Die Mainzer Zitadelle, Mainz

#6 of 11 in Historic Sites in Mainz
Historic Site · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
The Mainzer Zitadelle is situated at the fringe of the Old Town near Mainz Römisches Theater station. The fortress was constructed in 1660 and was an important part of the Fortress Mainz.
The Jakobsberg hill, where the citadel was constructed, had been occupied by a Benedictine abbey during the middle ages (since 1050). Halfway up the hill, the amphitheater of the Roman settlement of Mogontiacum, which has been recently excavated, must also have been visible at that time. The Jakobsberg hill, however, had not been integrated in the ring of the defensive city walls of the town and this flank of the city was therefore only slightly protected. This position immediately at the gates of the town opened a strategic gap, as an aggressor could use the hill for a raid into Mainz or for a cannonade. The construction of the "Schweickhardtsburg" fortress under the supervision of cathedral vicar Adolph von Waldenburg during the years 1620-29 provisionally filled this gap and integrated the hill into the system of city walls. The name of the irregularly pentagonal fortification honors the reigning monarch of that time, the prince-elector Johann Schweikhard von Kronberg.
Around 1655 prince-elector Johann Philipp von Schönborn initiated an improvement of the fortification of the entire town comprising bastions according to French type. Within this modification of the fortress, the Schweickhardtsburg was converted into the regular, quadrangular citadel, as it is today. St. Jacobs abbey and the Roman cenotaph, the Drususstein, remained untouched within the fortress.
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  • This citadel is well located. Mainz a few centuries ago, one of the most important cities in Europe does not matter today. The Citadel is a building structure that once had phenomenal significance...  more »
  • loved the walk around, inside was closed while we were there, but the area was very interesting and walking the walls was great.  more »
  • Pleasant Cafe, very tidy but museum was closed at time of visiting. The special features of the citadel were closed. I would have liked to have seen much more, as my Great-Grandfather had been a POW there, for part of the Great War.
  • Was there for an open air concert (Midnight Oil). Very nice location for such an event. Even the band was overwhelmed by the atmosphere over there.
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