When you are visiting the city of Augsburg, you shouldn´t miss to visit the following places:
(The information and pictures below are provided by courtesy of the city of Augsburg: www.augsburg.de)
The Town Hall (Rathaus)
The Augsburg Town Hall was built between 1615 and 1620 under the guidance of city architect Elias Holl and is considered the most significant secular Renaissance building north of the Alps. Its size and splendor express the self-assuredness of the then Free Imperial City of Augsburg, the site numerous Diets.
During a bombing attack in February 1944, the Town Hall took a direct hit and only the burned-out shell remained standing. The façade was restored after the war, and in 1985, in honor of the city’s 2000-year anniversary, the inside of the building was completely renovated. The restorers paid careful attention to historical detail, particularly in the Goldener Saal with its magnificent golden portals, coffered ceiling, and murals; and to the adjacent Prince’s Chambers (Fürstenzimmer).
The Goldener Saal and Fürstenzimmer are used for receptions and festivities but they can also be visited. One can also rent rooms in the Town Hall for private occasions.
The Perlach Tower
Along with the Town Hall, the Perlach Tower is the most recognizable symbol of Augsburg. The tower rises over the 1182-built collegiate church of St. Peter on Perlach. In the course of building the neighboring Town Hall, architect Elias Holl had it erected in 1614. The tower stands 70 m (230 ft) high and is equipped with a carillon and onion dome.
Every year on September 29th (the Feast of St. Michael and all Angels) the children of Augsburg delight in the Turamichelefest. Every hour on the hour, a small door in the tower opens and two mechanical figures come out. As the bell strikes, the figure of St. Michael defeats the dragon with a thrust of his spear.
For a commanding view of the surrounding countryside, one can climb the 261 steps to the top of the tower. The particularly sporty participate each year in the “Perlachturm Run”, a challenge to see who is the quickest to the top.
The Fuggerei is known as a “city within a city” and is still managed by the Fugger family foundation as it was at the time of its beginning.
In 1521, Jakob Fugger the Rich and his brothers founded what is now the oldest social settlement in the world for Augsburgers who had fallen into hardship (and who practiced the Catholic faith). The settlement is comprised of 67 houses with 140 apartments, a church and a fountain. Even today, annual rent is the equivalent of one Rhinish Gulden, about 0,88 €. House rules still dictate that every day residents must recite The Lord’s Prayer in honor of the settlement’s founders.
The Fuggerei can be visited daily for a small admission fee. The admission price includes a visit to the museum, which displays an apartment preserved in the original style and features an exhibition about the Fugger family history.
For more information, visit the Fuggerei website.
The Cathedral (Dom)
The High Cathedral of the Virgin Mary is the cathedral of the Diocese of Augsburg as well as the cathedral parish church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The Cathedral’s history is documented as far back as 823 AD; it is 113 m (371 ft) long, 40 m (131 ft) wide and the spires are 62 m (203 ft) high.
The crypt under the west choir was constructed in the 10th century under the reign of Bishop Ulrich. Not to be missed are frescoes from the Romanesque and Gothic periods, beautifully painted vaults, and four panels from Hans Holbein the Elder. The windows depicting the prophets Jonas, Daniel, Hosea and Moses are some of the oldest representational stained glass windows in Germany; they date back to the mid-12th century. The magnificent bronze door (ca. 1356) contains 35 relief panels with scenes from the Old Testament.
In the course of the centuries, the Cathedral has been rebuilt countless times, during the course of which many art treasures have been lost. In the last significant renovation of 1863, the Cathedral was rebuilt in neo-Gothic style.
On the plaza in front of the Cathedral stand the remains of the foundation of St. John’s Church (10th c.) and archaeological finds from Roman Augsburg (Roman wall). They belong to the Diocesan Museum, whose collection also includes the Cathedral treasury and further ecclesiastical artworks as well as the original bronze door, the Cathedral’s oldest work of art.
The Roman Museum
The Roman Museum finds its home in the double-nave hall of the one-time Dominican Church of the St. Magdalene Cloister, and is richly decorated with plasterwork by the Feichtmayr brothers (ca. 1720). The museum houses monuments and archaeological finds from the Roman provincial capital Augusta Vindelicum and the surrounding region as well as items from pre-historical times up through early Christianity and the Middle Ages.
Augsburg Marionette Theater (Puppenkiste)
In 1943, Walter Oehmichen, his wife Rose and their daughters Hannelore and Ulla built their own marionette theater, the “Puppenschrein” (puppet shrine). Although destroyed by bombs in WWII, Oehmichen was not to be discouraged and in 1948 opened a marionette theater in the former Holy Ghost Nursing Home. The “Augsburger Puppenkiste” opened with the fairytale “Puss in Boots”. TV broadcasts in the 60’s and 70’s made the Puppenkiste and its characters like Urmel, Jim Knopf and the cat Mikesch famous throughout Germany. Today, the two grandsons of the founder, Klaus and Jürgen Marschall, manage the Puppenkiste and continue to carve their own figures and write their own scripts. You can find the season program on the Puppenkiste’s web site. Adjacent to the theater is the marionette museum “Die Kiste” where one can get an up-close view of many of the popular figures.