Talk:Ulm Minster

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It is not a cathedral because it has never been the seat of a bishop. Münster shouldn't be translated as cathedral thus. Nobody would use the German word "Kathedrale" for this church. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:37, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

Surely it should be Ulm Minster in English, not Ulm Münster? As terms of art, they are a close match. Tacitus 22:18, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

It should actually translate as "Ulm Cathedral". Musicandnintendo 07:26, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

Google translates the article "Ulmer Münster" as "Ulm Cathedral". However de:Münster (Kirche) is Minster (church). The correct title of this article should be the German name "Ulmer Münster", with redirects from Ulm Cathedral and Ulm Münster. The church is a a very rich parish church, begun as a Roman Catholic and converted to Lutheran when Ulm voted for Reformation. It never was the seat of a bishop as pointed out above; This it is not a de:Kathedrale in the ecclesiastical sense. Although it is larger than many Cathedral churches and in a secular architectural view can be lumped in as a "Gothic Cathedral". Group29 (talk) 20:03, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Agreed, the article should be moved. Somebody be bold. -- Secisek (talk) 07:52, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

I think it should be "Ulmer Münster" because that appears to be the most commonly used name, even outside Germany. The page uses that term. Google searches on English pages yield only 1,780 hits for "Ulm Minster" but 11,200 for "Ulmer Munster". I suspect the word "minster" is unknown by many American English speakers, so there is limited value in using the English translation/cognate. That might explain why Google translates "Münster" as "Cathedral". (talk) 06:44, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

In the German Kathedral article, it points out that sometimes in the Swabian-speaking/Alemannic areas, a cathedral is titled Münster. Adding more difficulty, in current related articles the former Catholic, but now Protestant de:Basel Münster is Basel Münster in the English Wikipedia article. The de:Strasbourg Münster is Strasbourg Cathedral in the English Wikipedia article. The word Münster derives from the Latin monasterium, English monastery. One could generate a similar confusion about Westminster, or as now known Westminster Abbey, which is different from Westminster Cathedral. The google test is not a good indicator of the proper name. The building "looks like" a Cathedral, but it is not. See also Wikipedia:Arguments to avoid in deletion discussions Group29 (talk) 16:50, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
Is your criticism that popular usage is a poor basis of the proper name or that the google test is a poor method to ascertain popular usage? Wikipedia:Search_engine_test explains that the google test can "confirm roughly how popularly referenced an expression is," and my above test showed a significant 6-to-1 disparity. If popular usage is a good criterion, we could proceed to validate this rough measure. Perhaps we could check English-language travel literature. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 15:13, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

The correct English term for "Münster" is "minster", NOT "cathedral"! Judith M-S (talk) 05:17, 27 November 2008 (UTC)


These two statements can't both be true:

  • "It has dominated Ulm and the surrounding region for hundreds of years with its 161-metre-tall spire."
  • "The building was finally completed in 1890 with the addition of the spire."

One of them needs to be edited -- 22:25, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

Construction began in the 1300's and was quite capable of dominating the region, if you have been there you'd realize how massive the building is

Link Error[edit]

The cathedral was surpassed by the Singer Building, but from there the previous tallest is the Park Row Building. The Cathedral never was the tallest building of the world (Eiffel Tower built in 1889 has 300m), and never was the tallest fully inhabitable building since it isn't inhabitable from bottom to top. It probably was the highest church in the world, needs verification.

Confusing Sentence[edit]

"Ulm was destroyed in an area bombing raid by the British RAF on December 17, 1944."

This sentence is kind of ambiguous and should be edited. Does this refer to the city of Ulm or the cathedral itself? I assume it means the city of Ulm, so this should be amended. Either make the sentence clearer or completely remove it for being irrelevant.

the city itself was devastated but the Munster was miraculously unscathed

The Monster (Shreeeeeek) of Ulm[edit]

I have added most of the original content of the German version, ignoring some of the "less interesting" details, which only create a stack of red links. As far as I am concerned, this article is almost finished. I checked the relevant homepage,, for any additional wisdom. This is quite rich stuff with many pictures... Greetings from Vienna...
--Cookatoo.ergo.ZooM 00:25, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

