Mainz Cathedral
Mainz Cathedral or St. Martin's Cathedral (in German Mainzer Dom, Martinsdom or - officially - Der Hohe Dom zu Mainz) is located near the historical center and pedestrianized market square of the city of Mainz
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...

, Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

. This 1000 year-old Roman Catholic cathedral is the site of the episcopal see
Episcopal See
An episcopal see is, in the original sense, the official seat of a bishop. This seat, which is also referred to as the bishop's cathedra, is placed in the bishop's principal church, which is therefore called the bishop's cathedral...

 of the Bishop of Mainz
Bishop of Mainz
The Diocese of Mainz is a diocese of the Catholic church in Germany. It was created in 1802 with the abolition of the old Archbishopric of Mainz. The diocese is suffragan to the Archdiocese of Freiburg; its district is located in the states of Rhineland-Palatinate and Hesse...


Mainz Cathedral is predominantly Romanesque
Romanesque architecture
Romanesque architecture is an architectural style of Medieval Europe characterised by semi-circular arches. There is no consensus for the beginning date of the Romanesque architecture, with proposals ranging from the 6th to the 10th century. It developed in the 12th century into the Gothic style,...

 in style, but later exterior additions over many centuries have resulted in the appearance of various architectural influences seen today. It comprises three nave
In Romanesque and Gothic Christian abbey, cathedral basilica and church architecture, the nave is the central approach to the high altar, the main body of the church. "Nave" was probably suggested by the keel shape of its vaulting...

s and stands under the patronage of Saint Martin of Tours
Martin of Tours
Martin of Tours was a Bishop of Tours whose shrine became a famous stopping-point for pilgrims on the road to Santiago de Compostela. Around his name much legendary material accrued, and he has become one of the most familiar and recognizable Christian saints...

. The eastern quire
Quire (architecture)
Architecturally, the choir is the area of a church or cathedral, usually in the western part of the chancel between the nave and the sanctuary . The choir is occasionally located in the eastern part of the nave...

 is dedicated to Saint Stephen
Saint Stephen
Saint Stephen The Protomartyr , the protomartyr of Christianity, is venerated as a saint in the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Orthodox Churches....


The interior of the cathedral houses tombs and funerary monuments of former powerful Electoral-prince-archbishops
A Prince-Bishop is a bishop who is a territorial Prince of the Church on account of one or more secular principalities, usually pre-existent titles of nobility held concurrently with their inherent clerical office...

, or Kurfürst-Erzbischöfe, of the diocese and contains religious works of art spanning a millennium. The cathedral also has a central courtyard and statues of Saint Boniface
Saint Boniface
Saint Boniface , the Apostle of the Germans, born Winfrid, Wynfrith, or Wynfryth in the kingdom of Wessex, probably at Crediton , was a missionary who propagated Christianity in the Frankish Empire during the 8th century. He is the patron saint of Germany and the first archbishop of Mainz...

 and The Madonna on its grounds.

Construction of the Romanesque cathedral

St. John's Church, then St. Salvator, consecrated in 911 by Archbishop Hatto I
Hatto I, Archbishop of Mainz
Hatto I was archbishop of Mainz from 891 until his death.-Biography:He belonged to a Swabian family, and was probably educated at the monastery of Reichenau, of which be became abbot in 888...

, served as the cathedral for the Bishop of Mainz until the appointment of Willigis
Saint Willigis was Archbishop of Mainz from 975 until his death as well as a statesman of the Holy Roman Empire.-Life:...

 as Archbishop of Mainz in 975.

Willigis' new cathedral

During Willigis' time, the city of Mainz flourished economically. Willigis became one of the most influential politicians of that time, he even was regent of the empire between 991 and 994. He ordered the construction of a new cathedral in the pre-Romanesque Ottonian architecture
Ottonian architecture
Ottonian Architecture is an architectural style which evolved during the reign of Emperor Otto the Great . The style was found in Germany and lasted from the mid 10th century until the mid 11th century....

