Ulm Minster

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Ulm Minster, 1377-1880
Originating in France during the High medieval period, Gothic architecture had begun to spread across Europe. Comprised of flying buttresses, pointed arches, and ribbed vaults, Gothic architecture is most commonly seen in Cathedrals, abbeys, and churches of Europe, such as the Ulm Minster in Ulm, Germany. Construction began in 1377 under Ulrich Ensingen. It’s Gothic style battled the popular Romanesque style that had already existed around Europe. Often known as a Cathedral due to its impressive size, but it was never seated by a bishop.

The Ulm Minster abandoned the symmetrical balance of a two-tower cathedral to a single spire and tower, which reached a height of 620ft. The spire was supposed to be shorter but the height was increased in the plans to surpass the Cologne Cathedral, also in Germany, which was the tallest building in the world from 1880-1884. The Ulm’s tower was designed in 1482 and the spire was constructed in the nineteenth century, when the use of cast iron could be implemented into the construction. It surpassed the Cologne Cathedral and became the tallest building in the world for 11 years, from 1890-1901.

In 1944 the town of Ulm was severely hit by air raids during World War II. The town suffered massive damage, nearly all the buildings in the town square were destroyed. Near the town square the Ulm minister suffered minimal damage. The spire standing and looking over the town to this day as one of Germany’s most visited landmarks.

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