Visiting Augsburg, Bavaria, Germany

In En-Route, Europe, Germany, Our Journeys, Trip-Types, World Travel by Janis4 Comments

A Bavarian city with an intriguing history

So, you’re toying with the idea of heading off to Bavaria in southern Germany, why not try something different and visit Augsburg. Often when you think of Bavaria, after you dismissed the thought of bratwurst and steins of beer from your mind. You may choose the historic cities of Munich or Nuremberg, (which are both great by the way, particularly at Christmas time). 

Storm clouds brewing over the Rathaus from the Rathausplatz.

Rathausplatz

However, we thought on this Lakes and Lederhosen revival road trip, we’d try somewhere slightly different. And Augsburg was ticking a lot of boxes for us it had, history, charm and culture.

Augsburg is also one of Germany’s oldest towns and was founded in 15 BC by the Romans and named after the emperor Augustus.

Augsburg was furthermore a Free Imperial City from 1276 to 1803.

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A view along Herrengasse in the Fuggerei

Herrengasse in the Fuggerei




What to see in Augsburg?

What better place to start than the Rathausplatz, the heart of so many German towns and cities? Just within this square, we have the Perlachturm, which is a 70-metre-tall tower. The Perlach Tower was originally built as a Watchtower in 989.

Just next to the Perlach Tower is eye-catching Renaissance-style Town Hall, which was built in 1620.

However, due to an air-raid in February 1944 causing extensive damage, the Rathaus and its beautiful façade were restored to their former glory in 1955. 

A tall bell tower, illuminated against the night sky, known as the Perlachturm.

Perlachturm at night

The Rathaus & Perlachturm from the Rathausplatz lit against the clear night sky.

Rathaus

You have to head inside, as there’s more to this Rathaus that meets the eye. 

So close to Munich

Augsburg is only around 50 miles (80km) from Munich, so, you could easily make it into a day trip.

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Golden Hall, Augsburg

As the Goldener Saal (Golden Hall) succumbed to the same fate as the exterior of the Town Hall, the painstaking restoration was not fully completed until 1996. 

The intricately decorated ceiling of the Golden Hall.

Ceiling of the Golden Hall

The magnificent golden ceiling and replacement of the marble floor were completed from 1980 to 1984. The wall frescoes posed more challenging and were completed in 1996. 

A vast decorated door & ceiling of the Golden Hall of the Rathaus.

Intricate detail within the Golden Hall

A decorated door of the Golden Hall with an ornate painting above it.

Goldener Saal

The incredible amount of care and detail in bringing the Golden Hall back to its previous splendour is impressive. The entrance fee for the Goldener Saal is just €2.50.




Maximilianstrasse, Augsburg

Maximilianstraße, as it’s correctly written, runs through the heart of the Old Town in Augsburg. It’s along this road that so many of Augsburg’s historical buildings, fountains and churches can be found.

A row of historic buildings at a junction on Maximilianstraße each on in a different period colour.

Maximilianstraße


A street view of the Hercules fountain in Maximilianstraße with St. Ulrich’s and St Afra’s Abbey in the distance.

Hercules Fountain, Maximilianstraße

Mercury Fountain, Maximilianstraße, A visit to Augsburg, visiting Bavaria, Germany

Mercury Fountain, Maximilianstraße

St. Ulrich’s and St Afra’s Abbey

We started at the south end of this notable street and visited St. Ulrich’s and St Afra’s Abbey. One of two dual denominated churches in Augsburg, St. Ulrich’s and St Afra’s Abbey being Catholic and Lutheran.

Looking up and the onion-domed bell tower of St. Ulrich’s and St Afra’s Abbey.

St. Ulrich’s and St Afra’s Abbey

A view down the aisle towards the nave of the St. Ulrich’s and St Afra’s Abbey.

Inside St. Ulrich’s and St Afra’s Abbey

Take a peek inside the church as it’s rather beautiful and very ornate. Also, I noticed an inordinately large number of confessional boxes, not too sure what that’s all about, perhaps they had a lot to absolved for years ago.




