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Ulm with the Ulm Minster
Ulm with the Ulm Minster
Flag of Ulm
Coat of arms of Ulm
Location of Ulm
Ulm is located in Germany
Ulm is located in Baden-Württemberg
Coordinates: 48°24′N 09°59′E / 48.400°N 9.983°E / 48.400; 9.983Coordinates: 48°24′N 09°59′E / 48.400°N 9.983°E / 48.400; 9.983
Admin. regionTübingen
DistrictUrban district
First mentioned854 AD
Subdivisions18 Stadtteile
 • Lord mayor (2015–23) Gunter Czisch[1] (CDU)
 • Total118.69 km2 (45.83 sq mi)
478 m (1,568 ft)
 • Total126,949
 • Density1,100/km2 (2,800/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
Postal codes
Dialling codes0731, 07304,
07305, 07346
Vehicle registrationUL

Ulm (German pronunciation: [ʊlm] (listen)) is a city in the German state of Baden-Württemberg, situated on the river Danube on the border with Bavaria. The city, which has an estimated population of more than 126,000 (2018), forms an urban district of its own (German: Stadtkreis) and is the administrative seat of the Alb-Donau district.

Founded around 850, Ulm is rich in history and traditions as a former free imperial city (German: freie Reichsstadt). The neighbouring town of Neu-Ulm in Bavaria was part of Ulm until 1810.

Today, Ulm is an economic centre due to its varied industries, and it is the seat of the University of Ulm. Internationally, the city is primarily known for having the church with the tallest steeple in the world (161.53 m or 529.95 ft), the Gothic minster (Ulm Minster, German: Ulmer Münster), and as the birthplace of Albert Einstein.


View from Ulm Minster towards Hirschstraße.
View from Ulm Minster towards Hirschstraße.

Ulm lies at the point where the rivers Blau and Iller join the Danube, at an altitude of 479 m (1,571.52 ft) above sea level. Most parts of the city, including the old town, are situated on the northern bank of the Danube; only the districts of Wiblingen, Gögglingen, Donaustetten and Unterweiler lie on the southern bank. Across from the old town, on the other side of the river, lies the twin city of Neu-Ulm in the state of Bavaria, smaller than Ulm and, until 1810, a part of it (population c. 50,000).

Except for the Danube in the south, the city is surrounded by forests and hills which rise to altitudes of over 620 metres (2,034.12 feet), some of them part of the Swabian Alb. South of the Danube, plains and hills finally end in the northern edge of the Alps, which are approximately 100 kilometres (62 miles) from Ulm and are visible from the city on clear days.

The city of Ulm is situated in the northern part of the North Alpine Foreland basin, where the basin reaches the Swabian Alb. The Turritellenplatte of Ermingen ("Erminger Turritellenplatte") is a famous palaeontological site of Burdigalian age.

Neighboring communes

Ulm in the 1493 Nuremberg Chronicle.
Ulm in the 1493 Nuremberg Chronicle.

On the right (south-eastern) side of Danube and Iller there is the Bavarian district town Neu-Ulm. On the left (north-western) side Ulm is almost completely surrounded by the Alb-Danube district. The neighbouring communes of Baden-Württemberg are the following: Illerkirchberg, Staig, Hüttisheim, Erbach (Donau), Blaubeuren, Blaustein, Dornstadt, Beimerstetten and Langenau as well as the eastern neighbouring community Elchingen.

Town subdivisions

The city is divided into 18 districts (German: Stadtteile): Ulm-Mitte, Böfingen, Donaustetten, Donautal, Eggingen, Einsingen, Ermingen, Eselsberg, Gögglingen, Grimmelfingen, Jungingen, Lehr, Mähringen, Oststadt, Söflingen (with Harthausen), Unterweiler, Weststadt, and Wiblingen.

Nine districts were integrated during the latest municipality reform in the 1970s: Eggingen, Einsingen, Ermingen, Gögglingen-Donaustetten, Jungingen, Lehr, Mähringen und Unterweiler. They have their own local councils which acquire an important consulting position to the whole city council concerning issues that are related to the prevailing districts. But at the end, final decisions can only be made by the city council of the entire city of Ulm.


