mainz old town view from the citadel (november 2003)
coat of arms
|coordinates: 50°0′n 8°16′e / 50°0′n 8°16′e / 50.000; 8.267(2018-12-31)|
| • total||217,118|
| • density||2,200/km2 (5,800/sq mi)|
|time zone||cet/cest (utc+1/+2)|
|dialling codes||06131, 06136|
satellite view of mainz (south of the rhine) and wiesbaden
mainz (/; german: [maɪ̯nt͡s] (listen); latin: mogontiacum, french: mayence) is the capital and largest city of rhineland-palatinate, germany. the city is located on the rhine river at its confluence with the main river, opposite wiesbaden on the border with hesse. mainz is an independent city with a population of 217,118 (2018) and forms part of the frankfurt rhine-main metropolitan region.
mainz was founded by the romans in the 1st century bc during the classical antiquity era, serving as a military fortress on the northernmost frontier of the roman empire and as the provincial capital of germania superior. mainz became an important city in the 8th century ad as part of the holy roman empire, becoming the capital of the electorate of mainz and seat of the archbishop-elector of mainz, the primate of germany. mainz is famous as the home of johannes gutenberg, the inventor of the movable-type printing press, who in the early 1450s manufactured his first books in the city, including the gutenberg bible. mainz was heavily damaged during world war ii, with more than 30 air raids destroying about 80 percent of the city's center, including most of the historic buildings. today, mainz is a transport hub and a center of wine production.