Ulm Minster (Germany) - tallest church in the world
Location show on map
Münsterplatz 1, Ulm, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Date of build
1376 - construction begins
June 29, 1890 - completion of construction
Although this church is often referred to as the Ulm Cathedral due to its size, it is not really a cathedral as it has never been the seat of a bishop.
The dimensions of the cathedral are impressive, its nave is 41.6 meters high, 59.2 meters wide and 139.5 meters long.
The main tower is 161.5 meters high, making it the tallest church tower in the world. The total weight of the tower and spire is 51,550 tons.
The history of the cathedral dates back to 1377, when the citizens of Ulm decided to demolish the old parish church at the city gates and build a new church in the middle of the city. At that time, Ulm was still a free imperial city and was still Roman Catholic.
In a civic vote in 1530, a decision was made to make the cathedral a place of worship for the Protestant church.
The building was owned by the city of Ulm until 1894, then it passed into the possession of the Protestant parish.
Münster survived the air raids on Ulm between 1944 and 1945 mostly undamaged.
Between 1890 and 1894 the Ulm Cathedral held the record for the world's tallest building, a record it took over from the Cologne Cathedral (159.7 meters). It was outclassed in 1901 by Philadelphia City Hall. The cathedral towers were originally intended to be lower, but several meters were added to surpass the Cologne Cathedral.
Work on the tower continued for many years until the 19th century, when it was completed.
Ulrich Ensinger, Hans Kun, Kaspar Kun, Matthäus Ensinger and Moritz Ensinger built the main nave of the cathedral and the west tower to a height of 70 meters. Between 1474 and 1494, work on the square part of the main tower was carried out by Matthaeus Boeblinger. In 1529, however, due to lack of money, work was halted for many years, only to be completed between 1844 and 1890.
After climbing the 768 steps of the tower and reaching 143 meters, the terrace offers a panorama of the Alps far in the distance to the south.
The two smaller towers at the east end of the cathedral are each 86 meters high. They were created, among others, by Ulrich Ensinger.
Above the main doors of the church, scenes from the Book of Genesis created by Master Hartmann are depicted. The exterior features five portals with richly decorated tympanums.
Heinrich Parler undertook the construction of the choir. These 15th century carved oak choir stalls are one of the outstanding elements of the interior, as are the two-storey pulpit, the stained-glass window in the apse from the same period, the 17th century organ on which Mozart played in 1763, and the fresco of the Last Judgement above the wall separating the naves from the chancel.
In the five-nave interior we can find monumental figures of prophets and apostles created by Carl Federlin in the years 1890-1912.
In the western portal, the tympanum filled with 14th century sculptures depicting scenes from the Book of Genesis is worth a moment's look.
In the central part of the entrance is the Man of Sorrows by the late Gothic sculptor Hans Multscher.
In the Middle Ages, the interior of the cathedral held up to 20,000 worshippers; today it seats 2,000.
Official website: https://www.muenster-ulm.de/