Berblinger in the cityscape
How must it have felt to stand atop a twenty-meter high pedestal on the city wall with a crowd of spectators waiting for you to take a leap and fly across the Danube like a bird? Climb the new leaning Berblinger Tower and put yourself in Berblinger’s shoes.
Discover the new art work located at Berblinger’s former point of take-off, the “Adlerbastei”.
Venue: Adlerbastei, permanent walk-in installation
Public Transport: bus stop “Haus der Begegnung“ , bus 6
Not the original, but a replica of Berbinger's flying machine can be seen in the city hall of Ulm. With a wingspan of 6.60 metres, it hangs under the glass roof of the atrium, where it shows its impressive size. The apparatus was built from wood, bamboo, linen and parachute silk according to Berbinger's designs. Berbinger's first flight attempts with his hang glider were quite successful and promising. Due to downwind, he failed to cross the river Danube.
Looking at the replica and the sky above it, the visitor can perhaps imagine the courage it took to handle the glider.
A giant stainless steel scissors has been standing on the city wall since 2012. The three-and-a-half-metre high work of art was created in 2011, exactly 200 years after Berbinger's attempt to fly over the Danube, and is located not far from the former jumping-off point below the "Adlerbastei". It was designed by the artist Johannes Pfeiffer, born in Ulm. Characteristic for his work are taut stainless steel cords that are attached to the right and left of the two spread blades and keep the scissors in balance. Like filree wings, they show the connection between the tailor symbol and Berbinger's ideas as a pioneer of flying. The artist, who lives in Italy, was personally present at the inauguration of the sculpture. He would have liked to include the brick wall in the work of art, but this was not possible due to the protection of historical monuments. Nevertheless he described the place where the work was installed as "beautiful".
The bronze sculpture, which Josef Henger created in 1982, is placed a little bit hidden. It can be found on a small square between "Friedrich-Ebert-Straße" and "Bahnhofstraße". Originally it was designed as part of a fountain and stood prominently on the main street "Hirschstraße". Soon the sculpture was discovered by children as a climbing frame and the fountain became a popular meeting place for the punk scene in this time, which ultimately led to the fountain and sculpture being dismantled. "Older" Ulm residents still remember the ensemble in the main street, but today only few residents know about the current location. It is definitely worthwhile to rediscover this work of art. The artist created a connection between Berblinger's flying machine and the Concorde, the symbol of modern aviation at that time.
Somewhat wedged in between luxury watches and candies, a bronze plaque can be found on the northern minster square. According to the city history, the house and studio of Albrecht Ludwig Berblinger stood here. Although he completed his tailoring apprenticeship against his will, he was extremely successful. He became master tailor at the age of 21 and must therefore have been an expert in his field. It was only after his failed attempt to fly over the Danube that other citizen laughed at him. Attempts to make a new beginning ultimately failed, and personal impoverishment followed.