1908 – 1910
Architect: Theodor Fischer
Frauenstraße 110, Ulm, Germany
St. Paul’s Church in Ulm was built as a Protestant garrison church between 1908 and 1910 north of the old cemetery on Frauenstraße according to plans by the architect Theodor Fischer.
Today it is the parish church of the Paulusgemeinde in Ulm.
The church rises on a transverse rectangular ground plan with narrow side aisles.
Two towers flank the recessed chancel in the northeast.
Opposite to it is an indicated west work, where a tower on a circular ground plan marks the vestibule with the main entrance.
Attached to the northeast tower is a chapel on a transverse rectangular plan with an indented apse.
In 1906, a plot of land north of the old cemetery, which had been abandoned shortly before, was acquired as the building site (together with a plot already owned by the German Reich).
Under pressure from the Württemberg War Ministry, the Protestant soldiers of the Ulm garrison had been allowed to use the existent minster since 1857, but disputes arose again and again, mainly because of the early time of the service at half past seven in the morning and the inferior seats assigned to the Protestant soldiers.
It was not until 1903 that an initiative to build a separate Protestant garrison church was finally approved.
The church was planned for a total of two thousand Protestant soldiers. Of them, 1,200 were to be seated in the nave and 800 in the gallery.
A limited competition among architects from southern Germany was announced with the condition that in consideration of the Ulm Minster and the Catholic Garrison Church, a building in the Gothic style was excluded.
On December 12, 1906, the design by the architect Theodor Fischer was selected from seven entries submitted to the competition under the motto „ain veste bvrg“.
After some modifications to the design, construction work began on April 1, 1908, under the supervision of Fischer’s employee Eduard Brill.
On August 20, 1908, the cornerstone was laid in the presence of King Wilhelm II of Württemberg, and two years later, on November 5, 1910, the church was consecrated.
Theodor Fischer himself characterized the church as a soldier’s church, dominated by towers whose end reminded of the shape of grenades.
St. Paul’s Church was one of the first German church buildings with reinforced concrete elements visible on the outside and inside.
The use of this building material also had symbolic significance: the field-gray reinforced concrete was reminiscent of a fortress building.
So-called trickle concrete (1 part cement, 1 part sand, 2 parts bean gravel) was used as facing concrete in the exterior, which was worked with a two-pointed point.
The organ porch facing the street shows particularly rich articulation in the concrete parts.
The columns between the large buttresses are made with a finer crushed gravel material and are bush-hammered, as are the sculptures of the columns, capitals and concrete sculptures.
The entrances bear concrete sculptures (including the Württemberg heraldic animals lion and stag) by the sculptor Jakob Brüllmann.
The wide-span vault inside is pillarless and is supported by concrete trusses in the form of so-called fisherman’s arches.
On the choir wall there is the crucifix by Adolf Hölzel, painted in secco technique, which is the only part of the original pictorial decoration that has been preserved.
The organ was made in the workshop of the Link brothers in Giengen between 1910 and 1911.
The interior of the church was redesigned between 1966 and 1970. In the course of this redesign, the artist Klaus Arnold created a three-part painting on the altar wall.
The original windows designed by Franz Mutzenbecher, along with the original Art Nouveau furnishings, were permanently lost during this remodeling.
Although the Reich Ministry of Finance had already urged the sale of the church to the Protestant parish in 1932, the church was not sold to the Protestant Paulus parish until 1964.
What a beautiful Church, the pictures are lovely but I suppose seeing it in real life would certainly be eye opening. Is the a Protestant or Roman Catholic Church, please excuse my ignorance, confused as I see Christ on the Cross. The page before said it was a Protestant hurch.
Thank you for your kind comment and question! Yes, it is a Protestant church. In older Protestant churches you can quite often still find a representation of Christ on the cross, while in newer Protestant churches this is rather uncommon.