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Heiliggeist History



Archbishop Siegfried III. von Eppstein had the Heiliggeist Hospital built on the then Rhine riverbank, modeled after Santo Spirito in Sassia in Rome. The building was constructed in the late Romanesque style, with each of its four walls featuring a very large portal, providing access from every direction and additional light to the interior space. The most magnificent of these four portals, originally located on the Rhine side, was relocated to the cathedral in 1862.

Medieval hospitals served multiple purposes; they housed pilgrims and the homeless, strangers and the poor, the elderly, and also the sick, although the latter likely constituted a minority. The outwardly projecting eastern choir still bears witness to the chapel on the upper floor.


Under French rule, the Hospital of the Heiliggeist was closed. Subsequently, the building served various purposes, even being used as a warehouse and for physical education classes.


The Brey'sche Aktien-Brauerei opens a restaurant for the first time. At this time, the hospital is owned by the German Catholic community, which holds its services on the upper floor of the building.

In 1888, the building is sold to the Mainzer Aktien Brauerei.


During the air raid by the British Royal Air Force on Mainz on February 27, the entire city center is ablaze. The Heiliggeist is also engulfed in flames; however, its largely burned roof can be rebuilt soon after the end of the war. In the 1950s, the Heiliggeist becomes a popular dance venue.


As part of a restoration, the hospital, which had been significantly expanded and altered over previous centuries, especially on the Rhine side, is freed once again. The building is restored to its Romanesque original state, which unfortunately involves the removal of the late Gothic elements of the exterior, including the tracery windows. The last major renovation took place in 1999. The Heiliggeist is naturally under monument protection and is part of the cultural heritage of the city of Mainz.

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