Beneath its six soaring towers, immerse yourself in over a millennium’s worth of history at the city’s opulent sandstone cathedral.
Find Mainz Cathedral, also known as Mainzer Dom or St. Martin’s Cathedral, in the city center. The towering structure is one of the most impressive examples of Romanesque religious architecture on the Upper Rhine. Since A.D. 975, the cathedral has stood sentry in Mainz. Unlike many other historic buildings in the city, it survived World War II with minimal damage.
Enter Mainz Cathedral through the Marktportal gate. Follow in the footsteps of archbishops and kings who also passed through the ancient arched doorway. During its inception, the archbishops of Mainz wanted to build a massive cathedral to represent their powerful influence in politics and religion. Mainz Cathedral became the coronation site of German kings and a powerhouse of the Roman Catholic Church.
Over time, various leaders in the city made their mark on the cathedral. Note a variety of architectural styles on display outside; in addition to its dominant Romanesque structure, it has Gothic chapels and bell towers, along with a Baroque roof.
Inside Mainz Cathedral, discover the tombs and funerary monuments of archbishops of the diocese. See an impressive collection of religious-themed art that spans a thousand years. Explore the cathedral’s central courtyard and its grounds, which are home to statues of St. Boniface and the Madonna.
Admire the many special features of Mainz Cathedral. Rather uniquely, it has double chancels. The eastern chancel was the venue for Mass, while the western chancel was saved for the bishop and other high-ranking figures. Spend some time in its breathtaking central nave, which sweeps nearly three stories high. Examine its colorful religious paintings designed by Philipp Veit, a Nazarene artist.
Step outside the cathedral and check out the quaint market square next door. Join Mainz residents on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday to purchase local foods, flowers and other goods in the market. If you visit in December, don’t miss the famously festive Christmas markets.
Finish your visit to Mainz Cathedral at Gotthard Chapel, next door. Inside the Gothic-style cloister, visit the Episcopal Cathedral and Diocesan Museum. Trace the cathedral through the years and learn more about Mainz and its religious history.