Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo


Belonged to a family of architects who came from Einsingen 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; d. at Strasburg, 10 Feb., 1419. Apparently he learned his craft in the stonemason's guild of Ulm, and was also, perhaps, 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 at that time 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. 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 connexion with the work on the Strasburg cathedral, however, lasted longer; at Strasburg 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; his sons 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).

(2) CASPAR ENSINGEN was the oldest son; very little is known of him.

(3) MATTHIAS ENSINGEN, another son, d. 1438. There is evidence that he was employed on the Ulm cathedral from 1427 and at Esslingen during 1436-38.

(4) MATTHÄUS ENSINGEN, the youngest and most gifted son, can be traced during the years 1420-1463. In 1420 he worked at Strasburg ; in the same year he was appointed master-builder for the work on the minster at Berne. The cornerstone of this was laid in 1421 and Matthäus conducted the work until 1449. In addition he had his father's position as architect at Esslingen (1419-1463). It can be proved that he was engaged on the cathedral of Ulm from 1446, but it was not until 1451 that he had charge of its construction as master-builder; before this last appointment he worked (1449-51) on the cathedral at Strasburg without occupying any well-defined position. On the Ulm cathedral he completed the vaulting of the choir and built the tower as high as the nave. During his last years he was for a short time again at Berne.

(5) VINCENZ ENSINGEN, son of Matthäus, employed at Berne from 1448; during 1462-85 he worked at Constance, and in 1472 he built the small cloister at Basle.

More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • BIGGER THAN ISIS - There's a hidden power behind ISIS and it's so big ...
  • St. Saturninus: Saint of the Day for Sunday, November 29, 2015
  • 'Black Friday' leaving bruises as shoppers trample each other for ...
  • The Miracle Prayer HD Video
  • Daily Readings for Sunday, November 29, 2015
  • President likens Syrian refugees to pilgrims on Mayflower in ...
  • Prayer For Courage HD Video

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 33:14-16
14 "Look, the days are coming, Yahweh declares, when I shall fulfil the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 25:4-5, 8-9, 10, 14
4 DIRECT me in your ways, Yahweh, and teach me your paths.5 ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:25-28, 34-36
25 'There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars; on earth nations ... Read More

Reading 2, First Thessalonians 3:12--4:2
12 May the Lord increase and enrich your love for each other and for all, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 29th, 2015 Image

St. Saturninus
November 29: St. Saturninus Bishop of Toulouse and Martyr ... Read More