruins of a St. Christopher’s cathedral that has been turned in to a memorial to those who lost their lives here. We had a far less depressing afternoon visiting the Gutenberg Museum and learning about the invention of printing press and history of book binding.

When Hitler came to power, thousands of people took to the streets of Mainz to protest. What had been a strong and growing Jewish population of more than 2000 attending two temples was dwindled down to just 60 survivors when the war was over. The city was bombed by the Royal army and was quite literally left in rubble. Structures cathedrals dating back to Roman times were completely destroyed. At the end of the war, 1.5 million cubic meters of rubble covered the city and everyone aged 14-60 was asked to volunteer in cleaning it up. 

This is the destroyed cathedral that was left gutted and turned in to a memorial. I was pleased that many of the informational placards had English translations. We biked by it on our way to the hotel yesterday but I didn’t realize what it was. I discovered it again on my walk back to the hotel after the failed attempt to see the winery.
A view of the inside of the memorial. There were some educational placques that talked about the history of the cathedral and Mainz through WW2
One of the informational placques. It was very quiet and calm here. I took my time reading through everything and getting some perspective. 
Back when the Romans controlled Mainz, it was a walled city. There are still two gates left standing and this one was right around the block from our hotel. It is now some soet of art gallery and we were able to climb a few floors until people started asking us if we wanted bier and we felt a lil awkward/did we let ourselves in to a secret club??
Mark for scale
Anatomically correct roman soldier we passed on our way to the Gutenberg Museum. Mark for scale.
Some printing presses from the past few hundred years. I everntually was told not to use my phone to take pictures but there are no signs so #YOLO. It’s kind of amazing to think that humans have been around for so long and just a few hundred years ago we figured out how to mass produce and distribute information. Gutenberg started out making bibles but eventuslly took his show on the road to capitalize on his invention. Now here I am using wireless internet to spew my nonsense across the globe to tens of readers back home! We have come so far but none of this would have been possible without Johannes Gutenberg’s invention.
These are two of Gutenberg’s original bibles!!! Commonly refered to as B42s because there are 42 lines. These and many of the other super old and significant artifacts were well preserved through WW2 and were hidden in some bunkers or something. One of them was purchased from the original owner’s descendants in New York for millions of dollars in the 1970s maybe… I am probably not remembering this correctly. I love seeing old stuff like this and it was sOOoOo cool to see these books I learned about in elementary school history class. Before the printing press, it would take one person about a year to complete one bible. Gutenberg could finish more than 300 in a year!! These books are kept in a dark and locked vault. As I previously mentioned, I wasn’t supposed to take pictures but I didn’t know that and it was never mentioned on the 3 euro audio tour I paid for.

I didn’t make it to the Steinberg winery but this bottle made it to me!! Big thank you to Lisa and Mike! It was delicious. Took this photo from our hotel room… We had a nice view of the river and got to see a pretty sunset while watching some cargo and passenger/leisure ships go by.

Closer up of the label. Lisa taught me that “Steinberger” means “of Steinberg”.

2 thoughts on “What’s Mainz is yours

  1. Your blog is giving me quite the education and making me want to visit Germany while I still can. You should have been a writer,by the way. There is so much voice in your writing that I can feel your emotion. It’s time to begin that novel, Mae.

    Liked by 1 person

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