Thursday, 2 October 2008

Ulm

Not many people and travel book have anything to say about Ulm. Ulm is a city in the German Bundesland of Baden-Württemberg, situated on the River Danube. The city, whose population is estimated at 120,000 (2006), forms an urban district of its own (German: Stadtkreis) and is the administrative seat of the Alb-Donau district. Ulm, founded around 850, is rich in history and traditions as a former Free Imperial City (German: freie Reichsstadt). Today, it is an economic centre due to its varied industries, and it is the seat of a university (University of Ulm, founded in 1967).
Internationally it is known as the birthplace of Albert Einstein.

But it has something more...
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Ulm is primarily known for the tallest church in the universe, the Gothic minster (Ulm Minster, German: Ulmer Münster).
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Ulm Cathedral (German: Ulmer Münster) is a Lutheran church, the tallest church in the world, with a steeple measuring 161.53 m (530 ft) and containing 768 steps. Located in Ulm, Germany, the church is not a cathedral in the technical ecclesiastical sense, as it has never been the seat of a bishop. (The responsible bishop of the Evangelical Church in Germany resides in Stuttgart.)
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However, it is a famous example of Gothic ecclesiastical architecture and is typically and mistakenly described as a cathedral. After climbing to the top level at 143m there is a panoramic view of Ulm in Baden-Württemberg and Neu-Ulm in Bavaria and, in clear weather, a vista of the Alps from Säntis to the Zugspitze. The final stairwell to the top (known as the 3rd Gallery) is a tall, spiraling staircase that has barely enough room for one person.ulm4
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Like the famous Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom) - another building of the Gothic era - the Ulm Münster was not completed until the 19th century.

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