Ulm Minster, like Cologne Cathedral, was begun in the Gothic era and not completed until the late 19th century. It is the tallest church in the world, and the 4th tallest structure built before the 20th century, with a steeple measuring 161.5 metres. From the top level at 143m there is a panoramic view of Ulm.

The foundation stone was laid in 1377. The planned church was to have three naves of equal height, a main spire on the west and two steeples above the choir. In 1392 Ulrich Ensingen (associated with Strasbourg Cathedral) was appointed master builder. It was his plan to make the western church tower the tallest spire, which it remains in the present day. The church, consisting of the longitudinal naves and the choir, covered by a temporary roof, was consecrated in 1405. However, structural damage, caused by the height of the naves and the weight of the heavy vaulting, necessitated a reconstruction of the lateral naves which were supported by a row of additional column in their centre.

In a referendum in 1530/31, the citizens of Ulm converted to Protestantism during the Reformation. Ulm Minster became a Lutheran church. In 1543 construction work was halted at a time when the steeple had reached a height of some 100 metres. The halt in the building process was caused by a variety of factors which were political and religious as well as economic. One result was economic stagnation and a steady decline, preventing major public expenditure.

In 1817 work resumed and the three steeples of the church were completed. Finally, on 31 May 1890 the building was completed.

A devastating air raid hit Ulm on 17 December 1944, which destroyed virtually the entire town west of the church to the railway station and north of the church up to the outskirts. The church itself was barely damaged. However, almost all the other buildings of the town square (Münsterplatz) were severely hit and some 80% of the medieval centre of Ulm was destroyed.

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Münsterplatz 74, Ulm, Germany
See all sites in Ulm

Details

Founded: 1377
Category: Religious sites in Germany
Historical period: Habsburg Dynasty (Germany)

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Zeeshan Shareef (4 months ago)
I visited this church with one of my friend. It is really beautiful. We climbed all the way to the top and it was not so easy. We took around 2-3 breaks :) The view from the top is incredible and breath taking.
Vipin Sharma (5 months ago)
Church is beautiful and temporary weekend market is really good near church...
keith robinson (6 months ago)
Interesting place that show how a once Catholic church gets converted. The choir has good examples of wood craving with a mixture of 'beasts' and charaicters.
KC Mitch (6 months ago)
Stunning and beautiful. A nice quite church that you can go to and get away from life for a while. Worth the visit.
Matthew Bailey (6 months ago)
The art and history is gorgeous and a sense of peace seems to fall over you when you walk in. The organs were playing as well, adding to the awe inspiring atmosphere. If I were to have any complaint, it would only be the scaffolding around the spires, but you have maintain something with that much history. Well worth the visit.
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