. This new and impressive building was part of Willigis' vision of Mainz as the "second Rome".

This new cathedral was to take over the functions of two churches: the old cathedral and St. Alban's, which was the largest church in the area, belonging to a Benedictine abbey and serving as the burial ground for the bishops and other nobles, including Fastrada
Fastrada was an East Frankish noblewoman.* In 783, Fastrada, along with other Saxon women, entered barebreasted into battle against Charlemagne's forces.She became the third wife of Charlemagne, marrying him in 784. She bore him two children:...

, a spouse of Charlemagne
Charlemagne was King of the Franks from 768 and Emperor of the Romans from 800 to his death in 814. He expanded the Frankish kingdom into an empire that incorporated much of Western and Central Europe. During his reign, he conquered Italy and was crowned by Pope Leo III on 25 December 800...

. Most of the synod
A synod historically is a council of a church, usually convened to decide an issue of doctrine, administration or application. In modern usage, the word often refers to the governing body of a particular church, whether its members are meeting or not...

s and other important meetings were held at St. Alban's Abbey.

The new cathedral consisted of a double chancel
In church architecture, the chancel is the space around the altar in the sanctuary at the liturgical east end of a traditional Christian church building...

 with two transept
For the periodical go to The Transept.A transept is a transverse section, of any building, which lies across the main body of the building. In Christian churches, a transept is an area set crosswise to the nave in a cruciform building in Romanesque and Gothic Christian church architecture...

s. The main hall was built in the typical triple-nave
In Romanesque and Gothic Christian abbey, cathedral basilica and church architecture, the nave is the central approach to the high altar, the main body of the church. "Nave" was probably suggested by the keel shape of its vaulting...

 "cross" pattern. As was usual at that time no vault
Vault (architecture)
A Vault is an architectural term for an arched form used to provide a space with a ceiling or roof. The parts of a vault exert lateral thrust that require a counter resistance. When vaults are built underground, the ground gives all the resistance required...

 was included because of structural difficulties relating to the size of the building. Six towers rose from the church. A cloister was enclosed in the structure and a small freestanding church, St. Mary's Church, connected by a colonnade
In classical architecture, a colonnade denotes a long sequence of columns joined by their entablature, often free-standing, or part of a building....

. This small church developed later into the collegiate church
Collegiate church
In Christianity, a collegiate church is a church where the daily office of worship is maintained by a college of canons; a non-monastic, or "secular" community of clergy, organised as a self-governing corporate body, which may be presided over by a dean or provost...

 of St. Maria ad Grada.

Sandstone is a sedimentary rock composed mainly of sand-sized minerals or rock grains.Most sandstone is composed of quartz and/or feldspar because these are the most common minerals in the Earth's crust. Like sand, sandstone may be any colour, but the most common colours are tan, brown, yellow,...

 was used as the primary building material for the cathedral. The inside was plastered white under the Archbishop Bardo, probably in the middle of the 10th century. During renovations ordered by Henry IV
Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor
Henry IV was King of the Romans from 1056 and Holy Roman Emperor from 1084 until his forced abdication in 1105. He was the third emperor of the Salian dynasty and one of the most powerful and important figures of the 11th century...

 in the late 11th century, much of the outside was also plastered, but the cornice
Cornice molding is generally any horizontal decorative molding that crowns any building or furniture element: the cornice over a door or window, for instance, or the cornice around the edge of a pedestal. A simple cornice may be formed just with a crown molding.The function of the projecting...

s were left exposed in their original red and yellow. It is believed that the coloring of the cathedral was changed more times, but no further documentation of the coloring is available until record of the Baroque works.

The cathedral suffered extensive damage from a fire on the day of its inauguration in 1009. Archbishop Bardo (Bardo of Oppertshafen) presided over the completion of the cathedral begun under Willigis. By 1037 the main portions of the body of Mainz Cathedral were complete. Willigis was buried in the second church he had initiated, St. Stephan's, in 1011.

