If you live in Moscow you needn't go to Ulm so often because there is a part of Ulm in the Moscow Pushkin Museum of Art.
When I was young and visited this museum I couldn't even dream to see the originals of the beautiful replicas of Ulm's Minster masterpieces which I used to see in the museum.
You can watch them on my photos. I'm proud that I saw them in Ulm in original!
12 Volkhonka St., Moscow
(tel.: +7 495 609-95-20, +7 495 697-95-78, +7 495 697-74-12),
Metro station: "Kropotkinskaya".
Ticket price for foreign visitors 400 rubles (10 euro) for adults,
200 rubles for schoolchildren, students and pensioners.
Attention! Ticket prices for exhibitions might differ from those for permanent collections.
Visitors are offered audio guides in Russian, English, German, French and Italian.
Many exciting tours are on offer!
Open daily from 10 am to 7 pm
Thursdays from 10 am to 9 pm
+7 (495) 609-95-20
The Town House (Stadthaus Ulm) in my opinion is another (as well as Zentralbibliothek) ugly building in the centre of Ulm. If it was situated in another place I wouldn’t think so, but unfortunately this building of modern architecture is in the centre of Ulm.
The basement houses the permanent exhibition on the archaeology and history of the „Münsterplatz“ and includes exhibits discovered during excavations.
The “Town House” also houses the Ulm/Neu-Ulm Tourist Information Office. Here, a competent team provides information and assistance on any questions and concerns the tourist may have.
9 a.m. - 6 p.m. (Monday - Wednesday)
9 a.m - 8 p.m. (Thursday)
9 a.m - 6 p.m. (Friday)
11 a.m. - 6 p.m.(Sun- and Holiday)
You can watch my high resolution photo of Ulm on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 48° 23' 52.76" N 9° 59' 26.88" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Stadthaus.
Central Library Ulm (Zentralbibliothek) constructed in the form of an imposing pyramid, with a footprint of 28 x 28 m and a total height of more than 36 m. It was officially opened in May 2004. It reminds me the Pyramid at Louvre in Paris. I think it's among the ugliest buildings of the city.
It situated directly adjacent to the historical Town Hall and near Ulm Minster though if I lived in Ulm I wouldn’t like it. The exceptional feature of this building is that its outer façade about 5000 m2 is made of glass.
10 a.m. - 7 p.m. (Tuesday-Friday)
10 a.m. - 2 p.m. (Saturday)
You can watch my high resolution photo of Ulm on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 48° 23' 47.81" N 9° 59' 33.13" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Zentralbibliothek.
In 1482 the town walls were built into the “raging waters of the Danube” as a defence against hostile armies.
Nowadays, people enjoy strolling along the town walls, which run along the Danube from the Lauseck Bastion past the Fishermen’s and Tanners’ quarters, the “Metzgerturm”, the landing stage for boats, the Rose Garden and on to Friedrichsau Park, the green lung of Ulm.
You can watch my high resolution photo of Ulm on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 48° 23' 45.75" N 9° 59' 39.78" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Metzgerturm.
The Valentine Chapel (Valentinskapelle) to the South of the Minster Choir was founded in 1458 by the patrician family Rembold as a burial chapel, whereby a wine cellar (1290) from Cloister Bebenhausen was used as a vault.
After the reformation, fat was sold in the chapel, resulting in it being called locally the “Schmalzhäusle”.
You can watch my high resolution photo of Ulm on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 48° 23' 53.50" N 9° 59' 37.04" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Valentinskapelle .
One of the great things I love about beer-hunting is where the hunt brings me. Let's face it, the average visitor to Ulm will not get to Söflingen and that's exactly where my first brewery brought me. My wife was less than thrilled with the tram ride there. I have to admit it wasn't exactly scenic but the meal and beer was well worth the small effort and even the time that might have been spent seeing more of the town's more renowned sights. While waiting for the tram we noticed a small church and adjoining cemetery and decided to have a peek. It was a simple church but the cemetery was lovely, big leafy trees casting shade on the old tombstones. The most touching one was a jointly buried couple. Though they were both born in 1901, the woman passed away in 1988 while her husband had died in 1945, probably a war casualty despite his advanced years.
If you go to the brewery, you'll see the church and if you're waiting for the tram, it's worth having a look. Otherwise, miss a great meal and beer while missing this cute little cemetery.
Most tourists will be content to see the Ulmer Münster up close and unless they have a super wide angle lens, lament their inability to get it all into one photo. The hardy will climb its tallest steeple in the wold for grand views and many will wander the Fisherman's Quarter. One thing often missed is a very short excursion that will give you not only a different perspective (and great full photos) of the town's trademark church but also pretty views of the entire old town while largely escaping the tourist throngs. Just head across the bridge to the Bavarian side of Neu-Ulm and walk along a nice footpath there. With a few bridges, you can cross one and make a circle by returning on another one. It's best to do this from south to north. The river bends in such a way to make views of the church better and you'll be facing it the whole way as well.
