This historic building houses the State Art Gallery, which contains brilliant paintings by Old Masters such as Dürer, Holbein and Cranach.
The subjects of these paintings are exclusively religious. Many of them show Christian saints (with halos) being martyred in hideous ways. So I wouldn't take impressionable children to see these paintings, they might have nightmares about them afterwards.
The State Art Gallery is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Parts of the Maximilian Museum were recently re-opened after extensive renovation.
The courtyard now has a glass roof and contains sculpture exhibits. The part of the museum that is now open deals with the history of Augsburg and vicinity, including for example the importance of water power in the development of the economy of this area.
The Maximilian Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
This museum in Leopold Mozart's birth house was renovated, expanded and modernized in 2005/2006. It includes paintings and musical instruments of the eighteenth century, along with exhibits on Leopold Mozart's childhood and youth in Augsburg.
The name Mozart originated in the countryside around Augsburg, and there are displays showing which of Mozart's ancestors lived in which villages, and what they did there. By 1480 someone named Mozart was already living in the city of Augsburg, and Wolfgang's great-great-grandfather David Mozart was born in Augsburg in around 1620.
In Philippine-Welser Strasse, #24, that's between the Rathaus and St. Anne Church
Maximilianmuseum is house in a restored medieval house dating back to 1546, and is a museum... with a bit of everything really, housed in about 3 dozen rooms.
There are two focus points: Augsburg's history (and they do have something to talk about, Augsburg being, after all, one of the oldest cities in Germany) and fine arts. All the exhibits are from the Municipal Museums and Art Collections.
While history goes awhile back, fine arts are mostly late Middle Ages in baroque and rococo style - mostly gold and silver artifacts and sculptures
At Im Annahof, a short walk to the west of Rathausplatz
Ok, so the Church of St. Anne (a former monastery built in 14th-15th centuries) is not the most visually striking church in Augsburg, but there is plenty to see inside:
- Fugger chapel (the burial place of Jacob Fugger)
- Goldsmiths' chapel with 14th century frescoes
- Reformation museum (convent rooms where Luther used to stay)
- Stuccoed ceiling
- Paintings by Lucas Cranach the Elder
On Hoher Weg, about quarter of a mile north from the Rathausplatz
This is probably one of the oldest Cathedrals in Germany, having been started in the 10th century - so much so that it's in Romanesque style (as opposed to, say, Gothic of the Cathedral in Cologne). It did get a Gothic makeover later, but the core is still Romanesque.
The present Cathedral is a rebuild of an older one that stood on exactly the same spot in the 8th century.
Don't miss the many treasures including:
- a number of fine frescoes including works by Hans Holbein the Elder
- a Romanesque Madonna
- what's said to be Germany's oldest stained glass window featuring 4 prophets. It's an original (which you don't always get) and dates back to the 12th century
- doors with fine Old Testament scenes in bronze (these are a recent copy, the original was another somewhat later addition to the original structure, built in the 14th century)
- sarcophagus of Konrad and Afra Hirn in the north transept (15th century)
On the Rathausplatz, next to the Town Hall itself
In the Middle Ages the Perlachturm, or Perlach Tower, served as a guard tower. Now it has a much more peaceful purpose - in fact, it's one of the best photographic spots in the town.
Keep in mind though that it's open pretty much only from May to October, with occasional weekend openings.
On Rathausplatz, about half a mile from the railway station
Rathaus is the Town Hall, built in the first quarter of the 17th century and complete with two spires, each topped off by an onion dome.
The roof also features Augsburg's emblem - a pine cone about 12 feet high (hence the tip title!)
Don't miss the Goldener Saal inside with it's frescoed and gilded ceiling
The little garden inside the complex of the Bishop's Residence has been turned into a public park.
The original garden was planned by Johann C. Bagnato in 1739-1744. The 18th century pillars and fence, sculptures and gates are still there. garden itself has been redesigned.
The small park is a cosy and quiet refuge that invites to rest and relax on a chair or on the lawns.
The Bishop's residence next to the cathedral is a huge complex that consists of several wings that were added over centuries. Most of the buildings show the baroque style, these were erected in the late 17th and 18th century. The outer courtyard, called Fronhof, is surrounded by economy and administration buildings while the part next to the cathedral contains the residential quarters. While the cathedral has preserved its medieval style to show its tradition, the Bishops wanted modern housing in contemporary style and turned their residence into a baroque palace. The irregular ground plan shows that this wasn't one big project but grew in the long run.
The Fuggerei’s newest sight is the exhibition in the World War II bunker which has been opened in summer 2008. It shows the fate of the Fuggerei and its residents during the Third Reich, the destructions caused by allied air raids and the post-war rebuilding.
Mittlere Gasse 13 is the only house of the Fuggerei where the original construction is preserved. The apartment on the ground floor contains historical furniture and offers an impression how housing in the Fuggerei originally was like. Next-door house No. 14 hosts a small exhibition about the Fugger family, the foundation and the history of the Fuggerei.
The little catholic church, situated next to the main entrance from Jacoberstraße, was begun in 1581. It has been redesigned a couple of times, last time during the repairs of the damages caused by World War II bombs. Renaissance and baroque pieces of the interior have survived.
The Fuggerei employed a priest of ist own who was also doing the job of the teacher in the settlement’s school.
After World War II, the Southern gable of the church was decorated with a sundial bearing the merchants’ Motto „Nütze die Zeit“ (Make the most of your time).
Jacob Fugger the Rich founded the settlement named Fuggerei in 1521 to give poor Augsburg citizens cheap housing and a chance for a better life. That makes it the oldest social housing project in the world. The 67 buildings of the Fuggerei still serve for the same purpose today.
Three conditions have to be fulfilled to be accepted as inhabitant: The candidate has to be needy, catholic, and have a flawless reputation. The rent is still the same as in the 16th century, the equivalent of one Rhenish guilder per year(!), in those times this was about the income a craftsman earned in one week. In today's currency, this sums up to 88 Euro cents excluding heating.
Besides, each inhabitant is obliged to say three prayers per day for the founders and the Fugger family. Given the catholic faith and piety of the 16th century, this was the most important part of the agreement for the founder: securing continuous prayer for the salvation of his own soul after his death as well as those of his defunct family members.
The Fuggerei is like a little town of its own, with walls and gates, its own church and administration. The settlement is still administered by a committee which consists of members of the Fugger family's three remaining lines.
The seven lanes of the settlement with their uniform yellow houses, most of them covered with vines, the little gardens along the back side, fountains, a small park form an ensemble with cosy flair.
In Ochsengasse 51, one model apartment, fully furnitured but uninhabited, can be visited to see how people live in these houses today. Otherwise, please respect the privacy of the inhabitants who have to cope with tourist crowds every day.
The museum in the house Mittlere Gasse 13 (see separate tip) contains the only originally preserved 16th century apartment.
More pictures on the Fuggerei travelogue page.
The Rathaus (City hall) is another masterpiece of Elias Hall, dated 1615-20. The gable bears the symbol of the city, the seed of Pinus cembra (it's on the very top).
On this side of the Rathaus lived patricians, while on the opposite side lived workers; the Rathaus is higher on the side of workers (there is a descent from Rathausplatz) to mean they were more noble than patricians.
Do you found this monument very beautiful? Well, hold your breath and go inside (i.e. move to the next tip).