Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Mainz / 2 Paul's
See on the pictures above two Paul's. The first one is St. Paul, depicted in the Augustinian church. According to the note, St.Paul was born between 07 and 10 AD and Pope Benedict has declared this year, 2009, the St. Paul birthday year, for all to celebrate. (I guess he could not declare it a John Calvin year. He is better off with Paul, anyways.) The other Paul is the little toddler in the stroller, newest edition to the extended clan of cousins of my generation.
Also see the facade of the Augustinian church in the pedestrian zone. You can see how it is wedged in between the houses. Downtown Mainz is very old and tight with narrow, tall houses very close together in places. They made me think of Venice minus the canals. (Not quite that tight). Of course, it is also close to the river Rhine.
See also a small portion of the "Mainzer Dom", Mainz Cathedral. We visited the Dom last time. According to Wikipedia it is dedicated to St. Martin of Tours, therefore also the St. Martin's Cathedral. We learn from Wikipedia, also that a number of emperors were crowned there. Mainz has been a hugely important city. Was it not the simony of the archbishopric that sparked or supported the indulgence sale which then blew up into the reformation? Let's not forget Gutenberg and his printing press, which also stood in Mainz.
Also, see a little family member on a piece of art along the Rhine river, entitled "Noah's ark". It certainly looked like it was meant to be climbed on.
The ships in the Roman navigation museum are Roman artifacts and reconstructions of such. There were large Roman fleets in many parts of the empire. Mainz boasts a treasure trove of ship planks of such boats, so many in fact that they don't know what to do with them. There exist also Roman ruins, which I have not seen, yet, since they are said not to be a great place to take children.
Mainz is a very exciting city with tons of history, charm, modern flair and international connections. Everyone knows that it lies at the confluence of the Rhine and the Main rivers, which, no doubt, has contributed to its importance over the millenia.