13km (8 miles) S of Wiesbaden, 82km (51 miles) NW of Mannheim, 40km (25 miles) SW of Frankfurt
Mainz is located on the left bank of the Rhine, across from the Rhine's intersection with the Main River. It is thought that there may have been wine-producing vines in the area even before the coming of the Romans in 38 B.C., although it was from that time that the regions of the Rheingau and Rheinhessen became widely known for fine viticulture.
At the beginning of the Christian era, a bridge connected the settlement on the Rhine's left bank and the Roman fortifications opposite. In the 8th century, the town became a primary archbishopric. Over the centuries, church politics and a series of wars shuffled control of the city back and forth between the French (who called it "Mayence") and various German factions. Today Mainz is a bustling city, with a prosperous trade in wine and other businesses.
Most visitors will be interested in the relatively compact Altstadt, which has been restored tastefully and carefully.