In the heart of Mainz’s Old Town, trace the history of bookmaking and discover how the city served as the birthplace of modern printing.
The Gutenberg Museum celebrates one of the city’s most famous residents, Johannes Gutenberg. In the early 1450s, the Mainz native perfected an invention that would change the world forever: the printing press. The site is one of the world’s oldest and most comprehensive museums dedicated to printing. Find the Gutenberg Museum opposite St. Martin’s Cathedral (Dom Mainzer) in the old section of the city.
Begin your visit by viewing a short film that outlines Gutenberg’s life and work. Walk through the museum on your own, guided by an audio tour. Learn about the history of printing and bookmaking through the centuries. After discovering the museum’s highlights related to Gutenberg’s invention, get more in-depth understanding with additional audio tours that delve into niche subjects such as Books before Gutenberg, Islamic Book Art and varieties of paper.
Don’t miss the highlights of the museum, two original Gutenberg Bibles. These priceless relics were printed in the mid-15th century on Gutenberg’s original printing presses. Explore an impressive collection of bookplates, many belonging to famous and infamous owners, such as Queen Mary, Otto von Bismarck, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Mussolini, Himmler and Hitler. See the other book-related topics featured in the temporary exhibits section.
Check out the Gutenberg Workshop, a replica of Gutenberg’s original printing press created with historic accuracy according to woodcuts from the 15th and 16th centuries. Watch live daily demonstrations of typesetting and printing.
Get firsthand experience in the museum’s educational print shop, the Druckladen. Under the guidance of expert staff, try printing and typesetting. Go through the same motions that Gutenberg used over 500 years ago. Purchase a souvenir from your visit at the adjacent museum shop.
Note that the museum, the Druckladen and the Gutenberg Library have different opening days and hours. Check the schedule before your visit. Pay your entry fee at the museum’s front desk.