Cities & Culture

Ulm: the ultimate combination of tradition and modernity

Ulm: 'Neue Mitte' ©UlmS - Haus der Geschichte -Stadtarchiv

Ulm Minster has towered over the city for centuries. Following the widespread destruction of Ulm in World War II, locals struggled to find the right way to handle its reconstruction. A compromise was ultimately reached, which saw a unique cityscape of lovingly restored buildings on the one hand and breathtaking modernity on the other.

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 definitely more to Ulm than this. The former Free Imperial City boasts a variety of historical attractions, such as the Town Hall featuring elaborate paintings on its exterior walls, the Trading House, the ancient Stone House, the 17th-century Oath House and the Romanesque Chapel of St. Nicholas, which was built in around 1220.

The old buildings stand in stark contrast to Ulm's modern structures with their remarkable architecture. Take, for example, the white Town House, the glass-fronted Central Library, the Cultural Hall, the synagogue or the Kaufhaus Münstertor shopping centre. Dotted in between are world-class museums and collections, plus various theatres, gardens and parks. A tour of Museum Ulm is also a thrilling experience. Its archaeological collection includes the Lion-man, the oldest zoomorphic sculpture in the world. The popular Fischerviertel and Gerberviertel districts have been perfectly restored and are home to wonderful places to eat, drink and enjoy the company of others. There are also many relaxing beer gardens in Neu-Ulm, the city's Bavarian counterpart on the other side of the Danube.

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