Augsburg Things to Do

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Best Rated Things to Do in Augsburg

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    Hoher Dom - outside: Roman times and Middle Ages

    by Mikebond Updated Sep 30, 2005

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    The green area outside the Dom is called Fronhof. It was the field for jousts and tournaments in the ancient times.
    Just outside the Dom you can see Roman excavations. As I have written in the introduction to this page, Augsburg (Augusta Vindelicorum) was the most ancient Roman settlement to the North of the Alps.
    I have been told that in another part of the city, an excellent settlement is buried underground but the works to discover it will be led only in 10-15 years for the temporary lack of money and of appropriate technical means.
    Close to the excavations there is an exposition of Roman sculptures. The two sculptures above in this photo represent seeds of Swiss stone pine (pinus cembra), a tree that the Romans brought to Augsburg and that has later become the symbol of the city.

    Roman sculptures Roman sculptures Roman excavations the Fronhof
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    Hoher Dom - outside: Romanesque vs Gothic

    by Mikebond Updated Aug 1, 2005

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    Here you see the Romanesque side of the Dom. The difference with the Gothic side is very clear.
    The Romanesque style developed in the Middle Ages from a religious conception supporting silent meditation and the inferiority of mankind to God and is thus characterized by massive walls, small windows and "low" churches.
    On the contrary, the side of the Dom in the previous tip is Gothic; this style, which developed in the late Middle Ages - beginning of humanism, is characterized by very high walls and large, well decorated windows, in order to get closer to God and to let His light enter the church and descend on the believers.

    Hoher Dom - the Romanesque side Hoher Dom - the Romanesque side (2) Hoher Dom - the Romanesque side (3) Hoher Dom - the Romanesque side (4) Hoher Dom - the Romanesque side (5)
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    Fuggerei - the entrance

    by Mikebond Updated Sep 19, 2007

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    The Fuggerei is said to be the first working-class neighbourhood of the world, since Jakob Fugger the Rich built it in 1519-25. It consists of 67 two-storied houses where could live only poor citizens, who had to be Catholic, to pray every day for the Fuggers and to go back home before 10 pm, otherwise they were fined. The owner of these houses still pay the same rent as in the 16th century, i.e. around 1 euro.
    At the entry to the Fuggerei you find the "tube" (how can I call it?) you see in the second photo. You are expected to make an offering to help people to always keep the Fuggerei in order.
    The main source of profit of the residents is, actually, tourism. If you donate even few money, you will help them to keep tradition alive.

    Fuggerei Fuggerei - tube for offerings
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    Hoher Dom - inside: ancient frescoes

    by Mikebond Updated Aug 2, 2005

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    The ancient part of the Dom has kept some ancient frescoes, like this one that portrays Saint Christopher, the patron saint of travellers (so the saint of all VT-members!). You can read the legend about him in the site indicated below.

    Saint Christopher in the Dom
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    Augustusbrunner

    by Mikebond Written Aug 2, 2005

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    The Augustusbrunner (Fountain of Augustus) is located in Rathausplatz in front of the Rathaus. It was erected in 1575 to commemorate Emperor Augustus, the founder of the city, as well as to celebrate the nobilty. The figure of the Emperor was designed by Hubert Gerhard and moulded by Peter Wagner. The allegoric statues at the base of the fountain date back to 1749.

    Augustusbrunner Augustusbrunner (detail) Augustusbrunner (detail) Augustusbrunner (detail) Augustusbrunner (detail)
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    Hoher Dom - outside

    by Mikebond Updated Sep 19, 2007

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    Hoher Dom (High Cathedral) is the most important Catholic church of Augsburg.
    Its most characteristic features are the absence of a façade and the presence of two choirs.
    It was founded in the 10th century and then built in Romanesque style; it was enlarged and transformed into a Gothic church in the 14th century. That is why there are a Romanic and a Gothic portal (the second being far richer) and two distinct parts in the interior, too.
    The main picture was taken from the top of the Perlachturm (see tip further on).

    Dom Hoher Dom - the Gothic side the bell tower Dom
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    Hoher Dom - outside: the Gothic portal

    by Mikebond Updated Aug 2, 2005

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    Unlike the Romanesque portal of the previous tip, the Gothic portal has normal wooden doors but shows off a wonderful decorated gable. All Gothic churches of Europe portrays scenes from the Bible or the Evangelium on the gable of the portal(s). This was done in order to teach the Word of God also to the several illitterates. These sculptures were sometimes looming (as it is the case in Notre-Dame de Paris) in order to let people understand that they would be damned if they didn't follow the divine message.

