To Berlin – staying overnight at Ulm

In August 2022, we travel to Berlin, with stops at Riedlingen, Ulm, Rothenburg ob der Tauber and Nebra.


Friendly hotel Zehntstadl at Gögglingen near Ulm

We stay overnight at Ulm, or more precisely at the suburb Gögglingen. We have booked our room in the hotel Am Zehntstadl. It is a quiet place with a friendly manager and welcoming staff. This cute shoe wiper (Schareisen or Schooryse) illustrates the ambiance perfectly.

We have a wonderful dinner at the Pizzeria Romantica. The cook is from  Sardinia. He DOES know, how to prepare delicious antipasti.


Walking along the Danube

After dinner, we walk along the Danube (Donau),…

… enjoy the evening…

… and wonder, whether the starlings are already getting ready to fly south.


Quick stop at Ulm

In the morning, we have a quick look at Ulm. 

Ulm is located on the Danube, where the creek Blau, split into two arms, joins the Danube.

We park our car in the Fischerviertel and cross the two arms of the creek Blau. The ducks cool down here.

The weeping willow hangs over the Blau.

We stroll through the  streets of Ulm. Saint Christopher welcomes us travellers. 

Ulm has been known since 854. It was a royal palace that was later fortified. The first bridge across the Danube was built in 1174.

Located at the junction of trade and pilgrim routes, it became  a free imperial city in 1184. The city flourished until about 1500.  

In 1397, the “Grosser Schwörbrief” (Great Oath Letter) defined the duties of the mayor, the guilds and the patricians. The Schwörhaus (Oath House) was erected as the place, where the oath was to be renewed every year.

The power of Ulm culminated around 1500; it owned large territories north and south of the Danube and was a the political leader of Swabia. It was a trading spot, e.g. for iron, textiles, salt, wood and wine. In addition it was a major center of arts.

The decline started in the 16th century and in 1770, the city went bankrupt. It had to sell some of its territory. In 1802, Ulm and its territory was integrated in Bavaria and in 1810, Ulm, with its territories north of the Danube, became part of Württemberg. Ulm was now a border city between two kingdoms, Bayern and Württemberg. Ulm was deprived of its main economic basis south of the Danube: For instance, the dockyards, the wood trading centers and factories, the landing places for the rafts or major agricultural areas for Ulm were all in the territories south of the Danube.

In the middle of the 19th century, Ulm recovered. After having been attached to the railway system, industrialization evolved. For instance Leube rediscovered production of cement, forgotten since late antiquity and founded the first cement factory in Germany. 

Starting in 1944, bombings destroyed 80% of the old city centre. It was rebuilt mostly in the style of the 1950’s and 1960’s. In 1967 the university of Ulm was founded. 


The Minster with the highest belfry worldwide

Construction of the Minster started in 1377 and ended in the 19th century, when the city recovered. In 1890, the belfry was completed; it is the highest belfry worldwide.

I could not find out who the figure is above the solar clock. 

The gothic Minster was mostly spared from the bombings of the Second World War. 

The freso on the quire arch is from 1471 and shows The Last Judgement. I can see the four evangelists on the gothic vaults.

Above the baptismal font of 1474, we notice the pelican that feeds his offspring with its own blood; it is a symbol for Christ. 


The City Hall

Construction of the City Hall started in the 14th century. Its appearance today is mainly early Renaissance. The bombings mostly spared the façades with its paintings from the16th century.

The astronomical clock is from 1520. It is said to be one of the most complex astronomical clocks of Southern Germany. It shows the current zodiac, and it has additional clock hands for the sun and the moon. 

This window at the eastern façade is from the early 15th century and shows Charlemagne.


The Kornhaus

The Kornhaus was a granary, built at the end of the 16th century. The paintings pretend bricks. The bombings did not destroy the façades.

Today the Kornhaus is used for exhibitions and concerts.


The sparrow of Ulm

At Ulm, we come across sparrows again and again. For instance, at the Hafengasse, it invites to go shopping. It carries a branch in its bill.

The people from Ulm venerate the sparrow, beause it taught them, how to lay the beams on to the cart that they needed to build their minster: not crosswise, but lengthwise. That is why, a sparrow with a branch in its bill decorates the roof of the Minster. Also the children’s and youth choir of Ulm is called “Ulmer Spatzen” (sparrows of Ulm); it has gained many awards.


Good-bye Ulm

We leave the city centre at the Metzgerturm.

An artist has installed some white cables to decorate the Metzgerturm.

We walk along the Danube. Boats are on the Blau, where it joins the Danube.

We return to the parking house and continue our way north to Rothenburg ob der Tauber and to Nebra.

Sources: Wikipedia entries for Ulm, its minster, its city hall with the astronomical clock and the Kornhaus.