The two chancels

The reason for building two chancels is not entirely clear. Many scholars suggest that there is some symbolic significance, such as empire
The term empire derives from the Latin imperium . Politically, an empire is a geographically extensive group of states and peoples united and ruled either by a monarch or an oligarchy....

 and church
Christian Church
The Christian Church is the assembly or association of followers of Jesus Christ. The Greek term ἐκκλησία that in its appearances in the New Testament is usually translated as "church" basically means "assembly"...

, or body
With regard to living things, a body is the physical body of an individual. "Body" often is used in connection with appearance, health issues and death...

 and spirit
The English word spirit has many differing meanings and connotations, most of them relating to a non-corporeal substance contrasted with the material body.The spirit of a living thing usually refers to or explains its consciousness.The notions of a person's "spirit" and "soul" often also overlap,...

, but no irrefutable evidence for these theories exists. Others claim that the construction has a functional purpose for ceremonial procession
A procession is an organized body of people advancing in a formal or ceremonial manner.-Procession elements:...

s. Whatever the original intent of the double chancel, the eastern chancel came to serve as the location for the mass and the western chancel was reserved for the bishop
A bishop is an ordained or consecrated member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox Churches, in the Assyrian Church of the East, in the Independent Catholic Churches, and in the...

 and pontiff
A pontiff was, in Roman antiquity, a member of the principal college of priests . The term "pontiff" was later applied to any high or chief priest and, in ecclesiastical usage, to a bishop and more particularly to the Bishop of Rome, the Pope or "Roman Pontiff".-Etymology:The English term derives...


Bardo's western chancel

In most cathedrals at the time, the main chancel lay on the east side. Willigis, however, designed his cathedral with the main chancel on the west, presumably modeled after the great basilicas in Rome, which were constructed this way. (Willigis' design bore a striking resemblance to Old St. Peter's Basilica
St. Peter's Basilica
The Papal Basilica of Saint Peter , officially known in Italian as ' and commonly known as Saint Peter's Basilica, is a Late Renaissance church located within the Vatican City. Saint Peter's Basilica has the largest interior of any Christian church in the world...


The chancel was badly damaged in the fire of 1009, and remained that way under Archbishops Erkanbald
Erkanbald, Archbishop of Mainz
Erkanbald was the Abbot of Fulda from 997 and afterwards Archbishop of Mainz from 1011 until his death.Erkanbald was a member of the family of the counts of Ölsburg and was thus related to Bernard III of Sommerescheburg, Bishop of Hildesheim...

 and Aribo
Aribo, Archbishop of Mainz
Aribo was the Archbishop of Mainz from 1021 until his death. He was Primate of Germany during the succession of Conrad II.Aribo disputed with the Diocese of Hildesheim the jurisdictional right over Gandersheim Abbey, but Pope Benedict VIII found in favour of Hildesheim, a ruling which Aribo...

. The chancel was finally reconstructed under Bardo. He then buried his predecessor Aribo there, before the rest of the cathedral was even finished. (Willigis' remains are not, as sometimes believed, in Mainz Cathedral; he was buried in his second construction project, St. Stephen's).

Henry IV's eastern chancel

In 1081, fire once again struck the cathedral, and the appearance of the Salian western end is not known. In 1100, Henry IV
Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor
Henry IV was King of the Romans from 1056 and Holy Roman Emperor from 1084 until his forced abdication in 1105. He was the third emperor of the Salian dynasty and one of the most powerful and important figures of the 11th century...

 ordered reconstruction in the old Lombardic
The Lombards , also referred to as Longobards, were a Germanic tribe of Scandinavian origin, who from 568 to 774 ruled a Kingdom in Italy...

 style. The old flat chancel end on the east side was replaced with a large apse
In architecture, the apse is a semicircular recess covered with a hemispherical vault or semi-dome...