    Hoher Dom - the Gothic portal Hoher Dom - the Gothic portal (2) Hoher Dom - the Gothic portal (3) Hoher Dom - the Gothic portal (4) Hoher Dom - the Gothic portal (5)
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    Hoher Dom - inside: windows

    by Mikebond Written Aug 2, 2005

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    The Dom of Augsburg has the most ancient windows of all Deutschland, dated 1130.
    Many parts of the church are protected through iron bars, so that people cannot touch and spoil them. Unfortunately, these bars don't let take good photos!

    windows of the Dom
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    Perlachturm

    by Mikebond Updated Sep 19, 2007

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    This tower was constructed in 1618 by famous Augsburger architect Elias Holl. It is 70 metres high and it is located on the façade of Sankt-Peter-Kirche, close to the Rathaus (city hall).
    I recommend you'd go to the top of the tower: it is not very hard and you can enjoy a wonderful panorama from above. You will enter from the small door in the second photo: mind your head!
    When you arrive at the top, you will have to pay in order to enjoy the panorama, but the fee is low (I think 2 euro for adults and 1 for students).
    In the third photo you see the bells of the tower.

    Perlachturm entrance door bells Perlachturm
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    Sankt Ulrich und Afra - inside: the high altars

    by Mikebond Updated Sep 25, 2005

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    Open your eyes! Here are the three magnificent high altars. The one on your right is Saint Ulrich's, the one on your left Saint Afra's (you may make her tomb out under the altar) and the one in the middle... I don't know. You must look at the other photos of this tip, as they are extraordinary!

    the three high altars Saint Afra's altar (detail) Saint Ulrich's altar (detail) the wonderful central altar
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    Rathaus - outside

    by Mikebond Updated Sep 20, 2007

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    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).

    Rathaus towers tower
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    Two churches of the Holy Cross

    by Nemorino Written Jan 26, 2005

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    A characteristic feature of Augsburg is the existence of two churches side by side with the same name, a fancy white one for the Catholics and a more austere yellow-brown one for the Protestants.

    In another part of town there are also two St. Ulrich's churches, in the same colors.

    The coexistence of Catholic and Protestant churches and congregations in Augsburg and other "free and imperial cities" was a result of the "Peace of Augsburg" that was negotiated here in 1555, to put an end to religious strife within the loosely-knit "Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation".

    Under this agreement, all the princes and dukes and other local rulers agreed not to make war against each other for religious reasons. In the countryside, the common people were required to accept the religion of their local ruler, but in the cities both Catholics and Protestants were allowed to have churches and practice their own religion. They didn't like each other, by any means, but they tolerated each other for the sake of keeping the peace. In Augsburg for hundreds of years there was a complicated quota system to ensure that neither side was dominated by the other.

    When Leopold Mozart was growing up in Augsburg he was at various times a member of the children's choirs in the Catholic churches of the Holy Cross and St. Ulrich. But he sometimes got into trouble with his Catholic teachers by sneaking over to the Protestant churches to hear their music, too.

    Two churches of the Holy Cross
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    Bertolt-Brecht-Haus - overview

    by Mikebond Updated Dec 16, 2005

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    Bertolt-Brecht-Haus is the little house in a little street of Augsburg where the most famous Augsburger, playwright Bert(olt) Brecht, was born on 10th February 1898. The house is today a museum including photos and documents by and about Brecht. It's worth visiting if you want to discover more about this great writer.
    The ticket costs 2 euro (1 euro for students). Opening times: Tuesday-Sunday from 10.00 to 17.00. You are allowed to photograph without flash.
    These pictures show the house, Brecht's family tree and some artistic representation of him.

    Brecht-Haus family tree Brecht Brecht Brecht
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    Hoher Dom - inside: the crib

    by Mikebond Written Aug 2, 2005

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    In a side aisle you can see this beautiful crib, also protected through bars. The three Kings have come to visit Infant Jesus and give Him gold, incense and myrrh.
    I don't know if you can distinguish all the figures from this photo, but be sure they are there!

    a crib in the Dom
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    Sankt-Anna-Kirche - inside: the nave and the organ

    by Mikebond Updated Sep 30, 2005

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    Did you also get the impression that the outside of this church is rather bare and doesn't make you want to go inside? I also thought that Lutheran churches were as bare inside as the Evangelic church of San Silvestro I had seen in Trieste. Well, that's extremely false. You really must visit the inside, since it is simply wonderful!
    Here you see the archs of the nave with this beautiful row of paintings and the wonderful organ with the two painted panels that can be closed and the light coming from the rose window above!

    Sankt-Anna-Kirche: the nave Sankt-Anna-Kirche: the organ
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