Ulm coin

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Schwörhausgasse 4, Ulm Münz

The Ulmer Münz is a building at Schwörhausgasse 4 in Ulm , which was the mint of the imperial city from 1620 to 1624 . Today there is a restaurant in it and it is a protected cultural monument according to § 2 DSchG BW . Its name recalls the long history of coinage in Ulm.


The building probably dates from the first decades of the 16th century; During the Thirty Years' War , at least the upper floor with the Renaissance framework was added. After the mint was moved to another building, it served different purposes. Until 1900 it housed a barley factory or it served as a grinding and oil mill. In 1987/1988 a renovation took place, whereby the earlier half-timbering was exposed again.

Ulm coins in the Middle Ages

The fact that "Ulm money" was spoken of in the Middle Ages was due to the fact that there was money minted in Ulm. Because a mint - a "moneta ulmensis" - is guaranteed as early as the 11th century: In 1089, a horse changed hands in Derendingen near Tübingen for the equivalent of "triginta siclos monetae ulmensis", i.e. 30 shillings of "Ulmer Geldes" .

Ulm was a royal mint and almost certainly also the place where a Swabian coin type that was widespread was minted throughout the 11th to the beginning of the 12th centuries. That coin has a cross on the reverse, each of which has four corners filled with a ball. This symbol, which had proven itself on royal coins for centuries, is the symbol of the Lieber patrician family, who lived in Ulm from the 15th to the 17th centuries. It can be assumed that the Liebers descended from a mint master.

For a short time there were bracteates made in Ulm . These were thin medieval silver coins minted on one side. But the Heller from Schwäbisch Hall was much more important than the Ulm money.

In addition to the Schwäbisch Haller Heller, there were also the Ulmer, the Nürnberger and the Frankfurter Heller soon after . Because when Emperor Charles IV rearranged German coinage in 1356, he designated these four cities as the location of his Reichsheller mints. The Ulm Mint became the property of the city in 1398 through a privilege of King Wenceslas . This means that the first money that Ulm produced on its own was not "Ulmer", but "Heller". Six years later, in 1404, the imperial city was also given the right to put schillings into circulation.

The decline of coinage

Ulm coin shield

The first Ulm Gulden was minted in 1572 - not in Ulm, but in Augsburg. It was not until 1616 that the council decided to restore its money in Ulm. In 1620 the first Ulm Reichstaler left the new mint at the foot of the Weinhofberg; that was the Burkhards mill on the blue. The quality of these coins, however, was very poor.

Because that was when the tipper and wipper era began (1622/23), when bad money was produced. Since 1620, Ulm had been producing large quantities of city coins from billon , a silver with a high content of copper. This mass production made a second mint necessary, which was housed in the house of a dyer, today's "Ulmer Münz". In 1624 a ban issued by the Swabian District paralyzed the Ulm minting operations. The house at Schwörhausgasse 4 lost its function as a coin.

A truly “soft” but better currency for Ulm was the Ulm Barchent . This blended fabric of cotton and linen was produced under the control of the Ulm authorities in such a quality that the seal of the city of Ulm on a bale of Barchent gave it the value of cash. When in 1548 the council confiscated the assets of the forbidden guilds on imperial orders , these were given in guilders or in barchents.

"Ulm money rules the world"

In April 1704, during the War of the Spanish Succession, the Commander-in-Chief Marquis de Blainville demanded 265,106 guilders from the city. Seven days later he made a further demand for 150,000 guilders, which had to be met by April 25th. The people of Ulm had to part with their silverware and family jewelry. In the city armory , where the mint was then housed, a square emergency money was hastily produced. This guilder symbolizes the end of the prosperity of Ulm, because Ulm did not recover from the consequences of the War of the Spanish Succession until the end of the imperial city period in 1802.

The saying of "Ulm money that rules the world" is older than the square guilder. It is also incomplete in this form. It forms the end of a Priamel poem that is first documented around the year 1600. One of the widespread versions lets Ulm money "rule" the world. However, Ulm's money is never alone, but always in connection with other cities.

"Venediger power,
Augsburg splendor,
Nuremberg joke,
Strasbourg gun,
Ulm money
rule the world."


Individual evidence

  1. a b City of Ulm online. Culture and tourism, text by Wolf-Henning Petershagen
  2. https://frueheneuzeit.hypotheses.org/1782 .

Web links

Commons : Ulmer Münz  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Coordinates: 48 ° 23 ′ 43.7 "  N , 9 ° 59 ′ 29.1"  E