, which external gallery with a narrow arcade
Arcade (architecture)
An arcade is a succession of arches, each counterthrusting the next, supported by columns or piers or a covered walk enclosed by a line of such arches on one or both sides. In warmer or wet climates, exterior arcades provide shelter for pedestrians....

 supported by short columns crowned the semicircular wall with a wide pseudo arcade and tall pillasters on both sides. The new chancel had a triple-nave crypt
In architecture, a crypt is a stone chamber or vault beneath the floor of a burial vault possibly containing sarcophagi, coffins or relics....

. The damaged square tower had been replaced with an octagonal dome
A dome is a structural element of architecture that resembles the hollow upper half of a sphere. Dome structures made of various materials have a long architectural lineage extending into prehistory....

, above which an octagonal tower was added later. Flanking stair turrets remained from the first cathedral. These changes closely resembled the renovations Henry had overseen on Speyer Cathedral
Speyer Cathedral
The Speyer Cathedral, officially the Imperial Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption and St Stephen, in Latin: Domus sanctae Mariae Spirae in Speyer, Germany, is the seat of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Speyer and is suffragan to the Archdiocese of Bamberg. The cathedral, which is dedicated to St...

 a few years earlier.

Henry also undertook a few other minor changes, such as raising the transept on the east side and adding openings at the column level. These column-level portals were among the first ever such constructed.

Henry died in 1106, before his intended changes were complete. With his death, the funding for the renovation of the cathedral dried up and so the remaining construction was abandoned. Mainz Cathedral is considered one of the three Kaiserdome ("Emperor's Cathedrals") of the Holy Roman (German) Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

, along with Worms Cathedral
Worms Cathedral
Cathedral of St Peter is a church in Worms, southern Germany. It was the seat of the Catholic Prince-Bishopric of Worms until its extinction in 1800.It is a basilica with four round towers, two large domes, and a choir at each end...

 and Speyer Cathedral.

Evolution of the main nave

Archbishop Adalbert I of Saarbrücken (1110-1137) had a two-story chapel
A chapel is a building used by Christians as a place of fellowship and worship. It may be part of a larger structure or complex, such as a church, college, hospital, palace, prison or funeral home, located on board a military or commercial ship, or it may be an entirely free-standing building,...

, called the Gotthard Chapel, built as the official palace chapel next to the cathedral. It is believed that he also ordered the renovation of the main body of the cathedral, mainly due to similarities between the main hall and the vault
Vault (architecture)
A Vault is an architectural term for an arched form used to provide a space with a ceiling or roof. The parts of a vault exert lateral thrust that require a counter resistance. When vaults are built underground, the ground gives all the resistance required...

 of the new chapel.

Conception for the renovations was again taken from the Romanesque Speyer Cathedral. This time, however, without money from the emperor, the builders lacked the resources to acquire the high-quality sandstone
Sandstone is a sedimentary rock composed mainly of sand-sized minerals or rock grains.Most sandstone is composed of quartz and/or feldspar because these are the most common minerals in the Earth's crust. Like sand, sandstone may be any colour, but the most common colours are tan, brown, yellow,...

 used in Henry's additions. They instead used limestone
Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed largely of the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate . Many limestones are composed from skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral or foraminifera....

. The other aspects of the renovations were also much cheaper, and the extravagant style of Speyer Cathedral was largely avoided.

The central nave
In Romanesque and Gothic Christian abbey, cathedral basilica and church architecture, the nave is the central approach to the high altar, the main body of the church. "Nave" was probably suggested by the keel shape of its vaulting...

 was built to an impressive 28 meters, five meters short of Speyer Cathedral's 33. It seems that the blind arch
Blind arch
A blind arch is an arch found in the wall of a building which has been infilled with solid construction so it cannot serve as a passageway, door, or window. The term is most often associated with masonry wall construction, but is also found in other types of construction such as light frame...

es were intended to encompass the windows, as in Speyer Cathedral, but the height of the roof did not allow this. The resulting three-level effect, due to the arches ending before the windows, was a technique not before seen in architecture.

