Jill is one of the group of pilgrims. She wrote this.
Following our visit to St Stephen’s Church yesterday where we were treated to an array of beautiful blue stained glass windows designed by Marc Chagall we set off on foot from the hotel to explore Mainz.
Passing the Carnival Fountain en route we visited the Gutenberg Museum. Johannes Gutenberg was born in 1400 and was the first to use a printing press with moveable metal letters, thus introducing the era of mass communication. He first adapted a wine press for use as a printing press and one of our group volunteered to show how this was done following a detailed demonstration.
Gutenberg was considered to be “Man of the Millennium” in terms of the impact of his invention followed by Columbus and Martin Luther in third place. We visited St Martin’s Cathedral where we observed a minute’s silence as 12 noon (11am UK time). We then dispersed to seek out lunch, first visiting the banks of the Rhine.
After lunch we travelled to Worms and visited the main Lutheran church there which was originally built in the 18th century on the place which was thought to be where Luther appeared before the Diet of Worms. Much of the church had been rebuilt following the Second World War.
We took the opportunity to enjoy an ice cream and then a group photo in front of the Luther memorial before moving onto the site of former Archbishop’s Palace where it is believed that Luther refused to revoke his writing in front of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.
“Here I stand, I can do no other” are the words attributed to Luther and have meaning for the German people today, by standing in his big shoes.
Our next stop was St Peter’s Cathedral and then the Jewish Cemetery which survived the war and house some ancient graves.
Then finally back to the coach where we could reflect on an interesting and thought-provoking day.