According to one of them, the sparrow has helped local builders during the construction of the famous Ulm Cathedral. They needed to carry logs of great height that repeatedly exceeded the height of fortification walls through city gates. Desperate builders decided to dismantle the wall, but at that moment they saw a sparrow flying over to the city.
It was carrying a twig for a nest in its beak, and the twig was parallel to the ground. Builders were delighted with such a simple and ingenious solution of the problem; they easily carried timber through the gate and decided to thank the wise bird. The small stone figure of a sparrow was mounted on the roof of the Cathedral in the Middle Ages.
The miniature figurine is still kept within walls of the cathedral; all comers can see it. In 1858, a new figure of sandstone was set on the roof. Local people are very sensitive to their national character and willingly tell travelers many interesting stories and legends about the sparrow. One of the favorite pastimes of city visitors is making pictures with figures of birds, which can be found in the most unexpected places.
The most interesting festive event is the Oath Week (Schwörwoche). This historic holiday recalls events of 1397, when an oath agreement was kept between imperial officials and patricians. It is celebrated in July; it includes a lot of enchanting events. The Lichterserenade light show informs about the beginning of the celebration; it is followed by a series of interesting tournaments and competitions, concerts and cultural events. Many tourists prefer visiting the city on the Christmas Eve, because Ulm transforms beyond recognition at that time. The most anticipated event of the New Year is the opening of the Christmas Fair (Ulmer Weihnachtsmarkt), which is considered one of the most beautiful in Germany.