Ulm Germany

Ulm Germany has two major claims to fame: It was the birthplace of Albert Einstein, and it has the church with the tallest steeple in the world. In addition to these two attractions, however, Ulm Germany is a charming Bavarian city lying near the banks of the Danube, about halfway between Munich and Stuttgart, with many buildings of architectural interest, as well as a vibrant artistic culture, a young and lively vibe due to Ulm University, and great little streets in which to shop and wander around for hours.

Ulmer Munster is the dominant feature in the landscape of Ulm Germany. The church has an enormous west steeple, measuring 530 feet high. You can climb to the top of the steeple via 768 steps, for a small fee, for a great view of the town, as well as the satisfaction of saying you've been to the top of the world's highest church steeple. Ulmer Munster also has the distinction of being the tallest building built before the twentieth century. The church was originally built in the 14th century, with the steeple being added later in the 1800s. The Gothic building is very impressive from the outside, with gargoyles, buttresses, and other sculptures adorning its exterior, and the interior is just as majestic. Tall vaulted ceilings, five stained glass windows in the apse, stone sculptures and carved oak busts, as well as an organ which was reputedly played by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, are all fascinating features of Ulmer Munster's interior.

The square outside of the Munster is one of the best pedestrian areas for walking and shopping. There is often an open-air market in the square with outdoor stalls, as well as a Christmas market where you can stock up on all your ornamental needs for the holidays. There are several large department stores near Munster Square, and if you wander into the smaller side streets you'll find smaller boutiques and quaint little shops. This is also a great place to find a little cafe or restaurant for lunch.

Wander through the historic Old Quarter (Auf dem Kreuz) for a glimpse of Ulm long before modern times. There are many houses dating from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and nearby you'll find the Einstein fountain, a monument commemorating Einstein's birth in Ulm, though he left the city at the age of one. The fountain is a funny one, as you'll see when you get there. Another fascinating area to visit is the Fisherman's Quarter, an area full of narrow streets and traditional, timber-frame houses. If you can, stay at the Schiefes Haus Hotel, the "crooked house," an old timber-frame house from the 16th century that has become crooked and slanted over the years. If you don't mind the slight vertigo caused by slanted floors in your hotel room, this one of the most unique hotels in the city.

Other places of interest in Ulm Germany include the glass pyramid of the public library, which towers over the center of the town, and right next to it is the historic Rathaus, or Town Hall, which has some very colorful sixteenth-century paintings on its exterior walls, and features Medieval architecture from the 1300s.

If you'd like to learn more about the region's history, check out Ulm Museum and the Danube Museum, which feature exhibits and art from the area's past. Meanwhile, if you're a food-lover and want to learn more about delicious German bread, visit the Breadmaking Museum, which contains thousands of exhibits about the history and importance of bread.

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