Ulm is a medieval-born city in the south German state of Baden-Württemberg. The massive gothic Ulm Minster, a century-old cathedral, is in the middle. The steeple overlooks the region and the Mountains, in the calm air. The Town Hall has murals and an astronomical clock from the 16th century. Half-timbered houses line small alleys of the Fischerviertel. It is located in a region close to the River Danube.
Ulm, on the banks of the Danube River, is much more than the world’s tallest church steeple and Albert Einstein’s birthplace, though obviously these are also super cool. They are bound to discover heaps of culture, beautiful architecture and wonderful surprises as one explores this unassuming area.
Top things to do
Ulm is almost synonymous with Ulm Minster, the world’s tallest church steeple (161.5 meters / 530 feet). Constructed over 513 years (1377-1890), it is considered one of Europe’s finest pieces of gothic architecture. Its walls house a treasure trove including late medieval sculptures, 15th-century carved-oak choir stalls, a 16th-century triptych, lovely stained glass
Fischerviertel is probably the most picturesque part of town, the Fishermen’s and Tanners’ Quarter. Here, half-timbered houses lovingly restored and charming cafes line the mouth of the Blau River, an area crisscrossed by countless scenic alleys and bridges. The Leaning Tower, or the Crooked Tower, after the Minster, is probably the most photographed location in Ulm.
Walking the walls of the town in Ulm is a wonderful way to experience the town as it was in the 15th century. Such walls, constructed along the river to defend the town from assaults, have been maintained largely in their original condition. The 36-meter-tall leaning Metzgerturm or Butcher’s tower is one of the main attractions in this region. This is a pristine place to laze, enjoy great views of the river
One iconic feature of the Danube’s defence mechanism is the Metzgerturm (Butchers’ Tower), a gate that goes back to 1340 and predates the current line. The tower got its name as an opening had to be made in the wall to make it easier to reach the slaughterhouse built outside of the walls of the town. This structure is 36 meters tall on a square plant and has a hipped roof. The tower leans two meters northwest because of the marshy ground; at 3.3 ° the slant is only slightly less severe than Pisa’s Leaning Tower (3.97 °).
The Museum of Bread Culture
The Museum of Bread Culture (Museum der Brotkultur) is surely one of Germany’s most offbeat museums you can visit. It is dedicated to the impacts of baking bread on history, society, culture and the economy. It walks visitors through the bread’s fascinating journey, from the grains to the cooking table.
Ulm Town Hall (Rathaus)
With its extraordinary frescoes dating back to the mid-16th century, Ulm Rathaus allures visitors. During the Second World War, the building suffered heavy damage and was later rebuilt and restored to a condition as close as possible to the original. The Rathaus ‘s special attraction is a gorgeous replica of an astronomical clock from the 16th century.
Without a visit to the majestic Benedictine monastery in Wiblingen an architectural tour of Ulm can not be complete. The oldest history can be dated back to the 11th century although it was almost entirely restored in 1714-1781 as it remains today. At its premises, the cloister houses an enchanting church. In addition, the cloister library is seen as one of the finest examples
Oath House (Schwörhaus)
Every year, on the penultimate Monday in July, huge crowds gather in front of the Oath House, listening to the speech delivered by the Lord Mayor of Ulm from the Schwörhaus balcony. Even other than “Oath Monday” (Schwörmontag), however, the Oath House is worth a stop due to the interesting architecture of this ancient building (854 AD) and the Gothic statue of St. Christopher
Annual city holiday in Ulm falls on penultimate July Monday. The day has an administrative function, since it is the beginning and end of Ulm ‘s political year, and marks the swearing-in ceremony for the current lord mayor (“schwören” means “to swear”). But it’s more happening than dry political procedures.
For a generous dose of history, go to Ulm Museum where you can find an impressive ensemble of Upper Swabian artwork, historic items and archaeologically fascinating pieces. This museum’s most famous display is the 40,000-year-old sculpture Lion Man made from ivory.
The ornate well named Fischkastenbrunnen (Fish Box Fountain) stands right in front of the Rathaus. This was founded in the 15th century and has been used by fishmongers in bygone days to hold their wares alive during market days. The fountain is covered with planks in winter to protect it from harsh weather.
Tiergarten Ulm promises an unforgettable day out. Several rare varieties of goats, fish, birds, and reptiles consider the Ulm Zoo their house. One can see creatures roaming freely in their natural habitat at the open-air sections, while the flocks of colourful birds are a favourite with visitors. There is even a petting section where some animals can get up and close.
This corbelled, half-timbered building has been used for hundreds of years by shipmasters of Ulm. The Schiefes Haus looks like it’s just about to crumble at an incline of between 9 and 10 ° but is still going strong 600 years after it’s built. Adjustments needed to be made over time, especially after the side facing the river started sinking in the 1600s.
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