Mainz began as the Roman fortress-city of Moguntiacum, founded in 13 BC, and would develop into one of the ancient empire’s strategic bases from which it could maintain rule over the Germanic tribes, at least until the beginning of its own demise three hundred years later.

Following the fall of Rome, Frank King Clovis I ruled all of Western Europe, including Mainz.  Under continued Frankish rule, the city grew as an early medieval center of political prestige and relatively fervent Christian worship.  

When the Holy Roman Empire was founded towards the close of the first millennium, the Archbishop of Mainz acted as one of the system’s electors, and the town grew in Christian prominence.  From this era onwards to the nineteenth century, Mainz archbishops acted as Holy Roman Empire archchancellors and thus held much sway in imperial politics.  Mainz is the only city outside of Rome named as a Holy See

After French occupation for nearly a quarter century during the revolutionary and Napoleonic eras, the German Confederation of Mainz would become increasingly nationalistic and ultimately become incorporated into an integrated German state come 1871.

French rule was reprised for ten years following the First World War, and over eighty percent of the inner city was destroyed during World War Two, leveling most of the city’s historic buildings.  

Ever since this tragedy, however, Mainz has recovered and prospered as a vibrant city of trade and tourism.