See also: Free Imperial City of Ulm

Ulm in 1572 by Frans Hogenberg
Ulm in 1572 by Frans Hogenberg

The oldest traceable settlement of the Ulm area began in the early Neolithic period, around 5000 BC. Settlements of this time have been identified at the villages of Eggingen and Lehr, today districts of the city. In the city area of Ulm proper, the oldest find dates from the late Neolithic period. The earliest written mention of Ulm is dated 22 July 854 AD, when King Louis of the Germans signed a document in the King's palace of "Hulma" in the Duchy of Swabia.[3] The city was declared an Imperial City (German: Reichsstadt) by Friedrich Barbarossa in 1181.

At first, Ulm's significance was due to the privilege of a Königspfalz, a place of accommodation for the medieval German kings and emperors on their frequent travels. Later, Ulm became a city of traders and craftsmen. One of the most important legal documents of the city, an agreement between the Ulm patricians and the trade guilds (German: Großer Schwörbrief), dates from 1397. This document, considered an early city constitution, and the beginning of the construction of an enormous church (Ulm Minster, 1377), financed by the inhabitants of Ulm themselves rather than by the church, demonstrate the assertiveness of Ulm's medieval citizens. Ulm blossomed during the 15th and 16th centuries, mostly due to the export of high-quality textiles. The city was situated at the crossroads of important trade routes extending to Italy. These centuries, during which many important buildings were erected, also represented the zenith of art in Ulm, especially for painters and sculptors like Hans Multscher and Jörg Syrlin the Elder. During the Reformation, Ulm became Protestant (1530). With the establishment of new trade routes following the discovery of the New World (16th century) and the outbreak and consequences of the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648), the city began to decline gradually. During the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–1714), it was alternately invaded several times by French and Bavarian soldiers.

The capitulation of Ulm. General Mack and 23,000 Austrian troops surrendered to Napoleon.
The capitulation of Ulm. General Mack and 23,000 Austrian troops surrendered to Napoleon.

In the wars following the French Revolution, the city was alternately occupied by French and Austrian forces, with the former ones destroying the city fortifications. In 1803, it lost the status of Imperial City and was absorbed into Bavaria. During the campaign of 1805, Napoleon managed to trap the invading Austrian army of General Mack and forced it to surrender in the Battle of Ulm. In 1810, Ulm was incorporated into the Kingdom of Württemberg and lost its districts on the other bank of the Danube, which came to be known as Neu-Ulm (New Ulm).

In the mid-19th century, the city was designated a fortress of the German Confederation with huge military construction works directed primarily against the threat of a French invasion. The city became an important centre of industrialisation in southern Germany in the second half of the 19th century, its built-up area now being extended beyond the medieval walls. The construction of the huge minster, which had been interrupted in the 16th century for economic reasons, was resumed and eventually finished (1844–1891) in a wave of German national enthusiasm for the Middle Ages.

From 1933 to 1935, a concentration camp primarily for political opponents of the regime was established on the Kuhberg, one of the hills surrounding Ulm. The Jews of Ulm, around 500 people, were first discriminated against and later persecuted; their synagogue was torn down during Kristallnacht in November 1938. Of 116 Jews deported from Ulm during World War II (45 were sent to Theresienstadt on 22 August 1942), only four returned.[4] Approximately 25 Jews were living in Ulm in 1968.

The sole RAF strategic bombing during World War II against Ulm occurred on 17 December 1944, against the two large lorry factories of Magirus-Deutz and Kässbohrer, as well as other industries, barracks, and depots in Ulm. The Gallwitz Barracks and several military hospitals were among 14 Wehrmacht establishments destroyed.[5] The raid killed 707 Ulm inhabitants and left 25,000 homeless and after all the bombings, over 80% of the medieval city centre lay in ruins.

Most of the city was rebuilt in the plain and simple style of the 1950s and 1960s, but some of the historic landmark buildings have been restored. Due to its almost complete destruction in 1944, the Hirschstraße part of the city primarily consists of modern architecture. Ulm experienced substantial growth in the decades following World War II, with the establishment of large new housing projects and new industrial zones. In 1967, Ulm University was founded, which proved to be of great importance for the development of the city. Particularly since the 1980s, the transition from classical industry towards the high-tech sector has accelerated, with, for example, the establishment of research centres of companies like Daimler, Siemens and Nokia and a number of small applied research institutes near the university campus. The city today is still growing, forming a twin city of 170,000 inhabitants together with its neighbouring Bavarian city of Neu-Ulm, and seems to benefit from its central position between the cities of Stuttgart and Munich and thus between the cultural and economic hubs of southern Germany.

