From the 34 guard and gate towers of the medieval city walls, there are only three remaining, namely Alexanderturm, Holzturm and Eisenturm. Built around 1240. The Eisenturm is a six-storey solid stone tower near the site of the former iron market on the banks of the Rhine. Hence its name, which translates as "iron tower".
The Eisenturm served as a watchtower and a military prison. Today, it is a venue for arts exhibitions.
Located between the modern City Hall, the thoroughfare of Rheinstrasse and the "Am Brand" shopping centre, the tower has not lost any of its medieval charm. Kunstverein Eisenturm Mainz e. V. established in 1975 refurbished the building which now houses an impressive collection of contemporary art. For details regarding exhibitions and opening times, please visit the website of Kunstverein Eisenturm Mainz.
Eisenturm (tower of the city wall)
The oldest reference to this six-storey tower dates from 1366 when it is referred to as the "new tower". The Holzturm was part of the Rhine bank section of the city wall, linking the old centre and the fishing village of Selenhofen, which was incorporated into the fortifications around that time. Its distinct shape is the result of refurbishments in the early 15th century when the tower was converted into a prison. While its height, masonry work, quoins and ledges are similar to those of the Eisenturm, the Holzturm is more slender in its proportions. Its lancet arched windows are distributed evenly across the façade. Above the gate, we have two large cornices with recessed linked lancet arched windows and reliefs. The statues to the left represent a royal couple, while the two figures to the right depict a patrician couple (distinguished by the hair band). Similar figures of untitled couples dating from the 14th century were salvaged from Haus zum Molsberg destroyed in the Second World War. They are now on display at Mainz State Museum. The lancet arch gate of the Holzturm features a cross-ribbed arch towards the side of the city and is now about two metres below street level. Polygonal turrets with tall pointed roofs sprout from all four corners of the base of the steep pitched main roof and date from the 15th century. They are typical for towers of this era and were restored in 1961.