The Ulm Sparrow
The citizens had already deduced that the gate had to be demolished to enable the wood’s passage. As a blessing to the gate they then noticed a sparrow winging by, carrying a long straw in its beak. When they observed the sparrow inserting this straw lengthwise into a niche of the gate-tower where it was building its nest the good citizens of Ulm experienced a revelation and they repositioned their beams lengthwise on the carriage. Overcome with gratitude they then placed a memorial to the sparrow on the Münster’s roof.
In fact such a copper likeness of the sparrow armed with its straw really does exist. It was commissioned, in copper and gold-plated, in 1889 by the citizens‘ club „Hundskomödie“ to replace a sandstone sparrow on the Münster`s roof that was sadly threatened by decay. This copper sparrow may be hollow but it is not empty. Originally it contained a document naming the manufacturer and the noble sponsors. During the latest restoration efforts the sparrow received an implant of several coins, a ballpoint pen and a plastic replica of the Münster. The Münster Master builder at the time, Gerhard Lorenz, justified the selection of this curious collection: later generations were meant to grasp the spirit of our contemporary synthetic culture.