UNESCO World Heritage in the state capital

SchUM City Mainz

The state capital of Rhineland-Palatinate, Mainz, hosts one of the oldest Jewish communities in the German-speaking region. As early as the 10th century, a Jewish community existed in "Magenza," which gained fame through the work of its scholars and made the city a religious and cultural center of Judaism in the Middle Ages. The Jewish heritage in Mainz tells a story with bright and dark sides, accompanying the community from its heyday through persecution and pogroms to the Shoah and into the present day.

Building on this heritage, the city of Mainz - along with the cities of Worms and Speyer - was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in 2021. Under the name SchUM, attention is drawn to the past and present Jewish culture. Thus, Mainz remains a symbol for preserving cultural heritage and the former heyday of the Jewish community.

Discover Jewish Tradition and Modernity!

In Mainz come together Jewish heritage and Jewish modernity, inviting you on an exploration tour of Ashkenazi Judaism from the Middle Ages to the present. In addition to the recognized UNESCO World Heritage site, the old Jewish cemetery "Heiliger Sand," in Mainz, you can visit the New Synagogue, the Mainzer Judengasse, and many other sites on your own, with the storytelling app "SchUM," or with a guided tour.

Guided tours in Mainz

You can learn interesting facts about Jewish history in and around Mainz, as well as the UNESCO World Heritage site "Heiliger Sand," during one of the numerous guided tours offered by the Mainz tour guides. Click here to go directly to the Mainz City Marketing website.

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Storytelling-App "SchUM"

Explore the UNESCO World Heritage "SchUM-Stätten Speyer, Worms, and Mainz" together with the SchUM app and embark on an exciting journey through space and time. The storytelling app brings the Jewish monuments of the SchUM cities closer to you in an interactive way through captivating stories.

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Interesting Facts about SchUM in Mainz

What does the acronym SchUM actually stand for?

The acronym "SchUM" refers to the three historical Jewish communities in medieval Germany: Speyer, Worms, and Mainz. The letters "SchUM" come from the initial letters of the medieval names of these cities in Hebrew:

  • S for Schpira (Speyer)
  • U for Warmaisa (Worms)
  • M for Magenza (Mainz)

These three cities had a significant Jewish presence and played a crucial role in Jewish history and culture during the Middle Ages. SchUM represents the outstanding Jewish communities and their cultural, religious, and intellectual significance during that time.

How can I best explore the Jewish heritage sites in Mainz?

When visiting Mainz, there are several ways to explore the rich Jewish heritage and the often painful history of the Jewish community in the city. A good option is to participate in a guided tour of Mainz led by local guides who share interesting details about Judaism in Mainz. Additionally, the Stadthistorische Museum and the Landesmuseum in Mainz host fascinating exhibitions focusing on the history and present of Judaism. Of course, you can also explore the sites of Jewish history on your own.

Check the opening hours of the museums and memorial sites you plan to visit before your trip.

Which places should I visit to learn more about the Jewish history of Mainz?

  • Old Jewish Cemetery "Judensand": Once the oldest and largest medieval cemetery in Central European Jewry, it houses around 1,800 Jewish tombstones.
  • New Synagogue: Built in 2010, the New Mainz Synagogue offers guided tours.
  • Mainzer Judengasse: Located in the center of the former Jewish quarter, in parts of the 17th and 18th centuries, Mainz Jews were only allowed to live in this alley, resulting in densely built houses with above-average height and depth.
  • Judaica Collection at the State Museum: This is home to an outstanding collection of Jewish ritual objects, as well as the oldest Jewish tombstone in Central Europe from 1049.
  • Stolpersteine: As part of the memorial, now comprising over 100,000 stones, the "Stolpersteine" in Mainz commemorate the numerous victims of National Socialism.
  • St. Stephan: The church in Mainz's Oberstadt is the only German church for which Marc Chagall created windows. The blue windows, installed in 1978, are intended to symbolize Jewish-Christian solidarity and understanding among nations.

You can explore these places either with a guided city tour or venture out on your own. If you want to delve deeper into the background of Judaism in the SchUM cities, you can embark on a journey through time with the SchUM App.

The perfect day in Mainz

View of the cathedral St.Martin in Mainz, © © Dominik Ketz


The 2000-year history of the city of Mainz, home to ZDF and Mainz 05, began with the Romans. In the picturesque old town, you feel transported to the Middle Ages, and Johannes Gutenberg marks the transition to the modern era. The inventor of the printing press is the city's greatest son, honored with the Gutenberg Monument, the Gutenberg Museum, and the Johannisnacht festival. But Mainz also offers plenty of unique features and a great deal of joie de vivre in the here and now!

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