Madrid, Spain. Madrid, Iowa.
Tripoli, Lebanon. Tripoli, Iowa.
The state of Nevada. Nevada, Iowa.
You know you’re a true Iowan if you can perfect the pronunciations of Madrid, Tripoli and Nevada.
But how about Guttenberg, Iowa? Founded in the mid-1850s, did you know this historic Mississippi River town was named for Johannes Gutenberg, the German man who invented movable type and began mass production of the Bible?
Rumor has it Guttenberg’s (pronounced “gut-ten-berg”) founders misspelled Gutenberg’s (pronounced “goo-ten-berg”) name, hence changing its pronunciation. Now you know.
On your next visit, stop by Guttenberg’s library where you can see a facsimile copy of one of the Bibles Gutenberg produced.
Then, set out to explore these must-see Guttenberg attractions. Here’s what I enjoyed on a recent visit.
The Landing (pictured) – Built in the mid-1800s, this you-can’t-miss-it, two-story limestone building has served as a hardware store, a warehouse and button factory until the 1950s when the button industry shuddered here. After a years-long renovation in the late 1990s, The Landing opened in 2001, boasting clean and cozy guest rooms complete with exposed brick walls and wood beams. The luckiest guests get a view of the Mississippi River, which is literally a stone’s throw away.
Riverwalk - From The Landing, this two-mile paved trail travels through downtown and then meanders along a levee and riverside green space that’s dotted to ample picnic tables and charcoals grills that welcome travelers to linger awhile and enjoy the scenery.
Riverside Grind – Stop in for a cup of joe, a smoothie, a morning snack or lunch. Relax and take in the view of Lock and Dam #10, which is just across the street!
Kann Imports – Perhaps Guttenberg’s most notable travel destination, Kann Important is a 65 year staple in the charming downtown, selling imported goods long before the Internet put the retail world at our fingertips. Wander through a unique collection of Danish Christmas Plates, Hummels, Steins, Lladro figures and much more.
Any way you say it, Guttenberg is an Iowa community that’s worth a visit.