I'm not sure this article should be moved to Ulm Münster; I agree that "Minster" is a fairly obscure term...what is more important is that it is not backed by English usage. Frankly, "Münster" is likely even more obscure to an English reader. What is English usage is Ulm Cathedral:


The chief problem with "cathedral", as has been noted, is that it is not technically correct in an ecclesiastical sense (although probably in a secular architectual sense). What I propose is that we title the article Ulm Cathedral and then immediately lay out the situation in the opening paragraphs. For instance:

Ulm Cathedral (German Ulmer Münster) is a prominent church, located in the German city of Ulm, which was the tallest building in the world from 1890-1903. Although it is generally called a cathedral, this is not technically correct in an ecclesiastical sense, because no bishop sits there.

For those who might find it comforting to have some company, it may be noted that most other language wiki's seem to go the "Cathedral" route in the title.

Erudy (talk) 16:54, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

  • Interesting case. Ulm Cathedral is common but not technically correct. Ulm Minster is technically correct but not common. According to Google, Ulm Münster is a bit less common than Ulm Cathedral but the results include alternate spellings such as "Muenster" and "Munster." In addition, Münster is simply the German word for minster and doesn't have a meaning in English or an article at Wikipedia. If the decision is for Ulm Cathedral, a disclaimer should be featured prominently in the intro para. Good luck. — AjaxSmack 14:23, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

I agree that "Ulm Cathedral" is the most common name for this building in English. GB comparison: Ulm Minster, Ulm Münster (mostly German), Ulm Cathedral. Erudy's disclaimer makes sense to me. Olessi (talk) 17:36, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

I would say that that the usage of Cathedral is not so overwhelming that we should not at least consider the clause in WP:NAME and WP:PRECISION that we should name our articles precisely and with the least amount of ambiguity. The slightly less common names suffer less from this - it's a trade-off between the two factors. Knepflerle (talk) 23:38, 27 July 2008 (UTC)
Can a native German speaker comment on whether 'Münster'/'Dom' designations take on the feel as if it is part of the proper name of the building? I get the impression that it does, and it would seem kind of strange to me if, for comparison in de.wikipedia, we localized e.g. Madison Square Garden to 'Madison Square Sporthalle'. Or 'Garten' w/ "Although it is generally called a garden, this is not technically correct in an botanical sense..." Ripe (talk) 15:59, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
In German it's always "Ulmer Münster" (as in Straßburger Münster, Freiburger Münster etc.), I can not remember to have heard any other name, certainly not "Ulmer Dom" [1] or "Ulmer Kathedrale" [2]. -- Matthead  Discuß   01:38, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
Certainly; I was just wondering if the discussion of whether 'Münster' should be translated as 'Cathedral' misses a nuance if we're talking about a specific instance. Take for example Yankee Stadium & Fenway Park. When they occur alone, the words 'stadium (baseball)' & 'park (baseball)' should be translated in a localized non-English Wikipedia (and furthermore those words could plausibly map to the same non-English word, just as Münster and Dom when they occur alone may map to 'cathedral' albeit with an asterisk), but when referring to those /particular/ ballparks, I hope one would never localize the words stadium or park as part of their respective names, and the terms become non-interchangeable in English (no 'Fenway Stadium') because when talking about specific instances like this they are no longer simply describing form/function, but are really part of the proper name. If a native German speaker is referring to the Ulmer Münster in English, would he say "Ulm Cathedral" or "Ulm[er] Münster"? Ripe (talk) 03:20, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
  • Moved - Nabla (talk) 11:12, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
Ripe, I don't think your test is the best one. The hypothetical German speaker might say "Münster" or he/she might say "Cathedral"; the question afterwards is whether they were using conventional English or not. I see where your going with the bit about not localizing any part of a proper name. The problem is that even proper names get localized all the time, to make things clearer and more vivid to users of the local language. For example, not a single language listed in the interwiki links of White House keeps the English spelling: every language localizes this obviously proper noun. No one is demanding that Spanish speakers forsake the immediately comprehensible "Casa Blanca" and learn the foreign words "White" and "House". Given that "Münster" is much more obscure to an English reader than "Cathedral", I think there is a cost to putting the name at "Münster". Already, with "Ulm Münster" we have done some localization of the putatively sacrosanct proper name (it should be Ulmer Münster.) So why not localize full heartedly and go with Cathedral, as in my proposal above? As an added benefit, this will follow actual English usage, as demonstrated.Erudy (talk) 12:21, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