We have quite some places in Ulm that remind of this genius who perhaps lived 150 years too early to become a global sensation. Instead, he was ridiculed and died as poor as a church mouse.
The tailor’s name was Albrecht Ludwig Berblinger. He was born on 24 June 1770 and died on 28 January 1829.
Go to Town Hall (Rathaus). If you walk up the stairs on the right side if you stand in front of it in Neue Straße, you get into the building. If you want to marry turn to the left ;-))) If you just want to see a replica of the tailor’s gliding apparatus, turn to the right, towards the central stairwell that sits in an atrium, with daylight pouring in through the roof. There they have hung up a red and white striped hang glider that looks like the one Mr Berblinger constructed to fly over the Danube. You will see that it would have been attached to the shoulders/upper arms with simple leather straps. To decide on the shape of the wings the tailor studied owls.
He invested all his money in the construction which took him several years.
Unlucky him he tried to fly over the Danube in 1811 from a kind of scaffolding at Adlerbastei and subsequently fell into the river. Tests with reconstructions of Berlinger’s glider on hills have proven that the machine was airworthy. The guy would have become a star and would forever have been registered as the inventor of paragliding.
This attempt of flying deserves some more words. On 30 May 1811, under the eyes of Württemberg’s King Friedrich, Berlinger did not fly – either because he was too nervous or because the wind was really not right. The next day he stood on his wooden tower again. There was no wind that would have carried him, and the uncomprehending crowd were laughing and joking, so Berblinger stood on his starting ramp forever until – it is said – a policeman pushed him, and Berblinger fell into the Danube.
He did not recover from this misadventure and lost reputation and income, and fell to the lowest level of Ulm’s society. He died from malnutrition.
175 years after the failed attempt Ulm had a competition where they wanted to find out if it was possible at all to fly over the Danube at the site where Berlinger had tried it. Only a modern paraglider succeeded, but only just. In this year it was proven that Berblinger’s apparatus could stay in the air if it is used on a hill.
The official inventor of such flying machines and paragliding is American Francis Melvin Rogallo who got the patent in 1951 – so 140 years after Albrecht Berblinger! Rogallo died on 1 September 2009, aged 92.
Famous German authors have written about Albrecht Berlinger. Max Eyth wrote a novel named “Der Schneider von Ulm. Geschichte eines zweihundert Jahre zu früh Geborenen“ (History of someone born two hundred years too early) in 1906. Bertold Brecht moved him in his 1934 ballad „Ulm 1592“ quite a bit from reality. He made the flight attempt happen more than 200 years earlier, replaced the King by a bishop, and made the tailor fly from the Cathedral’s spire… So, please, do not believe everything you read ;-)))
Poor Berlinger’s life was somehow marred from the beginning. He was born into a poor family. When his father died Albrecht Berlinger was only 13, and spent the rest of his teens in an orphanage. Although he wanted to become a watchmaker, they forced him to become a tailor. Despite being a master tailor at the age of 21, his interest in mechanics never ceased, and he invented several interesting things, for example orthopaedic aids. He invented the first artificial leg with articulated joint.
You will see miniatures of Berblinger’s gliding apparatus in most souvenir shops.
The Tailor of Ulm is also a popular figure you will see on Schwörmontag (Oath Monday) and during the Fishermen’s Joust.
In Town Hall you can also see a good model of the city.
Photo 2 shows a detail of the shoulder straps and the central wooden construction of the glider.
Although the Sparrow is Ulm’s symbol there is a second animal species Ulmers have a soft spot for. It is their Brown Bears (Ursus arctos).
I am one of those people who have always enjoyed to visit them. So it was a bit of a worry when the bears had been relocated from their enclosure at the old fortification in Friedrichsau park to the wildlife park (Tiergarten & Aquarium) near Donauhalle, and I did not really remember where the bears were.
Before the relocation there had been big discussions about the bears because the City Council thought it was too expensive to keep and feed them. Ulmers said the Council should be ashamed and donated a lot of money to feed the bears, so the City was more or less forced by the locals to keep the bears they clearly wanted to get rid of.
If I remember right, once some young bears were sold in the belief they would go to a zoo or wildlife park, and they ended up in a cooking pot, or so.
At this time we had a couple of grown-up bears, just can’t rembember the old bear’s name. I think the mother bear was Rosi. The young bears were Petzi, Pelle and Pingo.