Take a stroll

Prior to heading north along Maximilianstraße, take a wander around the cobbled lanes of Spitalgasse. Around this area of Augsburg, you’ll find some lovely old buildings, churches, towers and also the Augsburger Puppenkiste. This puppet theatre has been entertaining folk young and old since 1948.

The grand doorway to the puppet theatre.

Augsburger Puppenkiste

Looking down the street towards the Rotes Tor which translates to the Red Tower.  A tower within the ancient city walls with a gateway at the base.

Rotes Tor (Red Tower)

Another structure to be found along here is the Red Tower (Rotes Tor) which was renovated in the 20th-century; however, was once a gate forming part of the original fortifications. 

Something to make your travels easier?

Why not?

Start creating your own Bavarian adventure and discover the historic city of Augsburg for yourself. You can fly into Germany’s delightful city of Munich with easyJet & British Airways.

Discover more of Germany on a road trip like us, if your unable to bring your own car or are flying into this lovely country give SIXT car hire a go. They cover all budgets and allow you to pick up and drop off at different destinations.




Back on Augsburg’s “The Imperial Mile”

As you head north along Maximilianstraße, also known as the “Imperial Mile” you can see Schaezlerpalais. A beautiful Baroque Palace, beyond its walls, are lovely gardens, courtyards and a Rococo ballroom.

The Schaezlerpalais from the Hercules fountain on Maximilianstraße.

Schaezlerpalais

Strolling further along past the Hercules Fountain, one of three eye-catching fountains along this stretch of road, you’ll see the Fuggerhäuser (Fugger houses). The Fugger’s were a wealthy banking family that became extremely prominent within Augsburg. The original buildings were destroyed during WWII, they were rebuilt in 1951 by Carl Fürst Fugger-Babenhausen. Although it still houses beautiful courtyards and gardens, it is now the Fürst Fugger Privatbank.

A pair of large wooden gates, decorated with a twin-headed eagle and a heraldic shield that mark the entrance to the Fürst Fugger Privatbank.

Doorway to the Fürst Fugger Privatbank

A short hop further along and you’ll stumble upon the colourful Weavers House (Weberhaus) on the corner of Moritzplatz. Opposite here is the second fountain, the 'Mercury Fountain'.

The colourful Weavers House decorated with murals on the outside, now home to shops.

Weavers House (Weberhaus)




North it is

Passing through Rathausplatz, you’ll see the third fountain along this stretch, which Emperor Augustus stands aloft.

As I’ve already given you a taster of what can be found in this square, keep heading north.

The statue of Augustus above the eponymously named fountain that stands in Rathausplatz.

Top of the Augustus Fountain

We’ve now reached Augsburg Cathedral, built in the 11th-century in Romanesque style. This church was lucky enough to escape the WWII bombings that struck so many other buildings in this Bavarian city.

The exterior view of Augsburg Cathedral with its red-tiled roof and verdigris topped twin spires.

Augsburg Cathedral

In comparison to St. Ulrich’s and St Afra’s Abbey, at the other end of the “Imperial Mile”, I found Augsburg Cathedral a lot more subdued inside.

The fountain in front of Augsburg Cathedral with a figure on horseback flanked by a priest and a pilgrim.

The fountain in front of Augsburg Cathedral

Augsburg Cathedral has some of the oldest stained-glass windows in Germany, dating from the late 11th and early 12th centuries. Underneath the cathedral below the western choir is a Romanesque crypt dating from 10th-century.

An ornate brass door knocker on the entrance to Augsburg Cathedral.

The door knocker of Augsburg Cathedral

It has to be a road trip

Or alternatively, if your venturing from the UK, jump on Le Shuttle and tour south under your own steam.




Did someone say, Mozart?

Just along from Augsburg Cathedral is where Leopold Mozart was born, the father of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. 

Leopold was renowned in his own right as he was a conductor, composer and teacher.

