Ulm Minster

Ulm, Germany

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


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


4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Christine L (17 months ago)
Impressive architecture and art. One could spend an entire day admiring the religious works of art or be spiritually moved by the depictions of heroic deeds. The room dedicated to the war dead (originally WWI, then WWII) deserves special attention, especially these days. St. Michael crowning and protecting the memorial area is especially impressive. The memorial to the fallen of the Great War and "the war to end all wars" is not only a touching tribute to those who gave all, but also a somber reminder of the great cost, the irreplaceable loss, of war. A moment of silence and reflection should not be missed inside this spiritual wonder.
seri yawong (2 years ago)
What a wonderful day#17 Ulm city. Ulm is the birthplace of Albert Einstein. And also Ulm is a nice place.. With the tallest church tower in the world, Ulm Minster is, of course, the city's most dominant building. And the Münsterplatz square on which it stands is an endlessly fascinating place that offers a great mix of history and pioneering architecture. But there is more to Ulm than this. The former Free Imperial City boasts a variety of historical attractions, #อิโตอินเลิฟ #ItoInLove
Debbie Knutton (2 years ago)
Absolutely stunning ? I really enjoyed this beautiful cathedral such a lovely atmosphere well worth the visit will definitely be back next year ❤️??
Antu Datta (2 years ago)
Pictures from February, 2022. The best experience and also the most challenging is to climb the stairs to reach the viewing platform at the top of the cathedral. Narrow staircases, straight upward climbing is quite exhausting. But really worth of giving it a try. Also the view from the top is really fantastic, a mesmerizing birdeye view of Ulm.
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