Ulm Minster was first planned in the mid-14th century and was one of the most ambitious projects for a religious building promoted by townspeople in the late Middle Ages. Lutz Krafft, the burgomaster, laid the foundation stone for the new parish church of the Heilige Jungfrau Maria in 1377. In 1446 Ulm acquired the patronage and parish rights from the monastery of Reichenau. A statement of account from 1387 names the first three consecutive architects as members of the Parler von Ulm family. Ulrich von Ensingen became Master of the Works in 1392 and presided over the most important building phase (1392-1419). The consecration took place in 1405 while the minster was still only partially complete. Hans Kun was appointed architect in 1417 and was succeeded by his son Kaspar Kun in 1435. In 1446, Matthäus Ensinger became Master of the Works and was succeeded by his son Moritz Ensinger in 1465 (his position was confirmed in 1470). After Moritz Ensinger’s premature departure in 1477, Matthäus Böblinger from Esslingen was appointed and given life tenure. The Augsburg mason Burkhard Engelberg replaced Böblinger as minster architect in 1494/5. From 1518 Bernhard Winkler was appointed Master of Works until the Reformation put an end to construction work in 1531. The next important building phase started in 1844 under architect Ferdinand Thrän. The west tower which had been abandoned for centuries as a stump was completed on the basis of Matthäus Böblinger’s drawing by the architect August von Beyer by 1890.
Although this architectural drawing probably dates from the period of work on the third storey of the tower, the lower parts of the tower are not drawn as built but use the same proportions as drawn in a design of about 1399 attributed to Ulrich von Ensingen in the Ulm Stadaarchiv. The earlier drawing is a partial elevation of the west tower. Both are drawn to the same scale. There are a couple of differences between the two drawings; firstly that the later drawing proposes more concentrated proportions for the second storey which is located above the St Martin’s window, and secondly that the two storeys of the octagon are much more slender (this can be seen in the section of the drawing that is at Ulm). The draughtsman may have been inspired by older architectural drawings (Wortmann, 1978) as some ‘modernisations’ of detail, like the depiction of the bases of the portals are drawn in a typically end of the gothic period manner. The later drawing is a variant of the earlier drawing rather than a new proposal.
Victoria and Albert Museum
- The main organ of the church was destroyed by iconoclasts and replaced in the late 16th century. In 1763 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart played it.
- In 1877, the Jewish congregation of the synagogue of Ulm – including Hermann Einstein, the father of Albert Einstein – donated money for a statue of the Biblical prophet Jeremiah.