Mainz(redirected from Mainz, Germany)
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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.