Mainz - five favorite places for a summer day

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A city on the river always exerts a special charm. Mainz on the Rhine is no exception. With my intern Elias (17), I made the acid test on a July day: Is Mainz a summer destination? During a walk through the old town and along the banks of the Rhine, we found five places that are absolutely suitable for summer.

View from the Theodor-Heuss-Bridge to the old town and Mainzstrand

Most visitors approach the capital of Rhineland-Palatinate via the Theodor Heuss Bridge with its magnificent view over the Rhine to the towers of the old town. The yellow sand of the Mainz beach beckons, but it is still early and not so hot. Just right for a stroll through the old town.

Favorite place 1: Weekly market

Weekly market on the Liebfrauenplatz

The plane trees on Liebfrauenfrauenplatz provide pleasant shade for the vendors of the weekly market. On Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, the Mainz weekly market regional products fresh from the dew and first-hand: stone-baked bread from the Hunsrück and wine from Rheinhessen. Strolling through the Liebfrauenplatz to the Marktplatz and Höfchen, every corner smells different, sometimes aromatic of fruit, at the old-timer bus with the coffee roastery seductively of espresso or at the many stands with plants of countless types of flowers. Up to 120 stalls offer their wares on the cathedral squares and are framed by the long history of the city. In the immediate vicinity tells the Gutenberg Museum the story of the invention of printing, and the cathedral stands like a rock in the middle of the hustle and bustle.

The weekly market in Mainz under the watchful eye of St. Boniface

Favorite place 2: The cathedral

The Mainz Cathedral is the landmark of the state capital

It is only a few steps from the hubbub of the market to the divine silence of the pleasantly cool cathedral. Built on the model of St. Peter's in Rome, it shaped the cathedral of Mainz at all times the face and history of the city on the Rhine. The cathedral burned seven times, six kings were crowned in it and 45 bishops were buried in the cathedral. The "Domgebirge" of red sandstone, which has grown over the centuries, is the city's landmark. A special attraction is the Altar of Mary in the Ketteler Chapel with the "beautiful Mainz woman.

Altar of Mary with the beautiful Mainz woman

Mainz Cathedral is famous for its large collection of tombs from the 13th to 19th centuries, which can be seen throughout the church. Commonly only archbishops, members of the cathedral chapter or highly placed laymen came to this honor. All the more astonishing is the simple tomb slab that we discover in the cloister. It commemorates the minstrel Henry of Meissen, who 700 years ago had the honor of being buried in the cloister, even though he did not belong to the clergy. An absolute exception for the Mainzer, who went down in the history of minnesong under the name "Frauenlob", who apparently could not only sing, but also had political influence.

Gravestone of the minnesinger Frauenlob in the cloisters

Favorite place 3: Mainzstrand

The entrance to the Mainzstrand at the Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer

Right next to the bridge on the Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer stretches the Mainzstrandwhich already exudes a vacation feeling at first glance with many sun loungers in the yellow sand. With free admission, sun-seekers can stretch out in the sun-warmed sand, swing in hammocks or play beach volleyball. Bathing in the Rhine is of course prohibited due to the busy shipping traffic, but those who can't do without it at all can reach the shore via many steps and at least dip their feet in for a short while. Several beach bars mix colorful cocktails and until the end of September there is live music on certain days in the afternoon and evening.

Swinging in the hammock is one of the favorite activities at Mainz Beach

When the sun shines, the Rhine promenade between the Theodor Heuss Bridge and Winterhafen is a lively strolling mile. Mainz University keeps the city young with its students, who naturally like to move their "studies" to the banks of Father Rhine in the summer. They sit and lie on the lawn and some actually look into a book or their lecture notes.

The "Mole" is a meeting place for cyclists and joggers

Favorite place 4: Winter harbor

The "Mole" between the Rhine promenade at the Malakoff Terrace and the Winter Harbour is a popular stop and meeting point for cyclists, joggers and scaters for a break with a cool drink and a view of the Rhine.

The Mainz Winter Port

The winter harbor is open to the north to prevent ice floes from being pushed into the harbor in winter. Mainz was once a major transhipment point for timber, which was rafted from here to Holland.

Leaving the Winerhafen behind, the Rhine promenade leads to the beautiful Stadtpark, on sunny days a destination for shade seekers.

Favorite place 5: Ice cream from N'eis

The best ice cream is at N'eis am Rhein on the Malakoff terrace

On the Victor Hugo shore, a queue tends to form in front of the "N'eis am Rhein", a branch of the ice cream store of the same name in Neustadt. It all started six years ago in a small corner store on Gartenfeldstraße. Two young marketing women fulfilled their dream of owning their own store. Today, it is already an ice cream factory that does without colorings, flavorings and preservatives in the production process and makes the ice cream from regional products as much as possible. For this, "N'eis" is not only appreciated in Mainz, but was also already voted the most popular ice cream parlor in the Rhine-Main area. In addition to the classic ice cream varieties such as raspberry, vanilla and cinnamon, there are also creations such as pear-parsley or apple-celery, which are as strange as they are delicious. From the assortment of well over 100 varieties, there is a different choice every day

View from the Rhine promenade to the Theodor Heuss Bridge

At the end of the summer day, a walk along the Rhine promenade brings us back to the Theodor Heuss Bridge, the starting point of our Mainz tour. By the way, it is an insider's tip especially for lovers: Nowhere else in Mainz is there a more beautiful sunset to watch.

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As a travel journalist, I prefer to travel around Germany on foot, by bike and by boat, and write reports for daily newspapers and magazines.

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