The last weekend in August is the opening day of the "Plärrer", Augsburg's annual big Volksfest, which lasts two weeks.
The festival is opened in the afternoon of the last Friday in August. On Saturday around noon, the big parade starts in Maximilianstraße and leads through the city centre out to the fairgrounds.
Dreaming of the Oktoberfest in Munich? Why bother with skyrocketing hotel prices and tourist crowds? Here's an alternative, not the only one by the way, which is just as "Bavarian" - even though Augsburg is actually a Swabian city!
See my five travelogue pages for more pictures of the parade!
I thought I would make a separate tip to tell something more about the family. They were first a German mercantile, and then mostly a banking dynasty that dominated European business during the 15th and 16th centuries, influenced the development of capitalism and European politics. And at the peak of their time in ‘power’ they were - believe it or not - the richest family in the whole of Europe.
Hans Fugger - the first man of the dynasty - was a weaver from the village of Graben in Swabia, and he established the family in Augsburg in 1367. He was also a shrewd man - marrying twice the daughters of masters of the weavers' guild, the Fugger got civic rights (which were the cornerstone if you wanted to achieve something) and the freedom of the company. He also became a member of the guild's committee of 12 and of the city's great council and conducted a successful textile trade. From this moment the family’s rise to prominence (though not a fast one) began.
After his death in 1408, his sons Andreas and Jakob I, both of whom had chosen a path different (and somewhat more prestigious one) from that of their father - namely the goldsmith's trade - jointly carried on the family business until they dissolved their partnership in 1454. Just like modern-day family corporations:)))
Although Andreas, thought to have had the most business acumen of the two, and his descendants quickly attained great wealth, they went bankrupt half a century later, in 1499, as a result of an overextension of business activity and the loss of a lawsuit. Again, widely reminiscent of today:))
The Fuggerei family established the world's first social housing project in 1519 and it still provides shelter for the poor within the renovated almshouses.