Fishermen’s and tanners’ district in Ulm

This attractive district is located between the Ulm Minster and the Danube River. It has narrow streets and historic half-timbered houses, as well as hotels, restaurants, cafés and galleries.

The Butcher and the Farmer

This statue of two men and three pigs is at the Pig Market, known officially as the Schweinemarkt and unofficially as the Saumarkt.

The inscription in the local dialect reads:

Dr Metzgr ond dr Baur
Handl om dui Sau

Which means: The butcher and the farmer bargaining about the sow.

The farmer is not getting a good price, I don’t think. When you go to Ulm, have a look at the statue and see if you agree.

The word Sau, by the way, is also used as a non-taboo strengthener in German. So if someone tells you it is saukalt some morning, they just mean that it is very cold, not that there is necessarily an adult female pig in the vicinity.

Fischerplatz, with the Ulm Minster steeple in the background

The first time I even heard of the city of Ulm was on one of my early visits to Germany, when someone in a youth hostel tried to teach me one of the most popular German-language tongue-twisters: In Ulm, um Ulm, und um Ulm herum wachsen viele Ulmen.“ Which means: “In Ulm, around Ulm and in the vicinity of Ulm many elm trees grow.”

On this occasion, I also learned that the German word for tongue-twister is Zungenbrecher, literally tongue-breaker.

Café by the Crooked House in Ulm (but I don’t think the trees are elms — or are they?) 

My photos in this post are from 2005. I revised the text in 2021.

See more posts on Ulm, Germany.

11 thoughts on “Fishermen’s and tanners’ district in Ulm”

  1. I like the statue with the pigs and it’s interesting to see the different dialect. I had a go at the tongue-twister but didn’t do very well, my German is so rusty!

  2. I’m with Stella on this as that was my first thought as well. Tanners and fish plus a convenient pig market, it must have been, shall we say, fragrant. It looks lovely though.

  3. There’s a pleasing irony in the fishing and tanning district now being so pretty and pleasant, given that both activities tended to be banished to a part of town that wasn’t too close to the main centre given the unpleasant smells both industries generated. It looks lovely now!

    1. The fishing and tanning district suffered little if any bomb damage during the war, probably because of its location directly behind the Minster, which bombers had been instructed to spare.

  4. The trees in the photo are definitely not elms. My home town streets were lined with beautiful old elm trees and all were lost to Dutch Elm Disease many years ago. A real tragedy.

    1. I think the trees in the background are willows, perhaps also the one in the foreground. When I was a Boy Scout I learned to identify different kinds of trees, but that knowledge has faded in the intervening decades. The Dutch Elm disease was also a big issue where I grew up in Illinois.

  5. A charming area. There are two great little breweries in Ulm but sadly not so handy to this spot, and I guess not really IN Ulm per se. Need to get back over that way as there are some places south of Ulm I’ve had on my radar for a few years.

  6. My husband used to work for a company in Biberach an der Riss, so we often visited Ulm. Your post brings back happy memories, thank you.

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