Ulm (German pronunciation: [ˈʔʊlm] ( listen)) is a city
in the federal German state of Baden-Württemberg, situated on the
River Danube. The city, whose population is estimated at almost
120,000 (2015), forms an urban district of its own (German:
Stadtkreis) and is the administrative seat of the Alb-Donau district.
Founded around 850,
Ulm 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
the University of Ulm. Internationally,
Ulm is primarily known for
having the church with the tallest steeple in the world (161.53 m
or 529.95 ft), the Gothic minster (
Ulm Minster, German: Ulmer
Münster), and as the birthplace of Albert Einstein.
2 Neighboring communes
3 Town subdivisions
8 Education and culture
10.5 Other landmarks
11 Notable inhabitants
11.1 Born in Ulm
11.2 Otherwise associated with Ulm
12 International relations
14 External links
View from the
Münster towards Hirschstraße.
Ulm lies at the point where the rivers Blau and
Iller join the Danube,
at an altitude of 479 m (1,571.52 ft) above sea level. Most
parts of the city, including the old town, are situated on the left
bank of the Danube; only the districts of Wiblingen, Gögglingen,
Donaustetten and Unterweiler lie on the right bank. Across from the
old town, on the other side of the river, lies the twin city of
Neu-Ulm in the state of Bavaria, smaller than
Ulm and, until 1810, a
part of it (population c. 50,000).
Except for the
Danube in the south, the city is surrounded by forests
and hills which rise to altitudes of over 620 metres (2,034.12 feet),
some of them part of the Swabian Alb. South of the Danube, plains and
hills finally end in the northern edge of the Alps, which are
approximately 100 kilometres (62 miles) from
Ulm and are visible from
the city on clear days.
The city of
Ulm is situated in the northern part of the North Alpine
Foreland basin, where the basin reaches the Swabian Alb. The
Turritellenplatte of Ermingen ("Erminger Turritellenplatte") is a
famous palaeontological site of
On the right (south-eastern) side of
Iller there is the
Bavarian district town Neu-Ulm. On the left (north-western) side Ulm
is almost completely surrounded by the Alb-
Danube district. The
neighboring communes of
Baden-Württemberg are the following:
Illerkirchberg, Staig, Hüttisheim, Erbach (Donau), Blaubeuren,
Langenau as well as the
eastern neighboring community Elchingen.
The city is divided into 18 districts (German:
Stadtteile): Ulm-Mitte, Böfingen, Donaustetten, Donautal, Eggingen,
Einsingen, Ermingen, Eselsberg, Gögglingen, Grimmelfingen, Jungingen,
Lehr, Mähringen, Oststadt, Söflingen (with Harthausen), Unterweiler,
Weststadt, and Wiblingen.
Nine districts that were integrated during the latest municipality
reform in the 1970s (Eggingen, Einsingen, Ermingen,
Gögglingen-Donaustetten, Jungingen, Lehr, Mähringen und
Unterweiler). They have own local councils which acquire an important
consulting position to the whole city council concerning issues that
are related to the prevailing districts. But at the end, final
decisions can only be made by the city council of the entire city of
See also: Free Imperial City of Ulm
Ulm in 1572 by Frans Hogenberg
The oldest traceable settlement of the
Ulm area began in the early
Neolithic period, around 5000 BC. Settlements of this time have been
identified at the villages of Eggingen and Lehr, today districts of
the city. In the city area of
Ulm proper, the oldest find dates from
Neolithic period. The earliest written mention of
dated 22 July 854 AD, when King
Louis the German
Louis the German signed a document in
the King's palace of "Hulma" in the Duchy of Swabia. The city was
declared an Imperial City (German: Reichsstadt) by Friedrich
Barbarossa in 1181.
At first, Ulm's significance was due to the privilege of a
Königspfalz, a place of accommodation for the medieval German kings
and emperors on their frequent travels. Later,
Ulm became a city of
traders and craftsmen. One of the most important legal documents of
the city, an agreement between the
Ulm patricians and the trade guilds
(German: Großer Schwörbrief), dates from 1397. This document,
considered an early city constitution, and the beginning of the
construction of an enormous church (
Ulm Minster, 1377), financed by
the inhabitants of
Ulm themselves rather than by the church,
demonstrate the assertiveness of Ulm's medieval citizens. Ulm
blossomed during the 15th and 16th centuries, mostly due to the export
of high-quality textiles. The city was situated at the crossroads of
important trade routes extending to Italy. These centuries, during
which many important buildings were erected, also represented the
zenith of art in Ulm, especially for painters and sculptors like Hans
Multscher and Jörg Syrlin the Elder. During the Reformation, Ulm
became Protestant (1530). With the establishment of new trade routes
following the discovery of the
New World (16th century) and the
outbreak and consequences of the
Thirty Years' War
Thirty Years' War (1618–48), the
city began to decline gradually. Around 1700, it was alternately
invaded several times by French and Bavarian soldiers.
