Climbing the Münster

Earlier this spring, we finally did it!

On a slow Sunday, with nothing else to do, we found ourselves in the town center and decided to attempt the Münster climb that we’d been meaning to do since we first moved to Ulm.

We paid our fee in the cathedral gift shop, then began to ascend the 768 steps.


The view from the bottom. It’s a very tall tower!

I didn’t manage many interior photos while we hiked. The entire climb is a narrow spiral staircase, and there were other tourists ahead of us and behind us at all times. Since we were carrying Lucy, and often Sam as well, we felt like we were already holding up the queue and didn’t want to stop for a photo on the stairs. Plus, as anyone who’s visited European cathedrals before will know, the staircase is very dark and likely any pictures we tried to take wouldn’t have turned out very well.


We made it to the first landing. It provides a view of the Münsterplatz and the people strolling below. You can’t see it in this picture, but Joe and I were both already flushed & sweating!


The view from the second landing. We were getting pretty high up!


We also spotted some fierce-looking gargoyles en route. Most were on corners of the building that we couldn’t capture by our cameras. There was lots of caging at every opening, to prevent climbers from dropping things (or jumping) from such heights.


The second landing also had a roof-top that became an impromptu slide for my kids. I truly believe this was their favorite part of the whole adventure!


Happy kids. It’s a lot easier to be smiling when you’ve been carried by your parents up 500+ stairs.


This is the final stairwell. The Wikipedia page for the Münster accurately states that there is “barely enough room for one person.” And we had kids in our arms. Every time we had to pass someone going in the opposite direction, we had to hug the wall or the center column and hope that we would not lose our footing. Yikes!


I think we were delirious by this point. Maybe it was the altitude?


A quick snap of Sam on the final stairwell. At least half the tourists seemed to give up and not attempt this last climb, so we didn’t feel quite as much pressure to hurry. Sam actually did a very good job of climbing portions of the tower without [much] complaint. I think that living on the 5th floor of our apartment building has built up his tolerance more than we’d realized.


This is the roof of the main church below.


And a view across the Danube.


I don’t know what Lucy’s so grumpy about! You can see from the photo how narrow the circular walkway around the top viewing platform is. It was difficult to pass around other tourists. I wouldn’t recommend bringing young kids on the Münster climb, simply because of the cramped walkways.

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Here’s some selfies of Joe with the kids at the top.

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After all those stairs, we felt we deserved to reward ourselves with some gelato.


Here’s a last photo taken by Sam. Kudos to all who have succeeded in climbing the Münster tower! It’s not an easy feat and I’m glad we managed it once before we leave this German town.


6 thoughts on “Climbing the Münster

  1. Betsy: A wonderful post. Loved your description & the pics of the town. I imagine you will miss the beauty of the town, along with the walkability of the community. And what a good outcome for Sam who was probably more willing to walk up stairs because of your apt stairs. Wouldn’t happen in the US.

    Good luck on finding a new home. Won’t be long now before you return.


    From: Danube Waltz Reply-To: Danube Waltz Date: Wednesday, June 18, 2014 4:46 AM To: LINDA HAHN Subject: [New post] Climbing the Münster betsyconnors posted: “Earlier this spring, we finally did it! On a slow Sunday, with nothing else to do, we found ourselves in the town center and decided to attempt the Münster climb that we’d been meaning to do since we first moved to Ulm. We paid our fee in the cathed”

  2. Thank you so much, Linda. You are right about the walkability of this river town. We’ve talked often about how much easier it is to walk 4km across town when there are no hills to climb.

    And thanks for the home-finding wishes! Moving is never easy.

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