On my Tuesday evening walk during the second week at the course, I had a good view of the Minster. And finally, on the Saturday, I had enough time between the end of class and my train home to actually go there and climb the more than 700 steps to the very top, which lies at an impressive 161 m (or 530 ft).
I left my luggage in a locker at the station and walked across the busy pedestrian area (it was Saturday early afternoon, the busiest time of the week, with the market still going on) to the Minster.
There are occasions for a brief rest to catch one's breath from all the climbing (or to let people on their way down get past you), the first one being not that high up yet. I took the following picture from the first level above the ground.
Further up I went, coming round the tower to the other side with a first view across the roof.
The river you see here is the Danube. It divides Ulm into two cities, Ulm and Neu-Ulm ("new Ulm"). One side of the river is Baden-Württemberg, the other side is Bavaria.
More strange creatures:
To get there, you have to climb up inside this "needle". It is very narrow, and there is only a very small space for people to stand and look. I did not take any pictures from there but went down again to make room for the next person.
A last good look at some of the gargoyles, and a peek at the bells. It is difficult to tell how big they actually are with nothing to compare them to, but believe me, they are huge.
It is true, Ulm Minster does have the tallest church spire in the world. I just checked on Wikipedia. It was erected in 1890 and the spire is a massive 161.5 metres high. What were our forefathers thinking of? They spent so much time and money on building churches when they could have devoted that money and effort to acts of goodness - building hospitals and schools, feeding the poor. If there really was someone called Jesus Christ surely that's what he would have wanted rather than architectural masterpieces. Did you feel a little dizzy at the top?ReplyDelete
Well, the building of Ulm Minster, starting in 1377, certainly created jobs for many people who would have been without work or had to move to different places otherwise. But of course there was that tendency to make the already rich church even richer, and feed fat clerical men instead of the poor. Not unlike what is still happening today.Delete
No, I did not feel dizzy; I'm not afraid of heights as long as I have something to hold on to.
Even your photos make me dizzy, Meike. There's no way you'd get me up there!ReplyDelete
It was well worth climbing up there, and I wasn't dizzy at all but enjoyed the view very much.Delete
Thanks for the photos, I have a fear of heights so I'd never go that high.ReplyDelete
I don't mind heights; when I was a little girl, I "had to" climb every tree in sight, and one of my favourite places was on top of a rather high wall where nowadays I walk past and wonder how I managed to never fall down when playing up there with my friend.Delete
To hear the bells ring through the land; to see the lengths artists will go to so that it will be an uplifting thing to behold, to climb higher than any tree and see the countryside, rivers and sky and feel humbled and reverent at what a beautiful earth lies before us, to offer years of employment to masons and architects and carvers and all their helpers. Just part of what such a superb structure provides. Fascinating post~ReplyDelete
It really is a fascinating place, Julie. This time, I did not hear the bells, but enjoyed the whole experience nonetheless.Delete
It's such a treat to climb this kind of structure! You get a real feel for the amount of effort that went into such a building.ReplyDelete
And still keeps going into it - the work on that huge building never really ends. They finish restoring one part and start on another; some of it dates back to the 14th century, and age, air pollution and weather have left their mark everywhere.Delete
Beautiful, but I know my knees would never take me to the top! Or if they did, I'd never get down again!ReplyDelete
I remember years ago (really decades ago) seeing in the newspaper a photo of a matchstick model of this Cathedral. It was made by someone in Cleveland, but I couldn't find a picture online....
768 steps up, and the same number back down, are certainly a challenge even to those without knee problems, Kristi!Delete
What an interesting place! I definitely could not climb up there. When I was young I went up to the Cupola of St. Peter's at the Vatican...I think it took about 30 minutes.ReplyDelete
Hmmm I can't tell exactly how long it took me, but certainly less than 30 minutes, because I started out at the station with about 1 hour 20 minutes to spare, and when I returned to the station, I still had nearly half an hour until my train arrived. So, counting the walk back and forth between station and Minster, the climbing up and down (plus stops for photographs) was probably under 20 minutes one way.Delete
Mann-o-Mann, das ist allerhand.ReplyDelete
I’ve climbed up the odd spire in France and Germany, but too often I’ve felt sick because of the enclosed space and the height and I will never do it again, even if I could.
