Men'Tz (Ger. Mainz; Fr. Mayence; anc. Mo-guntiacum), a fortified city of Germany, capital of Rhenish Hesse, on the left bank of the Rhine, nearly opposite its junction with the Main, 20 m. W. S. W. of Frankfort, with which it is connected by railway, and within a few miles of Wiesbaden; pop. in 1871, inclusive of the garrison, 53,918. A bridge of boats 1,700 ft, long connects it with the village of Castel on the opposite bank of the Rhine, and a costly railway bridge, erected in 1862, connects it with the opposite side of the Main. The system of fortification is extensive and elaborate, controlling both sides of the Rhine, and consist-nit: of a double line of wall, with bastions and outworks, and citadel in the centre. The town riaes from the river in the form of an amphitheatre. The houses are generally lofty, and many of the streets are narrow and confined. Of late years a better system of building has prevailed, and there are several handsome squares. The Gutenberg-Platz contains a monument to Gutenberg, who was born and died in Mentz, with a statue by Thorwaldsen, and the Schiller-Platz has a bronze statue of the poet.
There are 11 churches, including the church of St. Ignatius, the ceiling of which is adorned with paintings from the life of the saint; and the cathedral, founded in the 10th century and rebuilt in the 14th, of little architectural merit, but having fine painted windows and a beautiful pulpit. It suffered greatly during the siege of 1793, and of its treasures and famous library nothing is left; but it contains the monuments of several of the archbishop-electors of Mentz. The old electoral palace, restored in 1844, contains the town library of 120,-000 volumes, a picture gallery, and a fine museum of Roman antiquities. There are Roman remains in and near Mentz, which was a Roman camp under Drusus; among them are the Eichelstein, a great stone on one of the bastions of the citadel, which has been thought to be a monument of Drusus, and the pillars of an aqueduct and the piers of a bridge supposed to have been built by him. A remarkable fragment of Roman statuary was found here in March, 1874. The site of the house of Gutenberg is occupied by the casino, or reading room, and the rooms of a literary association. The house in which he was born is still standing, and that also which contained his first printing press.
The trade up and down the Rhine and the Main, and by the railway, is increasing continually. The manufactures are not very important; they consist mostly of leather, tobacco, soap, pianofortes, hats, glue, and vinegar. - The city was a place of importance under the Romans, and was destroyed by the barbarians in 406. It was rebuilt by the Frankish kings, and enlarged by Charlemagne. Under St. Boniface it became the seat of an archbishop. Under the German empire the archbishop of Mentz ranked first among the three ecclesiastical electors, and held the dignity of arch-chancellor. The electorate, which originally did not embrace the city of Mentz, had extensive possessions on both sides of the Rhine, eventually including Erfurt and Eichfeld. In the 13th century Mentz stood at the head of the league of the Rhenish towns. Through Gutenberg it became the centre of bookmaking. In 1486 it was annexed to the electorate. During the thirty years' war, it was taken by the Swedes in 1631, by the imperialists in 1635, and by the French in 1644. After the peace of Westphalia it was restored to the elector John Philip, who strengthened the fortifications; but it was again taken by the French in 1688, and retaken by the Saxons and Bavarians in 1689. It was betrayed to the French general Custine in 1792, but was reduced by the Prussians under Kalk-reuth in 1793. By the peace of Luneville (1801), which dissolved the electorate (see Dalberg), Mentz was allotted to France, but by the congress of Vienna (1814) to the grand duke of Hesse-Darmstadt, as a fortress of the German confederation, to be garrisoned by a mixed force of Austrians, Prussians, and Hessians, the offices being divided between Austria and Prussia. In the spring of 1848 disturbances among the people led to a riotous and bloody strife,"May 21, between the citizens and the Prussian soldiers; but the difficulties were adjusted by a commission from the German national assembly.
On Nov. 18, 1857, a military magazine blew up, destroying an' entire street, with many lives and much property. On the outbreak of the Austro-Prussian war in 1866, the Austrians and Prussians left the fortress, which was garrisoned by the Hessian troops alone. After the conclusion of peace the Prussians returned, and secured the sole right of garrison. In 1871 it became one of the fortresses of the German empire. It has a garrison of 8,000 men. In February, 1873, it was proposed to remodel the fortifications. Mentz is one of the chief centres of the Catholic societies of Germany, and in June, 1874, it was made the permanent seat of the Catholic association, whose object is the support of the pope and the bishops against the imperial government.
Cathedral of Mentz.