The main hall was further renovated throughout the entire 12th century. The entire outer wall structure was eventually replaced. Around the year 1200, the ceiling was replaced with a ribbed vault, a rather new technique for the time.

Additional renovations

Around the time that the ribbed vault was installed it was decided to renovate the western half of the cathedral, which had stayed relatively unchanged since Willigis' construction. In contrast to the eastern renovations done earlier, which were in a high-Romanesque style, these new changes were carried out in a late Romanesque style. A new vault was added to span the north and south arms of the transept. Large windows were added to the wall separating the transept from the main hall. The large dome connecting the transept to the main hall was decorated with frieze
thumb|267px|Frieze of the [[Tower of the Winds]], AthensIn architecture the frieze is the wide central section part of an entablature and may be plain in the Ionic or Doric order, or decorated with bas-reliefs. Even when neither columns nor pilasters are expressed, on an astylar wall it lies upon...

s and pillars.

Three small apse
In architecture, the apse is a semicircular recess covered with a hemispherical vault or semi-dome...

s and two very large pillar
A column or pillar in architecture and structural engineering is a vertical structural element that transmits, through compression, the weight of the structure above to other structural elements below. For the purpose of wind or earthquake engineering, columns may be designed to resist lateral forces...

s were added to support the small flank towers. Pediment
A pediment is a classical architectural element consisting of the triangular section found above the horizontal structure , typically supported by columns. The gable end of the pediment is surrounded by the cornice moulding...

s were added to the three open sides of the chancel. In general, the western section of the cathedral was extensively decorated to keep up with the newly renovated eastern section.

Post-Romanesque building and renovation

Already at the time of renovations on the western segment of the cathedral, new architectural styles were being ushered in. This included Gothic
Gothic architecture
Gothic architecture is a style of architecture that flourished during the high and late medieval period. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture....

 additions and, later, Baroque
Baroque architecture
Baroque architecture is a term used to describe the building style of the Baroque era, begun in late sixteenth century Italy, that took the Roman vocabulary of Renaissance architecture and used it in a new rhetorical and theatrical fashion, often to express the triumph of the Catholic Church and...

 pieces as well.

Gothic additions

The first post-Romanesque addition to the cathedral was the western rood screen. This was done in the Gothic style at the time of the western renovations. Following this example, the intersect area was heavily renovated in the next few centuries in the Gothic style.
Starting in 1279, Gothic chapels featuring large decorative windows were built onto the cathedral. In 1418 the Nassauer Chapel, a freestanding burial chapel in the middle nave was built at the request of Archbishop John II of Nassau. The construction of this chapel is attributed to Madern Gerthener
Madern Gerthener
Madern Gerthener was a German stonemason and late Gothic architect.Gerthener was born in Frankfurt to Johann Gerthener, a stonemason whose business the younger Gerthener took over by 1391. In 1395 he entered the city payroll, and soon took a leading role in the city's large construction works...

, who was also responsible for the Memorial Chapel built into the entrance hall to the western wing of the intersect area.

The towers were also renovated during this period. Belfries
Bell tower
A bell tower is a tower which contains one or more bells, or which is designed to hold bells, even if it has none. In the European tradition, such a tower most commonly serves as part of a church and contains church bells. When attached to a city hall or other civic building, especially in...

 were added to the two towers at the crossings, on the eastern tower in 1361 and on the western in 1418. These towers were topped with Gothic-style pyramid roofs. (These towers turned out to be so heavy that the eastern tower had to be supported by a pillar erected in 1430.)

