The capital of the Rhineland-Palatinate, Mainz has around 200,000 inhabitants and lies directly on the west bank of the Rhine. The city owes its title of "City of Science 2011" to its university, colleges, associations, and educational institutions. The city started developing into a media hub when ZDF (Second German Television) settled in Mainz. Other television networks include 3Sat and SWR (Southwest Broadcasting). The economic structure is predominantly characterized by medium-sized companies.
Mainz is also known across Germany as a carnival hotspot. The first such activities took place as early as the 16th century in the regional capital – a tradition that the people of Mainz still maintain today.