World’s Tallest Church Tower Under Threat From Public Urination

By Cailey Rizzo |

©Westend61/Walter G. Allgöwer/Getty Images

This piece originally appeared on Travel + Leisure.

Bodily fluids are eroding the walls of the world’s tallest church tower.

The Ulmer Münster, a cathedral in southern Germany, is known for having the tallest church tower in the world. Now, from frequent public urination and vomiting on its walls, the church’s stone base is starting to erode.

Church officials have appealed to the public to keep Germany’s largest protestant church clean as it recently underwent renovation to its sandstone base, according to Deutsche Welle.

“I've been keeping an eye on it for half a year now and, once again, it's coated with urine and vomit,” Michael Hilbert, head of the church’s preservation, told Südwest Presse.

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Earlier this year, city officials decided to double the fine for public urination to €100 (US$110), but that has done little to impede those who gotta go.

The church square is frequently used for community events, such as the Christmas market and annual wine festival. Church officials have suggested that event organizers install port-a-potties on site during the festivals so those who hear the call of nature can attend to their business on a surface with less history and cultural importance.


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The Ulmer Münster tower soars to 530 feet. Construction on the church started in 1377 and was completed in 1890. The church managed to stay erect through Allied bombings in World War II when almost 80 percent of the town was destroyed.

If urine and vomit don’t get to it first, the Ulm Minster will lose its status as the world’s tallest church tower when construction on Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia in Barcelona is (planned to be) completed in 2026.

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