ENSINGEN, Ulrich von
(b. ca. 1365, Swabia, d. 1419, Strasbourg)


German architect and sculptor. He belonged to a family of architects who came from Ensingen near Ulm, Wurtemberg, and who shared as master-builders in the construction of the most important Gothic buildings of the fifteenth century in Southern Germany. Ulrich, the founder of the family, is known from the year 1391. Apparently he learned his craft in the stonemason's guild of Ulm, and was also a pupil of Master Heinrich the Younger of Ulm. In 1391 he was asked to take charge of the work on the Milan cathedral, but he seems to have stayed in Ulm, where he was architect of the cathedral until his death. At first his engagement at Ulm was for five years only, but in 1397 he was appointed master architect for life.

At Ulm, Ulrich completed the choir, began the nave, and made the ground plan of the tower. In 1394-95 he worked on the cathedral of Milan, but, disagreeing with the Duke of Milan as to questions of artistic detail, he went back to Ulm. His connection with the work on the Strasbourg cathedral, however, lasted longer; at Strasbourg he was master-builder during 1399-1419 and built the north tower from the platform to the great window. At the same time he completed the nave and the lower part of the tower of the church of Our Lady at Esslingen.

Besides two daughters Ulrich had three sons who all followed the calling of their father. At first they used Ulrich's official title Kirchenmeister as a family name, but later adopted that of Ensingen (Ensinger).