The capitulation of Ulm. General Mack and 23,000 Austrian troops
surrendered to Napoleon.
In the wars following the French Revolution, the city was alternately
occupied by French and Austrian forces, with the former ones
destroying the city fortifications. In 1803, it lost the status of
Imperial City and was absorbed into Bavaria. During the campaign of
Napoleon managed to trap the invading Austrian army of General
Mack and forced it to surrender in the Battle of Ulm. In 1810,
incorporated into the
Kingdom of Württemberg
Kingdom of Württemberg and lost its districts
on the other bank of the Danube, which came to be known as Neu-Ulm
In the mid-19th century, the city was designated a fortress of the
German Confederation with huge military construction works directed
primarily against the threat of a French invasion. The city became an
important centre of industrialisation in southern
Germany in the
second half of the 19th century, its built-up area now being extended
beyond the medieval walls. The construction of the huge minster, which
had been interrupted in the 16th century for economic reasons, was
resumed and eventually finished (1844–91) in a wave of German
national enthusiasm for the Middle Ages.
From 1933 to 1935, a concentration camp primarily for political
opponents of the regime was established on the Kuhberg, one of the
hills surrounding Ulm. The
Jews of Ulm, around 500 people, were first
discriminated against and later persecuted; their synagogue was torn
Kristallnacht in November 1938. The sole RAF strategic
bombing during World War II against
Ulm occurred on December 17, 1944,
against the two large lorry factories of Magirus-Deutz and
Kässbohrer, as well as other industries, barracks, and depots in Ulm.
The Gallwitz Barracks and several military hospitals were among 14
Wehrmacht establishments destroyed. The raid killed 707 Ulm
inhabitants and left 25,000 homeless and after all the bombings, over
80% of the medieval city centre lay in ruins.
Most of the city was rebuilt in the plain and simple style of the
1950s and 1960s, but some of the historic landmark buildings have been
restored. Due to its almost complete destruction in 1944, the
Hirschstraße part of the city primarily consists of modern
Ulm experienced substantial growth in the decades
following World War II, with the establishment of large new housing
projects and new industrial zones. In 1967,
Ulm University was
founded, which proved to be of great importance for the development of
the city. Particularly since the 1980s, the transition from classical
industry towards the high-tech sector has accelerated, with, for
example, the establishment of research centres of companies like
Daimler, Siemens and
Nokia and a number of small applied research
institutes near the university campus. The city today is still
growing, forming a twin city of 170,000 inhabitants together with its
neighbouring Bavarian city of Neu-Ulm, and seems to benefit from its
central position between the cities of
Munich and thus
between the cultural and economic hubs of southern Germany.
Panorama of Ulm
Significant minority groups
Bosnia & Herzegovina
Saint George's Catholic church, Ulm
The city has very old trading traditions dating from medieval times
and a long history of industrialisation, beginning with the
establishment of a railway station in 1850. The most important sector
is still classical industry (machinery, especially motor vehicles;
electronics; pharmaceuticals). The establishment of the University of
Ulm in 1967, which focuses on biomedicine, the sciences, and
engineering, helped support a transition to high-tech industry,
especially after the crisis of classical industries in the
Companies with headquarters in
Britax (Child safety products)
Ebner & Spiegel (de) (book printing)
Gardena AG (gardening tools)
H. Krieghoff GmbH (de) (weapons for hunting and sports since
J. G. Anschütz
J. G. Anschütz (firearms for sports and hunting)
Liqui Moly (additives, oils, car care products)
Müller Ltd. & Co. KG (major German trade company)
Walther Arms (fire arms, especially pistols)
Wieland-Werke (de) (non-ferrous semi-finished products)
Zwick Roell Group www.zwick.de (Materials Testing Machines)
Seeberger (Unternehmen)(dried fruits, coffee, tea)
Companies with important plants in
BMW Car IT GmbH
Daimler: Daimler Forschungszentrum (research centre) and Daimler TSS
(car IT specialist)
Deutsche Telekom AG
EADS, European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company
Nuance Communications Speech Recognition (research departments)
Harman International Industries
In 2007 the City of
Ulm was awarded the European Energy Award for its
remarkable local energy management and its efforts to combat climate
change. Examples of these efforts are a biomass power plant
operated by the Fernwärme
Ulm GmbH (10 MW electrical output), and the
world's biggest passive house office building, the so-called Energon,
located in the "Science City" near the university campus. Moreover,
the city of
Ulm boasts the second largest solar power production in
Germany. For all new buildings, a strict energy standard (German
KFW40 standard) has been mandatory since April 2008.
