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

Jega Pillay (9 months ago)
Tallest Church in the world! Lovely Gothic styled Luthern church in the Center of Ulm City. Gives a real feel of the Middle Ages. Go in for €5 without a tour. You can also make it 70 meters onto the towers via 320 stairs. Awesome place.
Fretz Pfunder (13 months ago)
Such a beautiful church with an amazing architecture. The details of it is astonishing. It has the highest steeple in the world. Worth a visit.
Mike M (14 months ago)
Absolutely must-see in Ulm! Stunning historical monument with a first-class experience. It's amazing how you can feel the vibe of the 5 centuries back just by walking up the narrow stairs which btw. depend on your fitness level, shouldn't take you long. The panoramic view from the top (almost ~140m) to Baden is also amazing. I didn't have enough luck to see the full panorama reaching Alps (cloudy weather) but in a clear day you can also see them!
Ari Manik (15 months ago)
It‘s beautiful inside and outside. Unfortunately the access to the tower was closed. Usually it‘s possible for the visitors to go up and enjoy the Ulm city from above.
Tanja Biskupović (15 months ago)
Really impressive building. Outside and inside. Full of amazingly carved details. Unfortunately, the tower is currently closed to visitors, but even without that part - Ulmer Münster is a “must see”. Even if you’re not religious, this place, full of history, gives you thrills. Monumental and simply beautiful. Ps - Entrance is free.
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