Thursday, January 10, 2008

Old houses in Ulm

Wonderful houses in the small alley ways of Ulm. I did take some more pictures but they are slightly blurred... The city is on the river Danube in the German Bundesland of Baden-Wuttenberg. The city was founded 850 and was founded as a Free Imperial City. Albert Einstein was born in Ulm.
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 neighborhoods on the other bank of the Danube, which became 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 center of industrialization in Southern Germany in the second half of the 19th century, its built area now being extended beyond the medieval walls. The construction of the huge cathedral, which had been interrupted in the 16th century due to economic reasons, was resumed and eventually finished (184491) in a wave of German national enthusiasm for the Middle Ages.

View from the Münster towards Hirschstraße. Due to its almost complete destruction in 1944, this part of the city primarily consists of modern architecture.
Like all other German cities, Ulm came under the control of the National Socialists in 1933. 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 after Kristallnacht in November 1938. During World War II, the city was heavily damaged by allied air raids. The most serious attack occurred on December 17, 1944, killing 707 inhabitants and leaving 25,000 homeless. At the end of the war, over 80% of the mediæval city centre, before the war one of the largest in Southern Germany, lay in ruins.

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