Ulm Minster has
been fully powered by renewables since January 2008. Until the end
of 2011 as a European pilot project a self-sustaining data-centre will
be constructed in the west-city of Ulm. There is a solar-powered
ferry that crosses the
Danube 7 days a week in summer. The
"Bündnis 100% Erneuerbare Energien" was founded in February 2010 with
the aim of bringing together the people and organisations seeking to
promote the transition to
100% renewable energy
100% renewable energy in
Tram in Ulm
Ulm is situated at the crossroads of the A8 motorway (connecting the
principal cities of southern Germany,
Stuttgart and Munich), and the
A7 motorway (one of the motorways running from northern to southern
The city's railway station is served, among other lines, by one of the
European train routes (
Vienna – Budapest). Direct connections to
Berlin are also
Ulm's public transport system is based on several bus lines and a tram
line. Construction of a second tram line started in 2015. Several
streets in the old town are for the use of pedestrians and cyclists
Ulm was the first area to be served by the Daimler AG's Car2Go
carsharing service in 2008. However, the service in
discontinued at the end of 2014.
Education and culture
Ulm Public Library
University of Ulm
University of Ulm was founded in 1967 and focuses on the sciences,
medicine, engineering, and mathematics / economics. With about 10,000
students, it is one of the smaller universities in Germany.
Ulm is also the seat of the city's University of Applied Sciences
(German: Fachhochschule), founded in 1960 as a public school of
engineering. The school also houses numerous students from around the
world as part of an international study abroad programme.[citation
In 1953, Inge Aicher-Scholl,
Otl Aicher and
Max Bill founded the Ulm
School of Design (German: Hochschule für Gestaltung - HfG Ulm), a
design school in the tradition of the Bauhaus, which was, however,
closed in 1968.
Ulm's public library features over 480,000 print media. The city has a
public theatre with drama, opera and ballet, several small
theatres, and a professional philharmonic orchestra.
Donaustadion is the stadium of football club SSV
Ulm 1846, multi-sports club, former football Bundesliga club, now
Ratiopharm Ulm, basketball club,
Ulm Marktplatz (market square) with town hall (right) and public
Ulm: View through Rabengasse towards the minster
Niki de Saint Phalle
Niki de Saint Phalle (The poet and his muse) in front of
Ulm Minster (German: Ulmer Münster, built 1377–1891) with the
world's highest church steeple (161.53 m (529.95 ft) high
and 768 steps). Choir stalls by
Jörg Syrlin the Elder
Jörg Syrlin the Elder (1469–74),
Schmerzensmann (Man of Sorrows) by Hans Multscher
The old Fischerviertel (fishermen's quarter) on the River Blau, with
half-timbered houses, cobblestone streets, and picturesque
footbridges. Interesting sights here are the Schiefes Haus
Ulm (de) (crooked house), a 16th-century house today used as a
hotel, and the Alte Münz (Old Mint), a mediaeval building extended in
the 16th and 17th centuries in
The remaining section of the city walls, along the river, with the
14th-century Metzgerturm (butchers' tower) (36 m (118.11 ft)
The Rathaus (Town Hall), built in 1370, featuring some brilliantly
coloured murals dating from the mid-16th century. On the gable is an
astronomical clock dating from 1520. Restored after serious damage in
1944. Photos of the Rathaus can be seen at Tripadvisor.com
The Krone inn, a medieval complex of several houses (15th / 16th
century, extensions from the 19th century), where German kings and
emperors were accommodated during their travels.
Several large buildings from the late
Middle Ages / renaissance used
for various purposes (especially storage of food and weapons), e.g.
