On the banks of the Danube, the birthplace of Albert Einstein fascinates with its heritage as one of Europe’s most powerful cities in medieval times.
Quite bold, these people from Ulm: The blinding-white modern Ulm Town House has been placed right opposite the dignified Ulm Minster, the historic Town Hall is neighbour to the Central Library built like a glass pyramid and in the middle of it all, you have the contemporary constructions in the New Centre. Is that alright? Does it look good?
But of course, because it shows that the people of Ulm have not just stood still and good luck getting bored here! Ulm, on one side of the Danube and Neu-Ulm, its Bavarian twin city on the other bank, bring together the traditional and the modern in an exciting combination: historic attractions like the Ulm Minster with the highest church tower in the world and imposing choir-stalls, the romantic Fishermen’s and Tanner’s Quarter with its quaint bridges and narrow streets, and the impressive Federal Fortifications with its many forts and walls are juxtaposed with sophisticated, contemporary architectural highlights like the wedge-shaped Kaufhaus around the corner from Münsterplatz square, the Weishaupt Art Gallery in the New Centre and the pyramid-shaped Central Library with its glass façade in Marktplatz square.
Multi-Faceted Art and Cultural Scene
The original art and culture scene is also very diverse here and ranges from all epochs, housed in the famous museums of the twin cities: You move from one end of the spectrum with 32,000-year old ‘Löwenmenschen’ considered the oldest man-animal sculptures in the world to Medieval masterpieces by Multscher and Syrlin, all the way to 20th-century works of art by the likes of Picasso, Warhol, Macke, Kollwitz and Scharff.
Festivals and Celebrations
But the people from Ulm and New-Ulm also know how to party with their guests: Highlights include the weekend before Oath Monday with the carnavalesque river parade ‘Nabada’ and the ‘Serenade of Lights’ on the Danube (July), the International Danube Festival (every two years in July/August) as also the Ulm Night of Culture (September). The atmosphere is more contemplative but no less festive at the Ulm Christmas Market, when over 100 gaily decorated stalls set up in the large square at the foot of the Ulm Minster, creating a little city within the city.
On the Water
In terms of leisure activities, Ulm/Neu-Ulm have a lot to offer as well: This includes, to just name a few, boat rides on the Danube, a visit to the zoo with a glass tunnel that you can walk through in the aquarium, the Wiblingen Cloister with its impressive library and basilica as also many parks and gardens.
Look Here, Look There
The guided tours through the Danube twin cities are also a great experience as you do not just have the classic city tours that cover the old city and the Ulm Minster, but you also have very unique routes like ‘Medieval meets Modern’ – an exciting architectural mix of historic buildings and new modern constructions that was introduced recently. You also have a tour through Ulm conducted by the city’s musicians where they narrate anecdotes and songs from Medieval times and also slip in coarse joke or two.