I think this move was a bit premature. Perhaps I'm missing it, but I don't really see consensus yet. Of course, I don't really agree with the move, so perhaps I'm a bit biased:) Erudy (talk) 12:04, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

OK I don't oppose moving it to Ulm Cathedral. 'Minster' was bugging me since it's not a popularly used form and for the obscurity of the term. Ripe (talk) 20:05, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
Let me clarify the move I did. I was not 'closing' the discussion, I was aiming to clean the redirect page at 'Münster' so that a non-admin could later do the move, after you finish discussing it. In the process I left the page there as it was the leading option - and one that sounded fair. By the way, I then forgot that the redirect at 'cathedral' gets automatically fixed leaving it with a edit history that prevents moving to there by a non-admin. It is now a simple redirect and you may move it there too. I'm sorry for any inconvenience, and for not explaining myself before.
Since I'm here... The general rule is to use the common English denomination for titles, and for what I've read above that is probably 'cathedral', or eventually whatever 'münster' means. Even if 'münster' is part of the proper noun (like it or not... I don't like to see proper nouns translated, but it is an understandable rule).
Enjoy! - Nabla (talk) 23:40, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

Somehow there is a "cathedral problem" all over wikipedia as far as German churches are concerned. "Dom" and "Münster" CAN be cathedrals, but not necessarily. There should be a common solution for all German churches containing "Dom" or "Münster" in their name. I noticed people now translate "Deutscher Dom" (a former church in Berlin) as "German cathedral". That doesn't make sense at all. No native speaker would call it the "Deutsche Kathedrale", and it has never been a cathedral either. It's "just" a Dom (an imposing church, with a large dome in that case). If it goes on like this, wikipedia will drown in German "cathedrals". Anyway, for the time being I think you've found a good solution. Calling the Ulmer Münster a cathedral, and then explaining immediately that it isn't one. Mk4711 (talk) 08:53, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

I can't see the slightest reason why we should call the "Ulmer Münster" the "Ulm cathedral"! Nobody in Ulm/Germany would ever call it "Ulmer Kathedrale" (the Ulm people are proud to have a "Münster"!) and the English term for "Kathedrale" is "cathedral", as well as the English term for "Münster" ist "minster". So please change it into the correct specification "Ulm minster"! Judith M-S (talk) 10:07, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

Not in any way a cathedral. "Ulm minster" would be correct, but it is fine where it is at. -- Secisek (talk) 16:51, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
I don't see the problem about using the proper translation "Ulm Minster". It may sound strange to Americans but in England there are so many big churches called minster like,_Doncaster and (talk) 12:07, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

Exactly. So can we change it into the correct term now, please?! Judith M-S (talk) 13:45, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

I want to ask once more if we could change it now. What more evidence do we need to finally change it? Judith M-S (talk) 09:21, 3 March 2009 (UTC)


In the header: 160,9 m; in the infobox: 162 m; (and in the finnish wiki article 161,53 m). Which one is right? (talk) 23:41, 26 October 2010 (UTC)

Tallest Building[edit]

Ulm Minster never was the tallest building, because Mole Antonelliana has been finished before. Is there a reason why the Mole is ignored by the list?

Also saying it had been preceded by the Washington Monument is complete nonsenses. The monument is actually higher, though not considered a building. If all structures are taken into account, even the Eiffel Tower has been finished before Ulm Minster. (talk) 10:41, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

Yes, there is a real problem here. You see, the person/people who devised these lists have in mind that there are two classes of tall things, buildings and structures. The rule for a building is that it is "fully habitable" eg the Empire State Building, and the rule for a structure is that it is "not fully habitable" eg the Eiffel Tower.
Then they decide what constitutes "habitability". The Washington Monument is deemed "not fit for habitation" and Ulm MInster is. Frankly, I would like to take the individuals who maintain these lists and force them to spend a few nights in a sleeping bag at the uppermost landing of the tower of Ulm Minster. They don't seem to have noticed that it is open-work, and plainly "uninhabitable". What is more, if one took a sleeping bag and tried to bunk down in the nave, I suspect there would be a certain degree of inhospitality, but maybe not. Anyway, I suspect that a upper level of the Washington Monument might be considerably warmer and more comfortable, but then, maybe I'm wrong!
The bottom line is, I can't fix this! Maybe you have more clout than I have. Do your best! Amandajm (talk) 11:04, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