Schwörhaus, Kornhaus, Salzstadel, Büchsenstadel, Zeughaus, Neuer
Ulm Federal Fortifications are the largest preserved fortifications
and were built from 1842 to 1859 to protect from attacks by France.
The historic district Auf dem Kreuz, a residential area with many
buildings from before 1700.
Wiblingen Abbey, a former benedictine abbey in the suburb of Wiblingen
in the south of Ulm. The church shows characteristics of late baroque
and early classicism. Its library is a masterpiece of rococo.
Building of the
Ulm School of Design, (German: Hochschule für
Gestaltung - HfG Ulm), an important school of design (1953–68) in
the succession of the Bauhaus.
Stadthaus, a house for public events built by Richard Meier, directly
adjacent to the minster.
Stadtbibliothek, the building of the public library of
Ulm was erected
Gottfried Böhm in the form of a glass pyramid and is situated
directly adjacent to the town hall.
Weishaupt Art Gallery (de) is the highlight in Ulm's New Centre
Weishaupt Art Gallery (de)  The private Collection shows
modern art from 1945 in an extraordinary surrounding.
Ulm Museum (de) houses a significant collection of art and
craftwork from the Middle Ages, the
Löwenmensch figurine - a
40,000-year-old lion-headed figurine which is the oldest known
human/animal shaped sculpture in the world - and various European and
American art from the years after 1945. The museum has alternating
Museum of Bread Culture (de) offers a permanent exhibition
about the history of grain, baking, milling and bread culture.
The exhibitions in the
Danube Swabian Museum (de) follow the
varied history of the
Danube Swabians (Donauschwaben) emigrants.
Albert Einstein Memorial - A small memorial at the site of the house
Albert Einstein was born in Bahnhofstraße, between the
present-day newspaper offices and the bank. The house itself and the
whole district were destroyed in the firebombing of 1944.
Memorial to Hans and
Sophie Scholl - A small memorial on the
Münsterplatz in memory of these two members of the
Weiße Rose (White
Rose, a resistance group opposed to the Nazi regime), who spent their
youth in Ulm. Their family's house near the memorial was destroyed in
the firebombing of 1944.
The Memorial to Deserters - Located near the University's botanical
garden, it commemorates those who deserted from the Wehrmacht during
World War II. It was originally erected on September 9, 1989, and was
moved to its current location in July 2005. The Monument represents
the idea: "Desertion is not reprehensible, war is".
The Botanischer Garten der Universität Ulm, the university's
Silo tower of the mill company Schapfenmühle (Schapfen Mill Tower)
Sender Ulm-Ermingen (de)
Mediumwave transmission mast Ulm-Jungingen
FM and TV mast Ulm-Kuhberg
The Tiergarten Ulm, the zoo. It was opened in 1935, closed in 1944 and
reopened in 1966.
Born in Ulm
Otl Aicher (1922–1991), graphic designer, co-founder of
of Design, (German: Hochschule für Gestaltung - HfG Ulm), and creator
Ernst Bauer (1917–1991), resistance fighter and publisher
Max Bentele, mechanical engineer, jet-engine pioneer, and father of
Wankel rotary engine
Wankel rotary engine in the US
Albrecht Berblinger, (1770–1829), flight pioneer
Dieter Braun, (born 1943), Motorcycle Grand Prix racer
Hermann Duckek (1936-2001), riding master and Olympic equestrian arena
Albert Einstein, (1879–1955), physicist, philosopher, Nobel Prize
Helmut Ensslin (1909–1984), Protestant parson and father of
RAF-member Gudrun Ensslin
Anna Essinger, educator; co-founder and headmistress of Bunce Court
Johann Faulhaber, (1580–1635), mathematician, inventor of
Nikolaus Federmann (1505–1542), adventurer and conquistador in
Venezuela and Colombia
Eugen Haile, composer
Fritz Hartnagel (1917–2001), officer and jurist, fiancé of Sophie
Hellmut Hattler, jazz and rock bass player (Kraan)
Max Hattler, artist filmmaker
Johann Christoph Heilbronner, mathematical historian
Leo Hepp (1907–1987), officer of the Wehrmacht and General of the
Dieter Hoeneß, (born 1953), former football player, former general
Hertha BSC and
VfL Wolfsburg football club
Uli Hoeneß, (born 1952), former football player, president of Bayern
Munich football club
Otto Kässbohrer (1904–1989), entrepreneur and constructor
Hildegard Knef, (1925–2002), actress, singer and writer
Mike Krüger, comedian
Hellmuth Laegeler (1902–1972), major general in the Wehrmacht
Hans Maler zu Schwaz, painter of the 16th century
Erwin Piscator, theatre director and innovator
Sam Rosen, American sportscaster (MSG Network)
Claudia Roth, (born 1955), politician, chairman of the German Green
Wilhelm Schuler, chemist, inventor and entrepreneur in the second half
of the 20th century.