Für mich war's ein tolles Erlebnis, das letzte Mal war ich vor fast 20 Jahren da oben!Delete
On Ulm Minster, the enclosed space is not too bad; actually, most of the climb up is rather airy with many great views. I wouldn't want to go up there on a very windy and rainy day.
I wish I could have climbed all of those steps to the very top with you!ReplyDelete
I read about this church and it is a miracle that it was not damaged in World War II.
And during the Middle Ages, it could hold 20,000 people (before pews were introduced) and the town only had a population of 5000. WOW.
I didn't know about the 20.000 people, but I did know that people used to stand in church.Delete
Nowadays, Ulm is a busy town with way more than 5.000 people, and the Minster fits its size quite well. What I still find funny is that Ripon, such a small market town, not even a train station there, has such a huge Cathedral.
What an impressive set of views. Thanks for taking us up with you - so much easier on my knees and lungs. :-)ReplyDelete
You are very welcome, John, and the pleasure was all mine :-)Delete
Once again I am impressed. I've been up to the top of the Duomo in Firenze and that has somewhere over 400 steps but I couldn't even do that now or if by some miracle I got up my knee would never get me down again.ReplyDelete
Firenze is probably my favourite Italian town (of the ones I have visited), and I've been inside the Duomo but never on the top.Delete
You are right about the eye make-up, but I can't wear it, or at least I don't wear it often. That's because my eyes are very sensitive and I easily get infections so I try not to put on any eye make up. Moreover, I don't know how to do it :)ReplyDelete
It is wise of you not to harm yourself with make-up that would give you infections or at least make you feel very uncomfortable. I am not much of a make-up person myself, and never have really learned how to apply it - I just take a lipstick and paint it on, or a bit of eye shadow, and dab it on my lids :-)Delete
Some fabulous photos here, Meike. Especially the first gargoyle, and the view through the gothic lancet window. xoxoxReplyDelete
Thank you, Carol! I was rather impressed with the view through the gothinc windows, too, and the gargoyles are just too good to miss, aren't they!Delete
What an amazing place, and lovely photos too! Whenever I am climbing up somewhere really high or difficult, I imagine the lives of those who heaved the stones up and trudged up there to work all day, originally. I feel this sometimes when I see that people have built up roadways on steep mountainsides....ReplyDelete
Same here, Jenny. I think of how busy the place must have been during building, and how noisy - but still no comparison to what a construction site nowadays is like, with all the noise and pollution that comes with heavy building machinery. And also, without any of the safety rules!Delete
Sometimes it is obvious why people went to such great lengths, but sometimes I wonder what drove them to build something right there, in just such a way.
Wow, I'm impressed. You did a good job in this post of giving us a sense of how high the spire really is, by showing photos taking from different levels like that. It is hard to grasp when just looking upwards from the ground. I was never very good with climbing up high towers and the like... Not even when I was younger. (And even worse if they are the "see-through" kind of stairs!) Seeing this reminds me of William Golding's novel The Spire which was one of my study course books in English literature at the university, way back in the 70's or early 80's. Can't remember the details of the story now but it left me with a lasting impression of the hugeness of building projects like this, and the visions/motivations behind them.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Monica, for mentioning the novel; it sounds like something I would enjoy very much. Have you read "The Pillars of the Eath" by Ken Follett? That is one book that impressed me very much, and I read it during my first holiday in Ripon. It made me see Ripon Cathedral with different eyes.Delete
An amazing work of architecture and art.ReplyDelete
That it certainly is!Delete