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Mainz

Mainz (pronounced /ˈmaɪ̯nts/) (French: Mayence) is a city in Germany and the capital of the German federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate. It was a politically important seat of the Prince-elector of Mainz (see: Archbishopric of Mainz) under the Holy Roman Empire, and previously was a Roman fort city which commanded the west bank of the Rhine and formed part of the northernmost frontier of the Roman Empire. Up until the twentieth century, Mainz was usually referred to in English as Mayence.
Mainz is a city with over two thousand years of history. It is located on the river Rhine across from Wiesbaden, in the western part of the Frankfurt Rhine-Main Region; in the modern age, Frankfurt shares much of its regional importance.

Republic of Mainz


Main article: Republic of Mainz

During the French Revolution, the French Revolutionary army occupied Mainz in 1792; the Archbishop of Mainz, Friedrich Karl Josef von Erthal, had already fled to Aschaffenburg by the time the French marched in. On 18 March 1793, the Jacobins of Mainz, with other German democrats from about 130 towns in the Rhenish Palatinate, proclaimed the ‘Republic of Mainz’. Led by Georg Forster representatives of the Mainz Republic in Paris requested political affiliation of the Mainz Republic with France, but too late: As Prussia was not entirely happy with the idea of a democratic free state on German soil, Prussian troops had already occupied the area and besieged Mainz by the end of March, 1793. After a siege of 18 weeks, the French troops in Mainz surrendered on 23 July 1793; Prussians occupied the city and ended the Republic of Mainz. Members of the Mainz Jacobin Club were mistreated or imprisoned and punished for treason.
In 1797, the French returned. The army of Napoléon Bonaparte occupied the German territory to the west of the Rhine river, and the Treaty of Campo Formio awarded France this entire area. On 17 February 1800, the French Département du Mont-Tonnerre was founded here, with Mainz as its capital, the Rhine river being the new eastern frontier of la Grande Nation. Austria and Prussia could not but approve this new border with France in 1801. However, after several defeats in Europe during the next years, the weakened Napoléon and his troops had to leave Mainz in May 1814.

Hessian Mainz

In 1816, the part of the former French Département which is known today as Rhenish Hesse (German: Rheinhessen) was awarded to the Hesse-Darmstadt, Mainz being the capital of the new Hessian province of Rhenish Hesse. From 1816 to 1866, to the German Confederation Mainz was the most important fortress in the defence against France, and had a strong garrison of Austrian and Prussian troops.
In the afternoon of 18 November 1857, a huge explosion rocked Mainz when the city’s powder magazine, the Pulverturm, exploded. Approximately 150 people were killed and at least 500 injured; 57 buildings were destroyed and a similar number severely damaged in what was to be known as the Powder Tower Explosion or Powder Explosion.
During the Austro-Prussian War in 1866, Mainz was declared a neutral zone. After the founding of the German Empire in 1871, Mainz no longer was as important a stronghold, because in the war of 1870/71 France had lost the territory of Alsace-Lorraine to Germany, and this defined the new border between the two countries.

Industrial expansion

For centuries the inhabitants of the fortress of Mainz had suffered from a severe shortage of space which led to disease and other inconveniences. In 1872 Mayor Carl Wallau and the council of Mainz persuaded the military government to sign a contract to expand the city. Beginning in 1874, the city of Mainz assimilated the Gartenfeld, an idyllic area of meadows and fields along the banks of the Rhine River to the north of the rampart. The city expansion more than doubled the urban area which allowed Mainz to participate in the industrial revolution which had previously avoided the city for decades.

(Source Wikipedia)