Panorama of Ulm
Significant minority groups
Nationality Population (2018)
 Turkey 4,782
 Italy 2,009
 Croatia 1,557
 Bosnia & Herzegovina 1,532
 Romania 1,319
 Kosovo 959
 Syria 823
 Serbia 783
 Hungary 740
 Iraq 678
 Poland 626


Historical population
Population size may be affected by changes in administrative divisions. source:[6]


Saint George's Catholic church, Ulm
Saint George's Catholic church, Ulm

The city has very old trading traditions dating from medieval times and a long history of industrialisation, beginning with the establishment of a railway station in 1850. The most important sector is still classical industry (machinery, especially motor vehicles; electronics; pharmaceuticals). The establishment of the University of Ulm in 1967, which focuses on biomedicine, the sciences, and engineering, helped support a transition to high-tech industry, especially after the crisis of classical industries in the 1980s.[citation needed]

Companies with headquarters in Ulm include:

Companies with important sites in Ulm include:


In 2007 the City of Ulm was awarded the European Energy Award for its remarkable local energy management and its efforts to combat climate change.[9] Examples of these efforts are a biomass power plant operated by the Fernwärme Ulm GmbH (10 MW electrical output), and the world's biggest passive house office building, the so-called Energon, located in the "Science City" near the university campus. Moreover, the city of Ulm boasts the second largest solar power production in Germany.[10] For all new buildings, a strict energy standard (German KFW40 standard) has been mandatory since April 2008. Ulm Minster has been fully powered by renewables since January 2008.[11] Until the end of 2011 as a European pilot project a self-sustaining data-centre will be constructed in the west-city of Ulm.[12] There is a solar-powered ferry that crosses the Danube 7 days a week in summer.[13] The "Bündnis 100% Erneuerbare Energien" was founded in February 2010 with the aim of bringing together the people and organisations seeking to promote the transition to 100% renewable energy in Ulm and Neu-Ulm by 2030.[14]


Tram in Ulm
Tram in Ulm

Ulm is situated at the crossroads of the A8 motorway (connecting the principal cities of southern Germany, Stuttgart and Munich), and the A7 motorway (one of the motorways running from northern to southern Europe).

The city's railway station is served, among other lines, by one of the European train routes (Paris – StrasbourgStuttgart – Ulm – MunichViennaBudapest). Direct connections to Berlin are also available.

Ulm's public transport system is based on several bus lines and two tram lines. Several streets in the old town are for the use of pedestrians and cyclists only. Ulm was the first area to be served by the Daimler AG's Car2Go carsharing service in 2008. However, the service in Ulm was discontinued at the end of 2014.

Education and culture

The Ulm Public Library
The Ulm Public Library

The University of Ulm was founded in 1967 and focuses on the sciences, medicine, engineering, and mathematics / economics. With about 10,000 students, it is one of the smaller universities in Germany.[15]

Ulm is also the seat of the city's University of Applied Sciences (German: Fachhochschule), founded in 1960 as a public school of engineering. The school also houses numerous students from around the world as part of an international study abroad programme.[citation needed]

In 1953, Inge Aicher-Scholl, Otl Aicher and Max Bill founded the Ulm School of Design (German: Hochschule für Gestaltung – HfG Ulm), a design school in the tradition of the Bauhaus, which was, however, closed in 1968.[16]

Ulm's public library features over 480,000 print media. The city has a public theatre with drama, opera and ballet,[17] several small theatres,[18] and a professional philharmonic orchestra.[19]


The Donaustadion is the stadium of football club SSV Ulm 1846
The Donaustadion is the stadium of football club SSV Ulm 1846
Club Founded League Sport Venue Capacity
SSV Ulm 1846 1846 Football Donaustadion 19,500
Ratiopharm Ulm 2001 Basketball Bundesliga Basketball Ratiopharm arena 6,000


