Raise a glass in the shadows of the fortress
Neu-Ulm can thank the military for its green belt that surrounds the city centre. The Glacis site of the former federal fortress is now a popular banana-shaped city park.
Glacis, this is the name of the flattened foreground outside the moat. Decades ago, the city transformed it from a wilderness to an attractive park as part of a regional horticultural show. During the warm season, bands and theatre groups from the near and far surroundings play on the small lake stage. A beer garden and a children´s playground directly next to it are further attractions. The water tower, the symbol of Neu-Ulm, marks the Western entrance via the adjacent Kollmannspark.
In the ›Glacis‹, as the people from Neu-Ulm refer to it, the federal fortress built between 1844 and 1859 around Ulm and Neu-Ulm can still be experienced very vividly and in spatial context. Ramparts, wet ditches and walls of the casemates reflect what was the most modern standard of fortress architecture at the time of construction. The entire fortified belt is nine kilometres in length, and the recently built fortress path naturally leads through the park, too. Display columns explain the history and function of the grounds as well as their complex structure.
The brick fortification constructed by the German Confederation to defend against possible French attacks in Neu-Ulm, soon became obsolete from a military point of view. It has never had to prove itself in an ›emergency‹. However, up until its ›defortification‹ around 1900, it stymied the development of the city. From today´s perspective, the former building ban in the Glacis Belt is a stroke of luck, with the former battlefield having been transformed into both a local recreation area and green lung of the city.
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