The article claims the Ulm minster was the highest building in Europe from 1890 till 1952. But if you follow the link to the page of highest European buildings, the minster isn't mentioned there at all. This cannot be right; either the minster isn't considered enough of a building to be listed, in which case, the claim should disappear from this page; or it is, and then it should be mentioned on the list of highest buildings in Europe. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:49, 8 October 2012 (UTC)

Height, again[edit]

OK, the article had a height of 160.9 meters, sourced to a 2000 book titled Cathedrals by Robin Oggins. An editor changed this to 161.53 meters, sourced to a tourism site, here. I think this site is an arm of the Ulm government but not sure. Oggins is a professor at SUNY and his book is a serious treatment of the history of cathedrals. The Ulm city government probably knows its business too, though, so I'm not sure who is right. To my mind the book trumps the site somewhat, so I reverted the change. Herostratus (talk) 04:09, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

The height in Oggins' book is incorrect. The cited page is the official tourist information of the cities of Ulm and Neu Ulm. The official web site of Ulm Minster (which is in German) also says that the height is 161.53 m (see here). Also, this height is used in other articles, such as List_of_tallest_churches_in_the_world or the German article on Ulm Minster. By the way, there are both heights in the current version of the article. the 160.9 m on top and the 161.53 m at the bottom. (talk) 09:01, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
OK, but how do you know Oggins is wrong? He gives a fairly precise number and it's not likely he just eyeballed it and made a guess. He must have had some reason for using that value. What is it, I wonder? Herostratus (talk) 11:46, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
Oggins probably had the measurement if feet, and when calculated in metres, it came out rather rough. ...well, I don't know, but it's a possibility.
Or maybe it was done by a surveyor using an oggilite (or whatever you call it.... and the next lot of figures was done by a steeplejack with a very long tape measure. Another thought, maybe the Town Council dug up the pavement to repair the pipes and forgot to put it back. Just a thought! Amandajm (talk) 12:47, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps Oggins simply offered the caretaker a barometer and said "If you tell me how tall this building is, I will give you this fine barometer". Herostratus (talk) 14:12, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
I don't know where Oggins got this number from, but all official sites state a height of 161.53 m. Shouldn't we believe in the numbers provided by several official pages rather than in a single book? Or is there any official source for 160.9 metres? (talk) 20:34, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
OK, let me again sum up the facts from my point of view:
Do we really need more evidence to change this? (talk) 18:08, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

OK, this seems fine to me, although I would be interested in where Professor Oggins got his figure. So I have made this change, although I used 161.5 rather than 161.53 which gives what I think is a false impression that such a large object can be assigned a size correct to the centimeter in all conditions (weather etc.). I don't think that heights to the centimeter are given for most large structures, probably for this reason. Herostratus (talk) 00:08, 30 June 2011 (UTC)

Very good! Go take a look at List of Ancient Greek temples. The dimensions have all been shifted from the foot to the metre and back again. There are big buildings, small buildings and very very big buildings. That is all one can say! Amandajm (talk) 02:28, 30 June 2011 (UTC)
Thank you! You are probably right concerning the centimeters. BTW, there is a nice German television broadcast explaining to children how to measure the height of the steeple. They use a very simple measurement technique and get 161.47 metres. (talk) 08:07, 30 June 2011 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Ulm Minster/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

As a person who as lived in Germany and experienced the sight and climbed to the top of the Münster. I believe this article though may continue to need additional attention too fill in slight gaps and small details. However one NOT living in Germany will never know the difference and no immediate attention is required. Danke für Dein Schriben ;) -MKLPTR MKLPTR (talk) 07:53, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

Last edited at 21:27, 5 October 2009 (UTC). Substituted at 09:29, 30 April 2016 (UTC)