Ulm Stories. Tales of a city.

Live event, virtual-reality flight and three-dimensional audio experience as an app


Making the impossible possible

Ulm - city of pioneers, inventors and Nobel prizewinners. Thinking in this city is adventurous, unconventional, bold and forward-looking. Ulm has a tradition of civic involvement and adapting to changing times. As long ago as the fourteenth century this spirit led to the laying of the foundation stone for Ulm Minster, the city's most famous building. And it was this spirit which enabled the city and the citizens of Ulm - over a period lasting more than 600 years - to build what is still the world's tallest church tower.

Ulm Stories bring 600 years of history to life for all the senses

Our cross-media journey of discovery, "Ulm Stories. Legends of a city", explores the rich history of Ulm, its Minster and the forward-looking spirit of its citizens, transforming these stories into a unique, immersive experience. This experience includes the "Voices of the Minster" app, a 3-D audio experience, and the virtual reality "Dream of flying" installation. At the start of the programme a spectacular audio-visual concert performance by the artists wittmann/zeitblom & Liebert transformed Ulm Minster into a projection area for the future visions of the city's residents.

The Dream of Flying

Making the impossible possible - part of the Ulm tradition. We bring this tradition into the 21st century. In Ulm visitors have, since 15.07.2017, been able to transform their dream of flying into reality. Thanks to the flight simulator Birdly, they can take off and fly like a bird across the historic old city of Ulm in the year 1890, and experience the moment when the Minster and its world-famous tower reached their completion.

The Interactive Media Foundation introduces the full-body 3-D flight simulator of the Swiss firm of Somniacs to Germany. Intuitively and naturally control the speed and direction of your flight through Ulm’s old town as it was in 1890 by flapping and positioning your wings. A virtual-reality experience that - thanks to perfect real-time rendering, three-dimensional binaural sound and a real flight wind - becomes a spectacular immersive trip through time. The Ulm Experience provides the world's very first fully realistic flight surroundings for Birdly.

Voices from the Minster – the three-dimensional audio experience.

Ulm Minster has many stories to tell. In the 14th century the citizens of Ulm planned for eternity in massive dimensions. With development and redesign over the centuries, spiritually revived by the Reformation, the Minster is an emblem for the city with a history containing many layers and many voices. As an old parish church it has a wealth of fascinating secrets, together with extraordinary and entertaining stories.

The app by the Interactive Media Foundation brings these stories to life. More than 60 iBeacons (bluetooth-controlled sensors) have been installed in the church so that the audio scenarios can be experienced intuitively. As they stroll through the Minster visitors hear and experience its atmospherically showcased stories, interwoven with individual aspects of the Minster and its intricate design. The impressive staging of these stories and the innovative binaural, three-dimensional sound carry visitors off to other times, where they find themselves at the heart of the events as they took place. While the individual scenes can be listened to and experienced where they happened, the information display of the app enables visitors to read further details of the stories which are told.

The project, which has been developed and financed together with the municipality of Ulm and the congregation of the Minster is part of the "Zukunftsstadt Ulm 2030" city of the future initiative, with which Ulm aims to put digital applications to everyday use. Ulm Stories has been created by the Interactive Media Foundation together with project partners who are leaders in their own field: demodern, MIIQO Studios, Dorian Roy, Tom Kombüchen and wittmann/zeitblom & Liebert.

Resonances – the live event attracts a record audience

An audience of around 2,700 experience an unforgettable performance in Ulm Minster: With the participation of the people of Ulm, "Resonances" picked up on the leitmotifs of transformation, growth and civic involvement which characterise the history of the Minster, and artistically developed these themes further. The audio-visual performance awakened the rigid stone architecture of the Minster and transformed it into magical historical landscapes. A spectacular launch and unforgettable introduction to the world of Ulm Stories.

That's a great, quiet flying. And a piece of urban development.

Gunter Czisch, Lord Mayor of Ulm