About Ulm

As a visitor, you are completely unaware of the fact that Ulm is in Baden-Württemberg and Neu-Ulm is in Bayern (Bavaria). Between them flows the Danube, whose bridges link the two towns together. The 170,000 inhabitants who reside, work, and live their lives left and right of the river are almost equally unaware, too. The Neu-Ulmer is often in Ulm and vice-versa. Of course, the tow towns function as independent municipalities. But, together, they represent the cultural and economic heart of an extensive region of east Baden-Württemberg and west Swabia. In this area, bordered by the Allgäu, Lake Constance and the Swabian Alb, Ulm and Neu-Ulm have evolved into a single economic entity demanding a combined plan for the future - the future of the twin towns.

Where they are different, now as ever, is in their historical roots. These have left their imprint on both towns, as visitors soon realise. In Ulm, grown venerable with age, you can wander, on your sightseeing tour, through the romantic Fishermen's and Tanners' Quarters and promenade along the 500 year-old city wall beside the Danube. Half-timbered houses, several hundred years old, charming alleys and prospects, picturesque bridges and squares - rub shoulders with each other. The city centre is a little different: on the one hand, modern shops and the contemporary architecture of the Stadthaus ("Town House"), on the other, the painted facade of the Town Hall, splashing fountains and buildings redolent with tradition. Its sister-town, Neu-Ulm, presents a more youthful appearance to the world and is presently being modernised by the construction of a new inner-town layout.

In World War II more than half of the city, including many old and historic buildings, was destroyed; most of the major historic buildings have since been restored. The famous Gothic minster, begun in 1377, is the largest Gothic church in Germany after the Cologne Cathedral and has one of the world’s highest church towers (528 ft/161 m).

Other attractions include the beautiful Town Hall with famous astronomical clock; Corn Exchange (1594); Schuhaus (1536); Schwörhaus (1613); old town and fishermen’s quarter with city wall and Metzgerturm (butchers’ tower); Wiblingen Abbey, Baroque library; German Bread Museum; and the Municipal Museum with local works of art. The city has a university and several museums.

Albert Einstein was born (1879) in Ulm. He is Ulm’s most famous native son. He actually only spent the first 15 months of his life here. Still, the residents here are naturally proud. The city’s famous “relativist” once put it, “a person’s birthplace is part of who he is, and I’m thankful that mine was Ulm, since it combines artistic tradition with a pure and healthy character.”