The Federal Fortifications of Ulm, built from 1842 to 1859 are top-ranking fortification works.
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Under the leadership of Moritz von Prittwitz and Major von Hildebrandt, fortifications were built which impart a monumental impression of the idea of a “new German fortification”. Von Prittwitz´s concept was to build a circular, irregular rampart around the town, which matched the prevailing topography.
With the completion of this federal fortification, Ulm developed into a large, garrison town, something that is felt even today. A greenbelt, surrounding almost the whole of the two town centres was created. Large sections of the federal fortifications still exist today and are used for many different purposes.
The town ramparts on the Neu-Ulm side are particularly well worth seeing. They extend along the “Glacis Park” and give a good insight into the concept of the fortification. The fortification’s monumental citadel, the “Wilhelmsburg”, towers on the side of the “Michelsberg”. This huge building covers an area of 24,125 sqm and has an inner courtyard covering 1.3 hectares. The four wings of the citadel house more than 570 rooms.
On the outskirts of the town, by the Danube, in the parks and on the hills, the different buildings of the fortifications give an insight into the magnitude of the complex. There is a marked trail of about 13 kilometres along the inner ring of the fortification through Ulm and Neu-Ulm.
At the time of building, it was the largest fortifications complex in Germany.