The Ulm Minster, which has the highest church spire in the world, is a major source of pride to locals, who have turned the area around the famous church into a beautiful architectural ensemble combining old and new.
Building work on the Gothic church began in 1377 and took five centuries to complete. The entire construction was funded by the people of Ulm. Originally a Roman Catholic church, it became Protestant during the Reformation. The modern building opposite the church was designed by star architect Richard Meier. Though its design originally caused controversy, many now view the two buildings as a harmonious marriage of old and new. From the Middle Ages to the modern day, Ulm thrives on contrasts. That's also the case at the Weishaupt Kunsthalle, which houses the oldest piece of figurative art in the world as well as the work of contemporary artists.
Russia has criticized sanctions imposed by the EU and US this week, saying they will lead to higher energy prices in Europe. In eastern Ukraine, meanwhile, fresh peace talks appear possible - with an unusual host.
The US Federal Reserve has said it is in no rush to raise interest rates, even while issuing positive predictions on inflation and economic growth. The central bank continued scaling back its stimulus spending.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has agreed to host talks that Minsk has said are open to "all interested sides." The discussions are expected to focus on access to the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash site.