Saturday, July 23, 2011
We got up the very next morning and headed to Mainz. It was just over an hour’s drive away, and I figured that getting up and getting going would help us conquer jet lag more quickly. We’ve been studying medieval history, so I was really anxious to see the Gutenberg Museum and the cathedral.
The drive there was just beautiful. We all marveled at the green landscape, dotted with picturesque little villages. Pictures from the car didn’t turn out so well, of course, so those memories we’ll just have to keep in our minds.
The museum was fascinating, though unfortunately, more fascinating to adults than to children! It was definitely a “look, don’t touch” experience for the little people, and the museum designers were obviously not under 4 feet tall. Stepping up on the side of the exhibits was NOT in “ordnung.” Still, we got to see the printing press, and walk inside the vault with the Gutenberg Bibles in it. Amazing, truly amazing. Photography isn’t allowed, so you’ll have to take our word for it that we went in.
The square outside the Mainzer Dom (just across from the museum) had a lovely open-air market. We bought our lunch there and enjoyed it right along the cobblestone. The kids thought that was quite an experience.
Then, we moved on to the Dom (cathedral). Built between 991 and 1037, the building is remarkable. Soaring ceilings, gorgeous stained glass windows, sculptures: we walked around in hushed wonder.
Some of the relief images and statues creeped the kids out. Something about having skeletons in a church, I guess.
Justin said, “This is a lot nicer than our church, but also a lot scarier.” Megan was particularly discomfited. She wrote in her journal, “We went to a cathedral. It was creepy and I don’t talk about it.”