The university town of Augsburg, Bavaria, was founded by the Romans in 15 BC, making it the oldest city in Bavaria and the second oldest in Germany. This city boasts a beautiful silhouette of historic architecture and is steeped in culture. Read on to find out how to get the most out of a stopover in Augsburg.
The most recognized landmark of Augsburg, the 230-foot (70-meter) Perlach Tower served as a watchtower in the 10th century. It commands a sweeping view of the city from its observation deck that can be reached by climbing 258 steps.
The Fuggerei, the oldest housing society in the world, is best described as another small town within the town of Augsburg. This community was once the residence of poor Catholics and today preserves 142 houses, 67 buildings, a church, a museum, and the beautiful Fugger Palace. In Fuggerei, the rent has not gone up for five centuries, and the residents still pay a rent of €1 per year.
The German Baroque Gallery and the Schaezler Palace
The lovely Rococo Schaezler Palace, built in the 18th century, is home to the German Baroque Gallery and the State Gallery. Visitors flock to these museums to admire the priceless works of famous artists like Holbein the Elder, Hans Burgkmair the Elder, and Albrecht Dürer, and also artwork dating back to the Middle Ages and early Renaissance. Take special note of the Hercules Fountain in front of the palace.
This 11th-century Roman cathedral stands out from the other cathedrals in the country because of its massive bronze door containing 35 relief panels depicting scenes from the Old Testament, double choirs, and the oldest figural stained-glass windows in the country.
Rotes Tor (“red gate”) is the beautifully preserved remains of the ancient, now-demolished fortifications of Augsburg. The ensemble consists of the tower, a bridge, a bastion, and a moat. You can see two very old water towers here as well.
This 14th-century building served as the hub of medieval textile trade in bygone days, and has been through demolition, reconstruction, and renovation in the following centuries. The building is eye-catching because of its beautiful façade painting.
The Mozarthaus is the most popular attraction of the Fuggerei community. This is the birthplace of Leopold Mozart, the legend’s father, and himself a gifted musician. The museum offers visitors a peek into the life of this famous family, and displays books, letters, scores, and musical instruments related to the Mozarts. It is also the venue for Mozart Summer, an awesome two-week concert held in August and September.
Augsburg Railway Park
If you are fond of trains, Augsburg Railway Park guarantees a few enjoyable hours. The museum displays lovingly refurbished and preserved historic locomotives, which provide a great backdrop for your holiday photos.
Augsburg Zoo is one of the biggest zoos in the country and is home to almost 1,600 animals, birds, and reptiles from across 300 species. The zoo also houses and protects several endangered species.
The Vogeltor (“bird gate”) is a four-storey stone gate with a narrow passage, and a part of the ancient fortifications. Any local will be happy to share with you the hilarious story behind its construction. Apparently, after the tower was complete, the city council refused to pay the builders, citing the reason that the tower was not straight. The offended builder is said to have climbed up to the roof of the tower and defecated. The tower was proven to be straight when his feces fell to the ground without touching the walls of the tower.
The most popular family destination in Augsburg and the best of its kind in Germany, the Augsburger Puppentheatermuseum houses puppets from all over Europe. Guided tours are available in multiple languages (including English) and special exhibitions are often held in addition to the permanent exhibition.
Spitalgasse 15, 86150 Augsburg, Germany, 49 821 4503450
This 25-acre (10-hectare) public park is the green lungs of Augsburg and boasts over 3,000 species of plants, herbs, and trees. The gardens also have a greenhouse containing almost 1,200 plants, a herb garden, a colorful rose garden, and a vegetable garden. The most popular section, however, is the Japan Garden, done in traditional Japanese style.
The huge Renaissance Rathaus has a lavish interior with vaulted ceilings and thick marble pillars. The star attraction of the Rathaus is the Golden Hall with its beautifully ornate ceiling which is 46 feet (14 meters) high. Exhibits housed in the Rathaus educate visitors about the history of the city of Augsburg.
Textil- und Industriemuseum
The Textil- und Industriemuseum is a tribute to Augsburg’s 19th-century textile industry. Here, you can learn all about the story of the flourishing of the industry, and how it disappeared. An awesome range of machinery from several centuries, fabrics, pattern books, and more are also on display.
Provinostraße 46, 86153 Augsburg, Germany, +49 821 8100150
For a thorough understanding of the society, history, politics, art, and culture of Augsburg, there is no better place than the Maximilian Museum. Moreover, the museum is located in an iconic road, Maximilianstrasse, that has been in existence since Roman times.
St. Ulrich’s and St. Afra’s Abbey
St. Ulrich’s and St. Afra’s Abbey, together with the little St. Ulrich’s church, display an admirable blend of baroque and Renaissance styles of architecture. The beauty of the ensemble is further enhanced by its rich gothic decor.
Fugger und Welser Erlebnismuseum
The Fugger Und Welser Erlebnismuseum documents the history of the the Fuggers and the Welsers, who were the most successful and affluent merchants in Augsburg in the 15th and 16th centuries. The information is presented in a very interesting, interactive way, mostly through multimedia installations.
Äußeres Pfaffengäßchen 23, 86152 Augsburg, Germany, +49 821 45097821
Augsburg Eiskanal is the first artificial white-water river in the world and was built for the 1972 Olympics in neighboring Munich for the canoe slalom event. The Eiskanal region, with its lush green banks, is a great place to stroll, swim, or watch kayakers in action. It is a magnet for locals and tourists in summer months.
If you like offbeat museums, you are sure to find Internationales Maskenmuseum worth your time. Here, you will find over 4,000 masks from Europe, America, Oceania, Asia, and Africa, spanning several centuries.
St. Anne’s Church
The medieval church of St. Anne’s holds special attraction among visitors because of its stunning baroque and rococo stucco work in the ceiling and frescoes.
Im Annahof 2, 86150 Augsburg, Germany, +49 821 450175100