Germany: Mainz

Mainz is the capital of Rheinland and the largest city in the area, it originally used to be one of the northernmost outposts of the Roman Empire, founded back in the 1st century BC as Mogontiacum. In the Middle Ages, it became the free city of the Holy Roman Empire and a major center of christianization. During the French Revolution, the city declared its independence as the Republic of Mainz. Throughout the next two centuries, it changed hands between the French and Germans. The Mainz old town is full of historic buildings, including a grand cathedral, a massive theater, and many beautiful timber houses. But most important is the Gutenberg museum dedicated to the city’s son and inventor of the press.