When I began my studies in Mainz a few years ago, I quickly developed a strong affection for this lively big city with its slightly village-like charm. During the first visits of friends and family members, I naturally wanted to present something of my new adopted home. A self-conceived tour of the old town was to include the classic highlights such as the imposing imperial cathedral, the lively banks of the Rhine and the citadel steeped in history. But each time I did, I noticed how the cameras were drawn especially at the more inconspicuous sights. I declared these little highlights along the way to be my "secret tips" for guests and visitors. In this post, I want to share my secret favorites with you on a little discovery tour. Join me on a walk through the enchanting old town of Mainz.
A monument to the 5th season
Our tour begins on Schillerplatz at the Shrovetide fountain, which has been a monument to tradition since 1967. Those who are not from Mainz will be confronted here with one of the most important identification features of the city - the foolish hustle and bustle of the fifth season. The fountain, which rises into the air like a jester's tower, is equipped with bronze symbolic figures of the Mainz carnival and thus expresses the joie de vivre of the "Meenzer". In total, there are over 200 motifs from carnival and mythology - among them are Till Eugenspiegel, the city goddess Mogontia, Paragraphenreiter and a man with a board in front of his head. For the people of Mainz, the square is a special place: every year on November 11 at 11:11 the carnival is proclaimed here.
Insider Orientation Tip
We walk down the street toward the Rhine. Especially for newcomers and visitors, the street signs in downtown Mainz are a handy orientation guide, because they indicate their position relative to the Rhine by color. All street signs with a blue background run parallel to the Rhine, while the red-signed streets extend perpendicular to the river.
Unmissable - the Mainzelmännchen
It is only a few meters until one of the secret highlights of of Mainz lights up in front of us. It doesn't call out to us "Guuuden Aaabend", but nevertheless nevertheless, the red Mainzelmännchen in the next pedestrian traffic light the next pedestrian traffic light. The little television characters not only make ZDF but will also be encountered a few times on our tour of Mainz's old town. a few more times on our tour of Mainz's old town. The Mainzelmännchen eye-catchers were created for Anton, Edi, Det, Fritzchen and Co. on the occasion of their 50th birthday in 2013.
What Mainz has in common with Prague and Vancouver
The street leads to Gutenbergplatz, which is occupied on the right by the side is occupied by the Mainz State Theater. On the left in front of the theater building it is worth taking a look at the ground. Because next to the cheerful you will also find the 50th degree north latitude. A golden marker points out this geographical feature. The 50th parallel runs once across Germany.
Boarding please ...
If you're already flagging, you have the option of continuing your journey by train - in miniature. A small red train called Gutenberg Express departs next to the State Theater and is used several times a day by young and old for a city tour. The Gutenberg Express is a fun alternative if you want to see something of the city despite the bad weather. The ride takes about an hour.
Who does not find anything here ....
Small but nice. The antiquarian bookshop in front of the Fischtorplatz invites book lovers and nostalgics to browse. In my hands I already had the collected works of Edgar Allan Poe, Shakespeare's historical dramas and a porcelain pig with a lampshade in its paw. In the shop window there are books and some curiosities, while the interior is filled to the brim with shelves and shelves and stacked towers of literary classics await.
There it is at last: the Rhine
After the green Mainzelmännchen gave us the go in the next traffic light we pass the Fischtorplatz and get to see Father Rhine for the first time on our tour. to see Father Rhine for the first time on our tour. He will now accompany us for the next 1.5 kilometers. because we keep to the right at the Rhine bank and enjoy the beautiful view. view.
Must not miss: the cult ice cream
In between we can stop at the ice cream parlor "N'Eis" for a short and sweeten the day with a very special scoop of ice cream. ice cream. But beware: long lines form here in the summer, because the N'Eis is very popular due to its special flavors like cucumber sorbet, Riesling, American Cheesecake, or Quark-Rote Grütze. the Cult ice cream parlor in Mainz represents.
