Ulmer Münster

Top choice in Ulm

'Ooh, it’s so big'… First-time visitors gush as they strain their neck muscles gazing up to the Münster. It is. And rather beautiful. Celebrated for its 161.5m-high steeple, this Goliath of cathedrals, the world’s tallest, took 500 years to build from the first stone laid in 1377. Note the hallmarks on each stone, inscribed by cutters who were paid by the block. Those intent on cramming the Münster into one photo, filigree spire and all, should lie on the cobbles.

Only by puffing up 768 spiral steps to the tower's 143m-high viewing platform can you appreciate the Münster’s dizzying height. There are terrific views of the Black Forest and, on cloud-free days, the Alps.

The Israelfenster, a stained-glass window above the west door, commemorates Jews killed during the Holocaust. The Gothic-style wooden pulpit canopy eliminates echoes during sermons. Biblical figures and historical characters such as Pythagoras embellish the 15th-century oak choir stalls. The Münster’s regular organ concerts are a musical treat.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Ulm attractions

1. Stadthaus

0.06 MILES

Designed by Richard Meier, the contemporary aesthetic of the concrete-and-glass Stadthaus is a dramatic contrast to the Münster. The American architect…

2. Kunsthalle Weishaupt

0.11 MILES

The glass-fronted Kunsthalle Weishaupt contains the private collection of Siegfried Weishaupt, which is presented in rotating exhibitions. The accent is…

3. Rathaus

0.13 MILES

The 14th-century Rathaus has an ornately painted Renaissance facade and a gilded astrological clock (1520); bells count off every quarter-hour. Inside you…

4. Stadtbibliothek

0.13 MILES

This 36m-high glass pyramid is the city’s main library. Designed by Gottfried Böhm, it's most impressive illuminated after dark.

5. Museum Ulm

0.13 MILES

This museum is a fascinating romp through ancient and modern art, history and archaeology. Standouts include the 20th-century Kurt Fried Collection,…

6. Synagogue

0.14 MILES

Fitting neatly into Ulm's ensemble of eye-catching contemporary architecture, this free-standing synagogue was built for the Jewish community and…

7. Marktplatz

0.14 MILES

Lording it over the Marktplatz, the 14th-century Rathaus sports a step-gabled, lavishly frescoed Renaissance facade. Out front is the Fischkastenbrunnen,…

8. Fischkastenbrunnen

0.14 MILES

In the Marktplatz is the Fischkastenbrunnen, a fountain where fishmongers kept their river fish alive on market days.