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Augsburg Travel guide

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The face of Augsburg has been shaped by its 2000-year history and within it the styles of all the major architectural periods are to be found. Fine spacious streets, monumental fountains and distinctive public buildings recall the profound thought and planning of the earlier citizens of Augsburg.

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Since 1237 the city has displayed the pine cone on its coat-of-arms. The city emblem recalls its numerous representations in stone from Augsburg's era as a Roman capital, being displayed, for an example, on the Roman wall on the Fronhof.

Augsburg Germany , first known twelve years before Christ as a Roman colony (Augusta Vindelicorum), and during the middle ages an imperial city (since 1276), the seat of a bishop, the chief emporium for the trade of Northern Europe with the Mediterranean and the East, and the home of princely merchants and bankers (the Fuggers and Welsers), figures prominently in the early history of the Reformation, and gave the name to the standard confession of the Lutheran Church in 1530, and to the treaty of peace in 1555.

Augsburg became one of the first settlements in present day Germany to come under the influence of Roman civilization and commerce and indeed bears the name of the Emperor Augustus. As the first major city that traders met after the Brenner Pass, it became the major metropolis on the north eastern flank of the Roman Empire. Augsburg enjoyed the status of Free Imperial City within the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. Around 1500, Augsburg was noted as a printing center; artists such as the Holbein family, Albrecht Dürer, and Titian worked there.

Augsburg was made an imperial free city, independent of the powers which surrounded it. Considering that the Austrian Emperor, Charles the Fifth, once owed Anton Fugger 1 million florins, it's no wonder that the Augsburg merchant princes could command independence from their stronger predatory neighbours and gather the titles of princes and counts as well. They had their finger in almost every pie of the time. They financed new world explorations, the Venetian rare spice trade and any number of wars between kings. In fact, at one point in the 15th Century, the Fugger family so controlled Atlantic trade routes that it effectively ruled South America. A century later, the Welser family literally owned the country of Venezuela.

In 1510, the House of Fugger began the construction of a community of reasonably priced apartments for poor people. Finished in 1519, the walled town contained, as it does today, four gates, six alleys, 53 houses and one church. The size of the apartments varied from two to three rooms with kitchen. All the apartments open onto the carefully laid out streets, giving them the character of homes. The Fuggerei's first tenants in the comfortable quarters were the needy residents of Augsburg, the craftsmen, day-labourers and others who did not want to beg. As time when on, the tenants changed until the area became primarily a place for retired people. But the Fugger family has kept the terms of the lease exactly the same. The rent, per room, in a Fuggerei apartment, is 43 pfennings a year, or a total of one Rheinish Guilder, a Mark 72, or 42 cents.

In the 17th Century, the brick layer Franz Mozart, grandfather of the composer, was a Fuggerei resident and he had to abide by the same hours as the 20th Century renter. Although the development stands in the centre of Augsburg, it closes its gates at 10 each night. Thereafter, each resident must pay the gatekeeper 10 pfennings before midnight or 20 pfennings after midnight to be let in. The rules prohibit nightly amusements or occupations which might disturb the neighbours and the residents is required to pay for anything he breaks or damages.

Augsburg Sights, sightseeing, culture:

Travel Guide

With its 250,000 inhabitants, Augsburg is one of Germany's most attractive cities, where students find living relatively inexpensive. While some students prefer to live in the picturesque old town, others take one of the 1,200 fully-furnished and self-contained study-bedrooms in a residence hall situated in the city or near the university--naturally also open to foreign students.

Augsburg Germany offer Concerts in magnificent old halls, open-air opera at the Rotes Tor, art exhibitions, museums and churches are just as much the goal of international tourists as are the Fuggerei, the Schaezlerpalais, the Mozart House or the Bertold Brecht House. The Rathaus, or Town Hall, was built by the City Architect Elias Holl between 1615 and 1620. Fuggerei - "Town within a Town". Founded in 1516 by Jakob Fugger the Rich and his brothers as the world's first social settlement for hardworking, honest but impoverished citizens who were Catholic. The settlement comprises 67 two-storey structures housing 147 apartments, a church and a simple, elegant fountain.