The cloister
A cloister is a rectangular open space surrounded by covered walks or open galleries, with open arcades on the inner side, running along the walls of buildings and forming a quadrangle or garth...

 was heavily renovated and the Liebfrauenkirche was completely replaced at this time, marking the last of the Gothic renovations to the building. The roof on the eastern tower, however, was replaced in 1579 by a flatter one due to weight concerns. After that, no major alterations were made to the cathedral for almost two centuries.

Baroque additions

In 1767 the western cross-tower was struck by lightning and its roof was destroyed. In 1769 the engineer Franz Ignaz Michael Neumann designed a new multi-story roof for the tower. All the towers in the western wing were roofed with this new Baroque stone design, although care was taken to preserve the previous styles as well. The pinnacles of the pediments on the chapels were replaced with urn-like structures. The famed weathervane, called the Domsgickel, was added at this time as well.

The inside of the cathedral was heavily whitewashed. A statue of St. Martin was erected on the roof of the western chancel in 1769.

19th century reconstruction

The Archbishopric of Mainz
Archbishopric of Mainz
The Archbishopric of Mainz or Electorate of Mainz was an influential ecclesiastic and secular prince-bishopric in the Holy Roman Empire between 780–82 and 1802. In the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy, the Archbishop of Mainz was the primas Germaniae, the substitute of the Pope north of the Alps...

 suffered heavily in the late 18th century. Following the invasion by French revolutionary troops in 1792, Mainz came under attack from Prussia
Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

n troops in 1793 in the siege that led to the end of the Republic of Mainz
Republic of Mainz
The Republic of Mainz was the first democratic state on the current German territory and was centered in Mainz. A product of the French Revolutionary Wars, it lasted from March to July 1793.-Context:...

. This attack damaged large portions of the cathedral, particularly the east wing, the cloister, and the Liebfrauenkirche, which was demolished in 1803 (the year after Mainz lost its archbishopric and became a regular diocese
A diocese is the district or see under the supervision of a bishop. It is divided into parishes.An archdiocese is more significant than a diocese. An archdiocese is presided over by an archbishop whose see may have or had importance due to size or historical significance...

). The cathedral was used as an army camp for several years, and therefore large amounts of the cathedral's artefacts were sold, the wooden interior was burned for heat.

Bishop Colmar (1802-1818), with support from Napoleon, set into motion restoration efforts. These efforts were interrupted by quartering needs for the French Army in 1813, and the cathedral was used as a church in 1814 for the first time in eleven years. By 1831, the reparations had been for the most part completed. The major change to the building was an iron cupola
In architecture, a cupola is a small, most-often dome-like, structure on top of a building. Often used to provide a lookout or to admit light and air, it usually crowns a larger roof or dome....

 on the main eastern tower built by architect Georg Moller
Georg Moller
Georg Moller was an architect and a town planner who worked in the South of Germany, mostly in the region today known as Hessen.- Life and family background :...

. But this cupola was removed in 1870 because it was too heavy.

After that, Pierre Cuypers
Pierre Cuypers
Petrus Josephus Hubertus Cuypers was a Dutch architect. His name is most frequently associated with the Amsterdam Central Station and the Rijksmuseum , both in Amsterdam. More representative for his oeuvre, however, are numerous churches, of which he designed more than 100...

 undertook a lengthy restoration work. The support pillar in the eastern cross-tower was removed, as the heavy belfry no longer stood. The crypt in the eastern chancel was rebuilt, but not to the original specifications of the one built by Henry IV. At the conclusion of these reconstructions, a neo-Romanesque tower was erected in place of the eastern cross-tower in 1875.

At this time the cathedral was once again repainted. Large and colorful mural
A mural is any piece of artwork painted or applied directly on a wall, ceiling or other large permanent surface. A particularly distinguishing characteristic of mural painting is that the architectural elements of the given space are harmoniously incorporated into the picture.-History:Murals of...

s, including some by Philipp Veit
Philipp Veit
Philipp Veit was a German Romantic painter. To Veit is due the credit of having been the first to revive the almost forgotten technique of fresco painting.- Biography :Veit was born in Berlin, Prussia...

