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Story 188 – 1859 – People

Short history of a splendid domicile

In 1859 Philipp Jakob Wieland moved into a villa in keeping with his status

For a long time Philipp Jakob Wieland lived modestly in the cramped house of the former bell foundry. When he moved into a magnificent villa in 1859, his employees honoured him with a torchlight procession. The building was completely destroyed in the Second World War.

Despite his enormous business success, Philipp Jakob Wieland remained a comparatively frugal person in his private life. Certainly, already as a young man he liked to visit operas and theatre performances and acquired a considerable library. Later he began to acquire valuable riding and carriage horses, and as he grew older he frequently went to a health resort or spent the weekends in his country house in Herrlingen.

But measured against his possibilities, he and his family lived for a long time in extremely cramped and modest conditions in the house of the bell foundry in the Rosengasse in Ulm. Because production there was constantly expanding, there was no room for an expansion of the private rooms. It was only at an age at which people nowadays retire that Philipp Jakob Wieland allowed himself a domicile that did justice to his status as a successful entrepreneur: at the age of 66 he had a stately villa built in Ulm's Olgastrasse. He probably did not choose the location by chance, because located nearby was a mill, the Spitalmühle, which he acquired in the same year and which would soon become Wieland's main factory site.

Plans and details are not preserved today. It is known, however, that this building also housed the company's administration. We also have a newspaper article from the "Ulmer Schnellpost" which states that the "entire male staff" of his factories honoured him with a torchlight procession in front of the new domicile on the occasion of his moving in, "there were about one hundred and fifty torches blazing. " In addition, the workers gave a longer speech, the content of which is not mentioned in the press article.

Philipp Jakob Wieland still had 14 years to live in the large house. During this time his four children by his second wife Mathilde were also born. In a contemporary illustrated book of 1871, the villa is immortalised – among others – as one of Ulm's sights. The building itself, however, did not survive the Second World War, it was completely destroyed in a bombing raid in 1944. Only some of the Greek-style stone statues that adorned the entrance survived the destruction. Today they stand in the front garden of a house in Ulm and are the only "witnesses" that still remind us of Philipp Jakob Wieland’s villa.

In the lithograph of 1871, the statues in front of the Philipp Jakob Wieland’s villa are clearly visible.

Copyright Stadtarchiv Ulm: F3/1 Ulmer Ansichten/0611/1 – Extract from the compilation "Ulm from South West a 16 individual views".