Otherwise associated with Ulm
Max Bill (1908–1994), architect and artist, co-founder and director
Ulm School of Design
Ulm School of Design (German: Hochschule für Gestaltung - HfG
Robert Bosch, industrialist, engineer and inventor, founder of Robert
Bosch GmbH (born in Albeck near Ulm)
Matthäus Böblinger (de), stonemason and master builder,
involved in the construction of
In 1619 philosopher
Rene Descartes experienced a powerful vision near
Ulrich Ensingen, master builder, involved in the construction of the
Ulm Minster and
Hermann Fressant, 14th-century author
Leonhard Hutter (born in
Nellingen near Ulm)
Herbert von Karajan, conductor,
Johannes Kepler, a German mathematician, astronomer, astrologer and a
key figure in the 17th century scientific revolution, lived for a
while in Ulm
Hans Multscher, 15th-century sculptor
Erwin Rommel (born in Heidenheim, his last residence was at Herrlingen
Hans Scholl and Sophie Scholl, founders of the White Rose, spent their
youth in Ulm
Carl Teike, who composed the military march
Alte Kameraden in
Ronnie Maunz, and American Racing Driver who has family residing in
See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Germany
Ulm is a member city of the Eurotowns network.
Ulm is officially not twinned. But there are relations with:
Bratislava in Slovakia
Budapest in Hungary
Baja in Hungary
Novi Sad in Serbia
Subotica in Serbia
Kladovo in Serbia
Sibiu in Romania
New Ulm, Minnesota
New Ulm, Minnesota in the United States
Timișoara in Romania
Arad in Romania
Cluj-Napoca in Romania
Tulcea in Romania
Vidin in Bulgaria
Silistra in Bulgaria
Vukovar in Croatia
Jeju in South Korea
^ "Gemeinden in Deutschland nach Fläche, Bevölkerung und
Postleitzahl am 30.09.2016".
Statistisches Bundesamt (in German).
^ "ulm-by-michael-vogt". 500px.com. Retrieved May 24, 2014.
^ "RAF History - Bomber Command 60th Anniversary". Raf.mod.uk.
^ "Homepage - BMW Car IT".
^ Stadt Ulm. "Stadt
Ulm erhält 'European Energy Award'".
^ Lars Schulz (2010-03-27). "Solarbundesliga". Solarbundesliga.de.
^ SWU Fakten, Stadtwerke Ulm, visited 15. Mai 2008.
^ "Press release at Gruene-IT.de".
^ "Solarstiftung Ulm/
Neu-Ulm - Home". Solarboot-ulm.de. Retrieved
^ Roland Fuchs. "Home - Bündnis 100% Erneuerbare Energien". 100ee.de.
^ "The University of Ulm". Retrieved 2011-03-09.
Ulm - History". HfG-Archiv Ulm. 2003. Retrieved
^ "Theatre Ulm". Retrieved 2011-03-09.
^ "Theatres & Stages". Retrieved 2011-03-09.
Ulm - Konzerte" (in German). Retrieved 2011-03-09.
Ulm City Hall (Rathaus)".
^ "Page with photos of Wiblingen Abbey's
^ Terence McKenna ~ Science Was Founded by an Angel. 2 January 2010
– via YouTube.
^ "Partner (Twin) towns of Bratislava". Bratislava-City.sk. Archived
from the original on 2013-07-28. Retrieved 2013-08-05.
^ a b "
Ulm - International Contacts (in German)". City of Ulm.
Johannes Baier: Über die Tertiärbildungen im Ulmer Raum. In:
Documenta Naturae. 168; München, 2008. ISBN 978-3-86544-168-3.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ulm.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Ulm.
Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article
Official website of the city
Official Tourism Website of
Ulm and Neu-Ulm
Official website of the University of Ulm
Ulm public library (in German)
Germany by population
Freiburg im Breisgau
Mülheim an der Ruhr
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Regions, and urban and rural districts in the state of
List of islands in the Danube
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