, were painted to decorate the inside of the cathedral.

20th century restorations

Conservation efforts began in the 1900s to save the cathedral from further damage. The correction of the Rhine river resulted in a lowering of the groundwater, the wooden substructures became rotten and the foundations started to fail and needed to be replaced. Beginning in 1909 the old foundations were underpinned. Works stopped in 1916 due to World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. Between 1924 and 1928 the fundaments were completely reinforced by a new fundament made of concrete
Concrete is a composite construction material, composed of cement and other cementitious materials such as fly ash and slag cement, aggregate , water and chemical admixtures.The word concrete comes from the Latin word...

. Concrete and steel
Steel is an alloy that consists mostly of iron and has a carbon content between 0.2% and 2.1% by weight, depending on the grade. Carbon is the most common alloying material for iron, but various other alloying elements are used, such as manganese, chromium, vanadium, and tungsten...

 were used to anchor the towers and main vault.

A new floor, made of red marble
Marble is a metamorphic rock composed of recrystallized carbonate minerals, most commonly calcite or dolomite.Geologists use the term "marble" to refer to metamorphosed limestone; however stonemasons use the term more broadly to encompass unmetamorphosed limestone.Marble is commonly used for...

, was constructed in this period. Architect Paul Meyer-Speer engineered a system to modify the inner walls with colorful sandstone, removing most of the paintings by Veit and restoring a look similar to the original Willigis-Bardo construction. Unfortunately this system did not withstand continuing restoration efforts, and by 1959 most of the color was gone.

In World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Mainz was a target of Allied bombing multiple times. The cathedral was hit several times in August 1942. Most of the roofs burned, and the top level of the cloister was destroyed. The vault, however, withstood the attacks and remained intact. The damaged elements were restored as authentically as possible, a process which continued well into the 1970s. In addition, much of the glass in the cathedral was replaced.

The outside of the cathedral was colored red to match the historical buildings of Mainz. In addition, extensive cleaning and restoration efforts were undertaken, ending in 1975. In that year, the thousandth year since the beginning of the cathedral's construction was celebrated.

In 2001, new efforts were begun to restore the cathedral both inside and outside. They are expected to take from ten to fifteen years.

Emperors and the cathedral

When Mainz was an archbishopric, the cathedral was the official seat of the archdiocese. It was from this cathedral that Frederick Barbarossa, the Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor
The Holy Roman Emperor is a term used by historians to denote a medieval ruler who, as German King, had also received the title of "Emperor of the Romans" from the Pope...

 of the time, officially announced his support for the Third Crusade
Third Crusade
The Third Crusade , also known as the Kings' Crusade, was an attempt by European leaders to reconquer the Holy Land from Saladin...

 on 27 March 1188.

During the Middle Ages, the right to crown German kings (and queens) was given to the Archbishop of Mainz. The crowning in Mainz awarded the monarch the kingdom of Germany, and a subsequent in Rome granted him the Holy Roman Empire (a nominal difference only). Because the cathedral was damaged several times, many crownings were not held there.

The following monarch
A monarch is the person who heads a monarchy. This is a form of government in which a state or polity is ruled or controlled by an individual who typically inherits the throne by birth and occasionally rules for life or until abdication...

s were crowned in the Mainz Cathedral:
  • Agnes de Poitou
    Agnes de Poitou
    Agnes of Poitou, Agnes of Aquitaine or Empress Agnes was Holy Roman Empress and regent of the Holy Roman Empire from 1056 to 1062.-Family:...

     in 1043 by Archbishop Bardo
  • Rudolf von Rheinfeld (also known as Rudolf of Swabia; oppositional king to Henry IV) on 26 March or 7 April 1077 by Siegfried I of Eppstein
  • Matilda
    Empress Matilda
    Empress Matilda , also known as Matilda of England or Maude, was the daughter and heir of King Henry I of England. Matilda and her younger brother, William Adelin, were the only legitimate children of King Henry to survive to adulthood...

