Mainz

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Mainz

(mīnts), city (1994 pop. 185,487), capital of Rhineland-Palatinate, W Germany, a port on the E bank of the Rhine River opposite the mouth of the Main River. Its French name, also sometimes used in English, is Mayence. The city is an industrial, commercial, and transportation center. Chemicals, pharmaceuticals, machinery, glassware, and musical instruments are produced; the city is also a trade center for Rhine wines. Mainz is one of the great historical cities of Germany. It grew on the site of the Roman camp of Maguntiacum, or Mogontiacum (founded 1st cent. B.C.). The city was made (746–47) the seat of the first German archbishop, who was St. Boniface (c.675–754). The later archbishops acquired considerable territory around Mainz and in Franconia, on both sides of the Main, which they ruled as princes of the Holy Roman Empire. Very early they received a vote in the imperial elections and had precedence over the other electorselectors,
in the history of the Holy Roman Empire, the princes who had the right to elect the German kings or, more exactly, the kings of the Romans (Holy Roman emperors).
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; they crowned the German kings. From the 16th cent., with the emperors-elect, the archbishops-electors were, ex officio, archchancellors of the Holy Roman Empire. Under the rule of the archbishops-electors Mainz flourished as a commercial and cultural center. Johann Gutenberg (c.1397–1468) lived in Mainz, which he made the first printing center of Europe. Occupied in 1792 by the French, the city was ceded to France by the treaties of Campo Formio (1797) and Lunéville (1801), and the archbishopric was secularized and reduced to a diocese in 1803. The last archbishop, K. T. von Dalberg, became (1806) prince-primate of the Confederation of the Rhine. The Congress of Vienna made (1815) Mainz a federal fortress of the German Confederation and awarded it, with Rhenish Hesse, to the grand duchy of Hesse-Darmstadt. The city was made (1816) the provincial capital of Rhenish Hesse. It was (1873–1918) a fortress of the German Empire. Mainz was severely damaged during World War II, but was largely restored and rebuilt after 1945. Noteworthy structures in the old inner city include the six-towered Romanesque cathedral (consecrated 1009; restored 19th cent.); the Renaissance-style electoral (archiepiscopal) palace (17th–18th cent.), which houses an art gallery and a museum of Roman and Germanic antiquities; and the Church of St. Peter (18th cent.). The Univ. of Mainz was founded in 1477, was discontinued in 1816, and was reestablished in 1946 as the Johannes Gutenberg Univ. In 1945 the city's suburbs on the right bank of the Rhine were transferred to the state of Hesse.

Mainz

 

a city in the Land of Rheinland-Pfalz in the Federal Republic of Germany, on the Rhine near where the Main River flows into it. Population, 172,200 (1971).

Mainz is a railroad junction and port (with a turnover of goods exceeding 3 million tons in 1971). It has machine building (including railroad cars and steel structures), electrical-engineering, chemical, woodworking, textile, glass, cement, food, and printing industries. Mainz is the center for the production and sale of Rhine wines. The Johannes Gutenberg University (founded 1477), an academy of sciences and literature, and the Chemical Institute of the Max Planck Society are there.

In ancient times a Celtic settlement occupied the site where Mainz now stands. Near the site the Romans, at the end of the first century B.C., founded a fortified camp; Mainz (Mogontiacum) was the chief city of the Roman province of Upper Germany. From the eighth century it served as the residence of the archbishops, and later it was the center of the Mainz Electorate, one of the most influential ecclesiastical principalities of the Holy Roman Empire (which existed until the beginning of the 19th century). In 1244 the city achieved self-government (which it lost in 1462). In the mid-13th century it headed the Rhenish Confederation. J. Gutenberg, inventor of European book printing, lived and worked there. During the Great French Revolution, it was in 1792-93 the center of the revolutionary movement. In 1797 it was part of France (Mayence); from 1816 it was part of the Grand Duchy of Hesse-Darmstadt; and from 1866 it was included in Prussia. From 1918 to 1930 it was under French occupation; after World War II, it was in the French occupation zone (until 1949).

Among the city’s architectural monuments is the Romanesque “imperial” Cathedral of St. Martin. The eastern part dates from the late tenth and early 11th centuries; the western part, from 1200-39. The main tower was constructed in the 15th century and in 1767-74, the Gothic side-chapels in the 12th century, and the gravestones of the archbishops in the 13th-18th centuries. Also noteworthy are the Gothic Church of St. Stephen (14th century) and Carmelite Church (13th-14th centuries) and baroque churches dating from the 1750’s through the 1770’s. There is also the Electoral Castle (17th-18th centuries). Monuments damaged in 1942 were restored in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

REFERENCE

Arens, F. V. Das goldene Mainz: Ein Führer … . Mainz, 1969.

Mainz

a port in W Germany, capital of the Rhineland-Palatinate, at the confluence of the Main and Rhine: an archbishopric from about 780 until 1801; important in the 15th century for the development of printing (by Johann Gutenberg). Pop.: 185 532 (2003 est.)