The House of Fugger in Augsburg still administers the unique project. Although some 25 percent of the Fuggerei buildings were destroyed in World War II, these have now been rebuilt with one apartment set aside for visitors furnished exactly as the originals were four centuries ago. In fact, the Fuggerei is now building an additional wing to the present establishment. When finished, it will be in the same plain style as the others, but it will represent the continuing life of a project which today is as much a successful social experiment as it was an advanced idea in the minds of the Augsburg Fuggers in the 16th Century. The Perlach Tower and Rathaus are Augsburg´s landmarks. The tower rises above the west choir of the collegiate church of St. Peter am Perlach, built in 1182 and altered in the 18th century.

- The oldest section is probably the crypt beneath the west choir, laid out in the 10th c. under Bishop Ulrich. Noteworthy are romanesque and gothic frescoes, lovely painted vaults, and four panel paintings by Holbein the Elder. The windows of the prophets Jonas, Daniel, Hosea and Moses are examples of the oldest representative stained glass in Germany (attr. middle 12th c.). The south bronze door (ca. 1356) comprises 35 bas-relief panels featuring scenes from the Old Testament. In front of the cathedral are remains of the foundation of St. John's church (10th c.) and relics from Roman Augsburg (Roman wall).

Church of St. Anna
- Founded in 1321 by Carmelite monks as a monastery and church. Enlarged at the end of the 15th c. and redesigned between 1747 and 1749). The Goldsmith's chapel, with its gothic murals was added in 1420-1496. Later conversion into a Lutheran church. The burial chapel of the Fuggers is considered the earliest example of Renaissance architecture in Germany.

St. Ulrich and Afra
- There are two churches, both named Ulrich and Afra. One is Roman Catholic, the other Lutheran--the duality is a result of the Peace of Augsburg concluded in 1555 between Catholics and Protestants. Construction of the larger structure begun in 1474 with the abbey church of the Benedictine monks. Choir with three massive altars and the Crucifixion altar completed in 16th/17th c. Onion-domed tower is 93 m high. Late gothic basilica richly appointed in Renaissance and Baroque styles: an elaborate wrought-iron grille, numerous works of art, and the burial vaults of Augsburg's patron saints Afra, Ulrich and Simpert.

Town Hall
- The Rathaus, or Town Hall, was built by the City Architect Elias Holl between 1615 and 1620. Most important secular Renaissance structure north of the Alps. Expresses the self-assurance of the then Free Imperial City of Augsburg. Severly damaged in 1944 in an air raid. Reconstruction of the facade after WWII and of the interior in 1962. In 1985, on the occasion of Augsburg´s 2000-year jubilee, the Golden Hall, with its imposing portals, gold-leaf coffered ceilings and murals, was extensively restored.

Perlach Tower
- The Perlach Tower and Rathaus are Augsburg´s landmarks. The tower rises above the west choir of the collegiate church of St. Peter am Perlach, built in 1182 and altered in the 18th century. The base of the tower is from 11th/12th c., and the bell tower and cupola are the work of Elias Holl from 1614. Over 70 meters high, the tower offers good views on clear days, signaled by the flying of a yellow flag.

Since 1956 the International Mozarteum Foundation, as a collaborative effort between the Mozart cities of Augsburg, Salzburg and Vienna, has published the "New Mozart Edition", a centennial work of modern Mozart research intended to profit both science and practice. Mozart's entire oeuvre has been edited in approx. 130 volumes.

Founded in 1970, the University of Augsburg is the choice of more than 15,000 students. There are many reasons why local students, as well as those from the rest of Germany and abroad, are glad they came. The University is, first of all, not oversized; it has human dimensions. It has favourable working conditions with a high standard of teaching and research, and--last but not least--opportunities for recreation and leisure in the surrounding areas. Munich, the capital of Bavaria, is only 40 minutes from Augsburg by train; two hours south of Augsburg lies the "fairy tale" castle of Neuschwanstein, at the foot of the Romantic Road of which Augsburg is a part.

The Augsburg Zoo was founded in June 1937 as "Park der deutschen Tierwelt". Meanwhile with more than 600 000 Visitors per Year, the Augsburg Zoo has become the most popular Cultural Attraction in the Region. The Zoo gives home to more than 2000 animals in about 400 species, most of those were bread in Zoos, only few were captured in the wild. Every year some endangered animals bread in our Zoo can be released in new habitats.

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