The world’s tallest church is under attack — from pee.
The Ulm Minster, whose foundation was laid in 1377 and which has a 162-meter tall steeple, looms over the German city of Ulm, which sits on the River Danube in Baden-Wurttemberg.
However, the church’s very existence is under attack as nighttime revelers relieve their bladders at its base, causing damage to the historic site.
Authorities responsible for the conservation of the structure say its stone base is being worn down by a constant stream of corrosive acids and salts in the urine, according to Suedwest Presse. The city has taken measures to stop people from urinating at the site by doubling fines to 100 euros ($110) earlier in the year.
Police patrols have also increased near the site, but this has done little to deter people intent on relieving themselves.
The sandstone base of the building recently underwent an expensive renovation and now, thanks to this disgusting hazard, it seems like it will require restoration again.
“I've been keeping an eye on it for half a year now and, once again, it's coated with urine and vomit," said Michael Hilbert, head of the department that maintains the building.
Hilber said that although he is not the “Pinkelpolizei” or “pee police” — yes, there is such a thing — he wants officials to penalize the perpetrators.
"This is about preserving law and order," he added.
One of the biggest problems is that the church is situated at a popular location, which is frequently a venue for a large number of festivals, markets and community celebration.
Organizers often do not provide proper toilet facilities and some people are left with no alternative but to find a nook or cranny — which often happen to be the church’s alcoves — to take care of their needs.
Hilbert has already asked organizers to ensure guests do not go to the church to answer nature’s call and told them to provide with free toilets.
If these bodily wastes cause irreversible damage, it would be an undignified end to this magnificent church that was once the tallest building in the entire world.