The leaning tower of Ulm
Can it be a quirky legend? But first, a warning. There is not a scrap of truth in it, the ›Metzgerturm‹ is so strikingly crooked for a completely different reason.
Every city has its stories that draw on traditions and old wives´ tales. The most well-known from Ulm is the ›Ulm Sparrow‹, who used the example of a straw to show the people of Ulm how to best transport a log through the city gate. That is crosswise, but by no means lengthwise.
But now to the ›Metzgerturm‹. There was an era when butchers were imprisoned there as punishment for deceiving the people during hard times with sausages that were too small. When threatened with the death penalty, the men, who were probably endowed with excess weight, all keeled over in fright. This was evidently orchestrated such that the tower was thrown off kilter as a result.
Structural engineers, however, cite very different reasons for the slanting position of the 36.1 metre-high building erected around 1349. They believe its historical foundation to be the cause. The foundation towards the Danube was based on the old city wall, towards the city but on tree trunks, which decayed at some point after the water level of the Danube decreased. Concrete foundations were introduced in 1911. Since then, the tilting towards the West has slowed considerably. It currently amounts to 2.05 metres.
Hence, another myth has been debunked. The ›Metzgerturm‹ was not a city gate. Both, tower and gate, are connected to the Metzig that was built at the same time. The city wall was rebuilt in 1480 and moved to the Danube, which meant the Metzgertum became a reserve. It took until 1930 for this wall to be broken through.
The roof! It is covered with tiles from historic Ulm buildings.
Unter der Metzig