The Gutenberg Museum in Mainz
by Marius Busch
The Gutenberg Museum lies across from the cathedral in the historic section of Mainz and is a treat for those interested in the advent of printing.
In the Internet age the name Gutenberg still stands as a strong symbol of media innovation. With the invention of printing with moveable type, Gutenberg ignited the phenomenon of mass production of information. The Gutenberg Museum, founded by the inhabitants of Mainz in 1900 as a tribute to Johannes Gutenberg on his 500th anniversary, specializes in printing and typography and maintains an excellent reputation world-wide.
The most precious pieces on display at the museum are the original 42-line Bibles dating from 1455. These Bibles are considered the first-ever printed books using Gutenberg’s technique. Up until 1455, Bibles were hand-written by monks and the process took as long as 20 years. With the help of moveable letters, mass production was on its way.
In the Gutenberg Museum you get an inside look at this great invention and at unique and valuable treasures. A guided tour teaches you about Gutenberg’s life, how he couldn’t make a profit from his invention and died a poor man. You can also see how letters were brought to paper before Gutenberg and in other parts of the world. Bettina Link, a tour guide at the museum, says: “We even have a workshop, a reconstruction of an old printing chamber, where it is demonstrated to our visitors how the machines were worked and books were made in these early times of printing.”
Tours through the museum are available in English. Learn more by visiting the Gutenberg Museum English website.
Why not explore Wiesbaden while you’re near the area?
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