Around Germany

Useful hints and tips for travelers in Germany

Visiting Ulm: unmissable attractions and events

Ulm and New Ulm face the banks of the Danube. The first, on the left bank, is in Baden-Wurttemberg, while the second, on the right bank of the river, is in Bavaria. The city is famous for two reasons. In 1879, it was the birthplace of Albert Einstein, and boasts the presence of a cathedral with the tallest tower in the world, 161.53 meters.


Ulm is the oldest part of the city, while Neu Ulm is obviously newer. Ulm has a lovely historical centre, with several places of tourist interest. Neu Ulm, instead, is a residential area.

Ulm is a beautiful city with an ancient history. The Ulm Cathedral, Ulmer Münster, with its tall bell tower whose top is reachable by climbing 768 steps, was built between 1370 and 1530. The Cathedral has a capacity of over 20 000 people. The Rathaus, the old Town Hall, dates back to 1370, and houses one of the earliest flying machine prototypes, designed in the mid-1800 by Albrecht Berblingerm better known as the Tailor of Ulm.

Another place of interest in Ulm is the Fischerviertel, an old fishermen’s quarter that lies on the banks of River Blau, a small Danube tributary. This very suggestive place, looks like a tangle of small wooden houses, which are accessed by wooden bridges spanning the many channels. The neighborhood hosts lots of great Renaissance palaces, such as Alte Münz, the Old Mint, and Schiefes Haus, a typical 16th century house today used as an elegant hotel, also quite expensive.

From the hotels in Ulm’s historical centre, you have easy access to the Krone Inn, a complex of medieval buildings dating back to the 15th-16th century, where the emperors and their courts once lived during the summer. The city centre also hosts the Butchers’ Tower, Unter der Metzig, built in 1350. The tower, about 36 meters high, leans on one side just like the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Legend has it that when the citizens of Ulm found out that butchers used to put sawdust in the sausages, they locked them in the tower. When the authorities read out the verdict, the butchers, all very stout men, gathered in a corner of the tower, thus tipping the scales on one side. Of course, the truth is that the Tower was originally built on marshy ground and therefore a bit unstable.

Even Ulm City Library, Ulm Stadtbibliothek, is very interesting; it is located in Vestgasse, and housed in a huge glass pyramid. In addition to marking the places where Einstein and Kepler once lived, Ulm has also created a memorial dedicated to Hans and Sophie Scholl, a brother and sister members of a non-violent anti Nazi resistance group called the White Rose. In 1943, the Scholls and other members of the group were executed.

One of the highlights of Ulm is in July, on the occasion of Schwörmontag, the Oath Monday. Since 1397, on that day the mayor of the city renews his oath of allegiance to the city: his declaration from the balcony of the Schwörhaus, the Oath House, is followed by a great festival on the banks of the Danube, including a beautiful parade of boats called Nabada.

Among the most important trade shows held at Ulm Fair, UlmMesse in Bofinger Strasse, ranks Technorama, in early May. For three days, the exhibition halls host beautiful vintage cars from the beginning of the Century, plus a selection of clothing and accessories for motorists in the 1930s style. In the days of the Fair, there are also many auctions of old and glorious cars.

Photo by hans s

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