     (later wife of Henry V
    Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor
    Henry V was King of Germany and Holy Roman Emperor , the fourth and last ruler of the Salian dynasty. Henry's reign coincided with the final phase of the great Investiture Controversy, which had pitted pope against emperor...

    ), on 25 July 1110 by the Frederick I, Archbishop of Cologne
    Frederick I, Archbishop of Cologne
    Frederick I was the Archbishop of Cologne from 1100 until his death.Frederick I was a son of Count Berthold I of Schwarzenburg. He became a canon in Bamberg and Speyer....

  • Philip of Swabia
    Philip of Swabia
    Philip of Swabia was king of Germany and duke of Swabia, the rival of the emperor Otto IV.-Biography:Philip was the fifth and youngest son of Emperor Frederick I and Beatrice I, Countess of Burgundy, daughter of Renaud III, count of Burgundy, and brother of the emperor Henry VI...

     on 8 September 1198 by Bishop Aimo of Tarantaise
  • Frederick II
    Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor
    Frederick II , was one of the most powerful Holy Roman Emperors of the Middle Ages and head of the House of Hohenstaufen. His political and cultural ambitions, based in Sicily and stretching through Italy to Germany, and even to Jerusalem, were enormous...

     on 9 December 1212 by Siegfried II of Eppstein
  • Heinrich Raspe
    Heinrich Raspe
    Henry Raspe succeeded Hermann II as Landgrave of Thuringia in central Germany in 1241; he later was elected anti-king in 1246–1247 in opposition to Conrad IV of Germany....

     on 22 May 1246 by Siegfried III of Eppstein


  • Wilhelm Jung: Mainz cathedral ; Translation: Margaret Marks, Editor: Schnell und Steiner, Regensburg, 1994
  • Ron Baxter: The tombs of the archbishops of Mainz, in Ute Engel and Alexandra Gajewski (eds), Mainz and the Middle Rhine Valley, (British Archaeological Assoc. Conference Transactions, 30, Leeds, British Archaeological Association
    British Archaeological Association
    The British Archaeological Association was founded in 1843; it was established by Charles Roach Smith. It is aimed at the promotion of the studies of archaeology, art and architecture and the preservation of antiquities. After disagreements arose, it was split into two organizations, the newer one...

     and Maney Publishing
    Maney Publishing
    Maney Publishing is an independent Academic publishing company specialising in peer-reviewed academic journals in materials science and engineering, the humanities, and health science. The company has offices in Leeds and London in the United Kingdom, and in Boston and Philadelphia in the United...

    . ISBN 978-1-904350-83-5 , 2007, pp. 68-79.

. The German article references the following sources:
  • Die Bischofskirche St. Martin zu Mainz, ed.: Friedhelm Jürgensmeier, Knecht Publishers, Frankfurt/Main 1986
  • Lebendiger Dom - St. Martin zu Mainz in Geschichte und Gegenwart, ed.: Barbara Nichtweiß, Philipp v. Zabern Publishers, Mainz 1998
  • Der Dom zu Mainz - Geschichte und Beschreibung des Baues und seiner Wiederherstellung, Friedrich Schneider, Publishers Ernst and Korn, Berlin, 1886
  • Der Dom zu Mainz - Ein Handbuch, August Schuchert, Wilhelm Jung, Verlag Druckhaus Schmidt & Bödige GmbH, 3rd Edition, Mainz, 1984
  • Deutsche Romanik, Bernhard Schütz, Wolfgang Müller; Herder Publishers, Freiburg i. Br. 1989
  • Mainz - Die Geschichte der Stadt, Hrsg.: Franz Dumont, Ferdinand Scherf, Friedrich Schütz; 2nd Edition; PublishersPhilipp von Zabern, Mainz 1999

Additional (web) sources for the article include:
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