The red four-storey house that used to be home of Leopold Mozart, father of Wolfgang Amadeus  Mozart.

Mozarthaus

The Fuggerei, Augsburg

The Fuggerei is a quaint social housing settlement in Augsburg and was the first of its kind in the world. Founded in 1521 by “Jacob Fugger the Rich”, it is still occupied by Catholic residents, although it is also now a museum. 

A view of 3 rows of terraced homes in the Fuggerei with vines growing up against the gable end.

Picturesque homes in the Fuggerei

This little complex is home to 150 residents who continue to pay the original annual rent of a Rhine Guilder, (which today is 0.88 Euros).

How much?

I thought to pay €6.50 was reasonably cheap to visit, but 0.88 Euros for year’s rent is a bargain.

An old gas lantern attached to the side of an ochre-coloured building covered in a vine in  Ochsen Gasse in the Fuggerei

Ochsen in the Fuggerei

All the little manicured homes are so uniformly laid out, in the exact same colour. With Wisteria clinging to the walls and climbing roses clambering over the doorways.

A street view of the Fuggerei.

Welcoming street in the Fuggerei

Some of the original homes dating from 16th-century were numbered with Gothic numerals. One of the Fuggerei’s most prominent residents was the great-grandfather of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who was also a master builder. He moved into apartment no.14 Mittlere Gasse in 1681 and died there in 1694. 




Exploring Fuggerei, Augsburg

It is such a lovely tranquil place to wander around, it incredible to believe that this social housing complex is still occupied. Cute little pedestrian streets, tiny plots planted like a traditional English country garden.

A hedge in front of beautifully tended small front gardens of the homes in the Fuggerei.

Cute little gardens in the Fuggerei

While we wandered through the little streets, I noticed chalk numbers marked above the house doors. I have since found out that it is a blessing that some people have carried out on their homes on either the Twelfth Night (January 5). Or the twelfth day on the eve of the feast of the Epiphany. The patterns we saw were "20*C+M+B+19".

Two of the standard green doors on the ochre-coloured homes the Fuggerei.

Blessing of a home, the Fuggerei

A view of the cast-iron fountain in front of the rows of terraces of the Fuggerei.

Cast iron fountain from 1744

Within the little settlement is the small chapel of St. Markus, where residents come to pray at least three times a day. 

Inside the small chapel of St. Markus in the Fuggerei

St. Markus Church in the Fuggerei

A small wooden door that leads down stone steps to an underground WWII bunker.

WWII bunker in the Fuggerei

Also constructed within the grounds, shortly after WWII began is an underground bunker.  The housing estate experienced quite a significant amount of damage during the war, and within the air-raid shelter, an exhibition now exists.




Wander the cobbled lanes

Strolling around the Old Town of Augsburg is such a pleasure, you’ll easily find some quiet spots to relax and enjoy the scenery.

With all the exploring you’ve done; you’ll undoubtedly have earned a nice ice-cold German beer.

A quiet cobbled lane in front of a mixture of homes of different colours.

Quiet street in Augsburg

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Inspired to visit Augsburg?

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About the Author

Janis

Janis, the co-founder of Our World for You, was born in London and raised in Kent and the Isle of Wight. Along with Gary her partner, they have been travelling part time since 1995. In 2016, they decided that enough was enough with the 9 to 5, so armed with the knowledge and experience that they had gained on their adventures, that they wanted to inspire others to travel the world near and far.

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Comments

  1. You’ve outdone yourself on the photos again. I really want to go to Bavaria. The architecture is just stunning. Fuggerei remind s me of the Cotswolds and the Golden Hall is superb!

    1. Author

      Thanks very much Melissa, Bavaria is one of many lovely regions of Germany. It does have some stunning architecture though.

  2. Augsburg looks really pretty, thanks for bringing it to my attention! I would love to visit Bavaria, so will definitely keep this in mind.

    1. Author

      No problem, Bavaria is a lovely region of Germany to tour around, there are so many quaint towns and villages, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

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