Mainz, Germany, is filled with exciting history. My Zurich to Paris Viking River Cruise included a walking tour with a narrative of the city's 2,000 years of history.
Old Town is enchanting. One stop was Mainz Cathedral. This soaring landmark is more than 1,000 years old, with six magnificent towers.
We were privy to hundreds of years of religious works on display and the tombs of powerful prince-archbishops serving the area hundreds of years old.
As beautiful as Old Town is with its medieval houses, storefronts, and picturesque streets, the Gutenberg Museum fascinated me the most.
The museum, dedicated to the inventor of movable type and book printing, was founded in 1900, 500 years after the birth of Johannes Gutenberg.
It was crowded with tour groups that day, but soon, it was our turn to learn about Gutenberg's innovation and invention.
A knowledgeable local tour guide explained how typeset was painstakingly made. First, the letters are created by pouring metal into a cylinder, fitted into a frame, and finally, by pressing a sheet of paper with the letters (ready in a pre-assembled block, the printed word is complete. The first books printed were Bibles.
The museum made several significant acquisitions, including a second Gutenberg Bible, the Shuckburgh Bible in two volumes, and two block books printed using wooden forms. They are extremely rare.
Publishers, manufacturers of printing machines, and printing houses also donated historical books, apparatus, and devices, forming the collection's basis.
I was excited to see the Bibles and peruse the centuries-old machinery.
After our tour and I had free time, I returned to the museum to continue looking at the displays.
Viking Cruises offers excellent included tours for its passengers. Touring Mainz and visiting the museum were like gifts to me.
If you love beautiful vistas and history, you will love sailing with Viking Cruises.
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