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This post is about a visit to the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz. We have a good Turkish breakfast and marvel at flamingos.

“Old books!” exclaimed the weirdo once again. And so we went to the Gutenberg Museum. Johannes Gutenberg, who is typically credited with the invention of movable type in Europe, lived here in Mainz in the 15th century.

Turkish breakfast

But first we went and had breakfast, Turkish breakfast. One of Germany’s tragedies was the fact that many people seemed to associate Turkish food mainly with döner kebab: dude with a mustache and a long knife standing next to a vertical rotisserie. Just that.

Oh, the unsung joys of Turkish breakfast!

the museum

It was already early in the afternoon when we arrived at the museum. First we went to a demonstration of Gutenberg’s printing process. A dude was operating a big mechanical press. There were a few cheers from the audience, and a little kid with his mom got to operate the press. It was fun.

The museum itself wasn’t so good, though. It was very dark, and the light sources were somehow installed in positions so that the visitors would cast their own shades on the exhibits. Also, the museum wasn’t very interactive or immersive. Whereas the Humanist Library in Sélestat had been an open space with lots of light and computer screens that explained the exhibits, the Gutenberg Museum was a bunch of dark rooms and corridors with old books in them.

One vault room had Gutenberg’s original bible in it. And while it was indeed fascinating to think that this very book had been created by Gutenberg himself, it was still a somewhat impersonal experience.

We walked back through a park and saw a bunch of flamingos, though.

“Aren’t they cold?” asked the weirdo.


the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz:

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