There had been bears in Friedrichsau since 1935. First they were in a big cage which would horrify us nowadays, of course. Then they got a bigger enclosure at Fort Friedrichsau with a platform. That doubled in size by the time. But that also became a controversial issue as it was not the standard of how to keep bears in captivity. So Ulm’s citizens fought for better conditions for the bears for more than 20 years. Several solutions were suggested but there were too many obstacles, so in the end a completely new enclosure was built in the existing wildlife park (Tiergarten). Regarding the space they got, it surely is a great location because now the bears have a nice green environment of 4000 square metres with established trees. In 2003 the bears named Susi and Cheppo got their new home.
You do not have to go into the Tiergarten to see the bears. You can also walk to one side of their enclosure outside, and if you are lucky as we were on our last visit, one of the big bears walks through the whole enclosure to check you out.
This encounter was really incredible, we thought. We arrived before the Tiergarten opened, so walked around it and spotted the bear sign, and just kept on walking. There is a seat, and behind the fence Cheppo was at the other end of his enclosure, obviously frustrated that he could not get to Susi. We placed Kimi the Bear next to the fence. When Cheppo spotted him or us – of course we prefer to believe that he came to see Kimi – he walked through the whole enclosure, looked at us, sat down, stared at Kimi, and seemed to tell him (or us…) a story. Perhaps the sad story that they did not let him into Susi’s enclosure. When everything was said he sighed, stood up, and trotted back to where he had come from, and then walked up and down, up and down, along Susi’s place.
If you want to visit the wildlife park, it opens at 10am.
BTW Many Ulmers still call the wildlife park “Aquarium” because that is how it all started. In 2007 was the 80 year anniversary of the premises – but the name Tiergarten developed in the 1990’s only when the so-called Tropenhaus (Tropical House) and outdoor enclosures were added. I bet you can still find Ulmers who tell you they go to the Aquarium to visit the Brown Bears ;-)
The former enclosure was really close to the Danube, and I would always walk there and have a look at them when I was in Friedrichsau. Now they have filled up the ditch that once surrounded the big and really sad concrete block, and, of course, removed the steel fence. What once was the back wall of the open air part of the enclosure is now a climbing wall. A so called Kneippbecken (Kneipp Basin) is next to it.
Opening Hours of the Tiergarten:
Summer (April – September): 10am – 6pm daily
Saturday, Sunday and public holidays (May – September) 10am – 7pm
Winter (October – March) 10am – 5pm daily
Admission: 5 Euro, children (6 to 14 years) 3 Euro, families 10 Euro.
By car: Drive to Messe Ulm/Donauhalle and park on one of the big carparks there, the Tiergarten is next to the tramway stop.
Walking: From the city centre walk along the Danube towards the stadium (Donaustadion), there turn left into Friedrichsau.
By public transport: Take tramway # 1 (direction Böfingen) and get off at Donauhalle.
Photo 2 shows the site of the former bear enclosure.
The Pauluskirche was built in 1908-1910, shortly before World War I, by Theodor Fischer as protestant garrison church. This building is one of the earliest examples of modern church architecture with a construction made of concrete in Germany. The contrast to the neighbouring Georgskirche (1902-1904), the catholic garrison church with its neo-gothic style, could not be more striking.
The catholic church of St George was built in 1902-1904 by Maximilian and Carl Anton Meckel. The church was first used by the garrison and became a city parish church in 1920. The style is still entirely neo-gothic, while the neighbouring Pauluskirche, the protestant garrison church which is only four years younger, was built from concrete in modern style.
The Dreifaltigkeitskirche is actually the former church of the Dominican monastery, which was closed down when the reformation was introduced in 1531. A new church was built on the old foundations from 1617 to 1621, including the gothic choir.
World War II destroyed the church. Only the facades and the steeple were rebuilt to keep the original outward appearance. The interior is entirely post-war, the building was turned into a parish and meeting centre.
Location: Neue Straße
The fountain with the statue of St. Christophorus was made around 1480 in the workshop of Jörg Syrlin the Elder, one of Ulm's most famous medieval sculptors (now a copy, original in the Ulmer Museum).
The legend says that if you look at a picture of Christophorus you won't die that day. Make sure you visit this fountain...
Location: Weinhof, in front of the Schwörhaus
The Kornhaus was built as a grain store in 1594. In the late 16th century the population of the city grew rapidly, that's why additional storage buildings were needed.
The renaissance facades have been restored after World War II destructions, the interior is entirely post-war.
Albert Einstein was born in Ulm on March 14, 1879. The family moved away a few months later when he was still a baby, but he is still considered Ulm' s greatest son.
The house where the Einsteins lived was destroyed during the war. A monument in Bahnhofstraße, close to the station, recalls the spot.
The whole city is, however, full of Einstein memorials, some of them rather weird...
Photo 1: Bright orange Einstein head in Münster square
Photo 2: Soup can: "100 years Einstein's relativity menue. Brain power à la maison."