Animal exotics in the city park
The ice cream is best enjoyed on the green area at the winter harbor. We find this by crossing the swing bridge to our left. We continue walking along the Rhine until a tower, reminiscent of a small castle, comes into our field of vision. The southern tower is located at the railroad bridge, from where we reach the other side of the tracks through a crossing. The path leads us to the City Park, where families meet for picnics, joggers and even the odd student group to study. But people have nothing to do with our next three insider tips.
Animal good continues as we take one of the paths in the city park upwards and are guided by a signpost to the bird house. Here, both from inside and outside, we can admire a pair of yellow-breasted macaws, pretty yellow buntings, colorful finches and other species of birds.
A particularly cute pair is housed here and can only be seen in pairs: the "lovebirds". This parrot species is really called that and not only remains true to its name. Because the small parrots with the colorful plumage owe their name to the lifelong bond with their partner. In this species, the principle of monogamy is still fully lived. The lovebirds can be observed in the outdoor enclosure, as they sit nestled together on the branches and help each other with personal hygiene. A sweet sight!
Blossom splendor in the rose garden
In July and August the Mainz roses are in full bloom. This is a good time to visit the rose garden integrated in the city park. With the help of the signposts will guide us there. The beautifully designed garden garden is generally a magical place to linger in the spring and summer months. to linger. We can take a short break, sit on one of the wooden benches under the gazebo or benches under the gazebo, or read the individual names of the different types of roses at the bottom of each plant. Some of the names make you smile, others make you wonder others make you wonder how this or that particular name came about. I wonder if the scent of the aspirin rose also helps against headaches?
A dream in pink
After enjoying the tranquility of the rose garden, we come to a we come to a pink secret. A bit hidden, this one lies like a small oasis at the edge of the city garden. For this we walk from the rose garden straight downwards until we reach a pond. Exotic elegance in pink awaits us there in pink awaits us, for we are standing in front of the flamingo pond. With great probability one sees the oblique birds with a leg bent in the water and and posing for the camera - pure paradise for Instagrammers. paradise for Instagrammers. Through an information board attached to the fence, visitors can learn visitors can learn about these exotic animals.
Our circular route runs below the Flamingo Pond past a goat enclosure until we meet a road junction. Now comes a short steep climb upwards.
Here Mainz shows itself especially from its historical side: the ruins of a Roman theater to our right, the Citadel to our left.
However, we focus on the hidden tips inside the citadel. Not everyone knows that in one of the back corners of the Citadel the Drususstein lies hidden. But what is it all about? In 13 BC, Nero Claudius Drusus, stepson of Emperor Augustus, was sent to secure the borders and conquer the Germanic territory beyond the Rhine. Drusus established a base camp at the mouth of the Main River and is therefore also considered the founder of the city of Mainz. In his honor, the stationed soldiers erected an empty tomb as a monument in Mogontiacum. In the Middle Ages, the once 30-meter high Drusus stone served as a watchtower. To get a glimpse of this piece or stone of history, you have to make a short detour behind the City History Museum. On the way back you can catch one of the most beautiful views over Mainz from the terrace.
More beautiful shopping in the old town
We leave the citadel behind us and climb down a small flight of stairs, where another Mainzelmännchen hides in a pedestrian traffic light. After crossing the street, we continue walking straight ahead until we come to a narrow alley in the heart of the old town - Augustinerstrasse. With its cute little shops, ice cream parlors and cafés, it is a nice end to our tour. It's a great place to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee while watching the people of Mainz stroll by.
One of my insider tips is the inconspicuous record store "Lautstark Mainz" in Augustinerstraße. Even if you don't want to buy anything - the quaint little store is just the right address for music nostalgics. Outside the store, you'll often see people browsing through old records and CDs in the display in search of a true classic. At the end of Augustinerstraße is the Kirschgarten with its picturesque half-timbered houses. The way up leads us in a few meters back to the Fastnachtsbrunnen - the starting point of our circular walk.