Ulm Marktplatz (market square) with town hall (right) and public library (center)
Ulm Marktplatz (market square) with town hall (right) and public library (center)
Town hall
Town hall
Ulm: View through Rabengasse towards the minster
Ulm: View through Rabengasse towards the minster
Sculpture by Niki de Saint Phalle (The poet and his muse) in front of Ulm University
Sculpture by Niki de Saint Phalle (The poet and his muse) in front of Ulm University





Other landmarks

Notable people

Born in Ulm

Albert Einstein in 1893, aged 14
Albert Einstein in 1893, aged 14

Otherwise associated with Ulm

International relations

See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Germany

Ulm is a member city of the Eurotowns network.[31]

Ulm is officially not twinned. But there are relations with:



  1. ^ Oberbürgermeisterwahl Ulm 2015, Staatsanzeiger.
  2. ^ "Bevölkerung nach Nationalität und Geschlecht am 31. Dezember 2021" [Population by nationality and sex as of December 31, 2021] (CSV) (in German). Statistisches Landesamt Baden-Württemberg. June 2022.
  3. ^ "ulm-by-michael-vogt". Retrieved 24 May 2014.
  4. ^ "Ulm". Retrieved 14 January 2020.
  5. ^ "RAF History – Bomber Command 60th Anniversary". Archived from the original on 6 July 2007. Retrieved 6 May 2009.
  6. ^ Link
  7. ^ "Homepage – BMW Car IT".
  8. ^ "Homepage – Nokia Networks in Germany".
  9. ^ Stadt Ulm. "Stadt Ulm – Ulm erhält 'European Energy Award'". Archived from the original on 4 July 2018. Retrieved 12 December 2018.
  10. ^ Lars Schulz (27 March 2010). "Solarbundesliga". Retrieved 8 April 2010.
  11. ^ SWU Fakten, Stadtwerke Ulm, visited 15. Mai 2008.
  12. ^ "Press release at".
  13. ^ "Solarstiftung Ulm/Neu-Ulm – Home". Archived from the original on 6 January 2014. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
  14. ^ Roland Fuchs. "Home – Bündnis 100% Erneuerbare Energien". Retrieved 20 March 2010.
  15. ^ "The University of Ulm". Retrieved 9 March 2011.
  16. ^ "HfGArchiv Ulm – History". HfG-Archiv Ulm. 2003. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 9 March 2011.
  17. ^ "Theatre Ulm". Retrieved 9 March 2011.
  18. ^ "Theatres & Stages". Retrieved 9 March 2011.
  19. ^ "Theater Ulm – Konzerte" (in German). Archived from the original on 26 January 2011. Retrieved 9 March 2011.
  20. ^ "Ulmer Rathaus (Ulm) – 2020 All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)". Tripadvisor.
  21. ^ "Page with photos of Wiblingen Abbey's Baroque library". Archived from the original on 17 July 2011. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  22. ^ "kunsthalle weishaupt – Moderne und zeitgenössische Kunst in Ulm". kunsthalle weishaupt.
  23. ^[bare URL]
  24. ^ "Museum der Brotkultur in Ulm - - english content". Archived from the original on 31 October 2013. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
  25. ^ "Donauschwäbisches Zentralmuseum Ulm – ENG". Archived from the original on 17 October 2003. Retrieved 6 June 2022.
  26. ^ Pollard, Albert Frederick (1911). "Emser, Jerome" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 9 (11th ed.). p. 362.
  27. ^ "Freinsheim, Johann" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 11 (11th ed.). 1911. p. 95.
  28. ^ Wallace, William (1911). "Descartes, René" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 8 (11th ed.). pp. 79–90.
  29. ^ Terence McKenna ~ Science Was Founded by an Angel. 2 January 2010. Archived from the original on 7 November 2021 – via YouTube.
  30. ^ "Hutter, Leonhard" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 14 (11th ed.). 1911. p. 15.
  31. ^ "Eurotowns – The future's city network in Europe (2019)". Eurotowns.
  32. ^ "Partner (Twin) towns of Bratislava". Archived from the original on 28 July 2013. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
  33. ^ a b "Ulm – International Contacts (in German)". City of Ulm. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 22 February 2011.