Augsburg (German: [ˈaʊksbʊʁk] (listen); Swabian German: Augschburg, UK: // OWGZ-burg, US: /-/ AWGZ-) is a city in Swabia, Bavaria, Germany, around 50 kilometres (31 mi) west of Bavarian capital Munich. It is a university town and regional seat of the Regierungsbezirk Schwaben with an impressive Altstadt (historical city centre). Augsburg is an urban district and home to the institutions of the Landkreis Augsburg. It is the third-largest city in Bavaria (after Munich and Nuremberg) with a population of 300,000 inhabitants, with 885,000 in its metropolitan area.
|• Lord mayor (2020–26)||Eva Weber (CSU)|
|• City||146.84 km2 (56.70 sq mi)|
|Elevation||494 m (1,621 ft)|
|• Density||2,000/km2 (5,200/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (CEST)|
After Neuss, Trier, Cologne and Xanten, Augsburg is one of Germany's oldest cities, founded in 15 BC by the Romans as Augusta Vindelicorum, named after the Roman emperor Augustus. It was a Free Imperial City from 1276 to 1803 and the home of the patrician Fugger and Welser families that dominated European banking in the 16th century. According to Behringer, in the sixteenth century, it became "the dominant centre of early capitalism", having benefitted from being part of the Kaiserliche Reichspost system as "the location of the most important post office within the Holy Roman Empire" and the city's close connection to Maximilian I. The city played a leading role in the Reformation as the site of the 1530 Augsburg Confession and 1555 Peace of Augsburg. The Fuggerei, the oldest social housing complex in the world, was founded in 1513 by Jakob Fugger.
Augsburg lies at the convergence of the Alpine rivers Lech and Wertach and on the Singold. The oldest part of the city and the southern quarters are on the northern foothills of a high terrace, which has emerged between the steep rim of the hills of Friedberg in the east and the high hills of the west. In the south extends the Lechfeld, an outwash plain of the post ice age between the rivers Lech and Wertach, where rare primeval landscapes were preserved. The Augsburg city forest and the Lech valley heaths today rank among the most species-rich middle European habitats.
Augsburg borders on the nature park Augsburg Western Woods - a large forestland. The city itself is also heavily verdant. As a result, in 1997 Augsburg was the first German city to win the Europe-wide contest Entente Florale for Europe's greenest and most livable city.
The city of Augsburg was founded in 15 BC on the orders of Emperor Augustus. Emperor Augustus conducted extensive military campaigns and established administrative settlements. The settlement that became Augsburg was known as Augusta Vindelicorum, meaning "the Augustan city of the Vindelici". The settlement was established at the convergence of the Alpine rivers Lech and Wertach. In 120 AD Augsburg became the administrative capital of the Roman province Raetia. Augsburg was sacked by the Huns in the 5th century AD, by Charlemagne in the 8th century, and by Welf I, Duke of Bavaria in the 11th century.
Mixed Imperial City of Augsburg
Paritätische Reichsstadt Augsburg
(Occupied by Sweden 1632–35)
Coat of arms of Augsburg before 1985
|Status||Mixed Imperial City|
(State of the Holy Roman Empire)
|Historical era||Middle Ages|
• Bishopric established
• City gained immediacy
• Joined Schmalkadic League
• Peace of Augsburg
Augsburg was granted the status of a Free Imperial City on 9 March 1276 and from then until 1803, it was independent of its former overlord, the Prince-Bishop of Augsburg. Frictions between the city-state and the prince-bishops were to remain frequent however, particularly after Augsburg became Protestant and curtailed the rights and freedoms of Catholics. With its strategic location at an intersection of trade routes to Italy, the Free Imperial City of Augsburg became a major trading center.
Augsburg produced large quantities of woven goods, cloth and textiles. Augsburg became the base of two banking families that rose to great prominence, the Fuggers and the Welsers. The Fugger family donated the Fuggerei part of the city devoted to housing for needy citizens in 1516, which remains in use today.
In 1530, the Augsburg Confession was presented to the Holy Roman Emperor at the Diet of Augsburg. Following the Peace of Augsburg in 1555, after which the rights of religious minorities in imperial cities were to be legally protected, a mixed Catholic–Protestant city council presided over a majority Protestant population; see Paritätische Reichsstadt.
Augsburg's economic boom years occurred during the 15th and 16th centuries thanks to the bank and metal businesses of the merchant families Fugger, Welser and Hochstetter. These families held a near total monopoly in important industries. Monopolies were considered criminal in contemporary laws and these families' practices were criticized by Martin Luther himself, but as Emperor Charles V needed their financial assistance, he cancelled the charged in the 1530s. In the 16th century Augsburg became one of Germany's largest cities. Augsburg was a major manufacturing center for textiles, armor, scientific instruments, as well as gold- and silver-smithing. The prolific printers of Augsburg also made the city the largest producer of German-language books in the Holy Roman Empire. Like other free imperial cities, Augsburg was an independent entity, and had authority over its tax policies.
Augsburg's wealth attracted artists seeking patrons. The city rapidly became a creative centre for sculptors and musicians. Augsburg became the base of the Holbein family, starting with Hans Holbein the Elder. The composer Leopold Mozart was born and educated in Augsburg. Rococo became so prevalent that it became known as "Augsburg style" throughout Germany.
Augsburg benefitted majorly from the establishment and expansion of the Kaiserliche Reichspost in the late 15th and early 16th century. This postal system, which was the first modern postal service in the world, was created through negotiations and agreements between the Taxis family represented by Franz von Taxis and the early Habsburgs monarches, notably Maximilian I, his son Philip the Handsome and grandson Charles V. Even when the Habsburg empire began to extend to other parts of Europe, Maximilian's loyalty to Augsburg, where he conducted a lot of his endeavours, meant that the imperial city became "the dominant centre of early capitalism" of the sixteenth century, and "the location of the most important post office within the Holy Roman Empire". From Maximilian's time, as the "terminuses of the first transcontinental post lines" began to shift from Innsbruck to Venice and from Brussels to Antwerpt, in these cities, the communication system and the news market started to converge. As the Fuggers as well as other trading companies based their most important branches in these cities, these traders gained access to these systems as well.(Despite a widely circulated theory which holds that the Fuggers themselves operated their own communication system, in reality they relied upon the imperial posts, presumably from the 1490s onwards, as official members of the court of Maximilian I).
At the end of the 16th century the witch hunts reached Augsburg. Following the 1585-1588 plague epidemic, southeast Germany was shattered by the 1589-1591 witch hunts. Following the 1592-1593 plague epidemic, cities in southeast Germany entered a period of inflation, marked by brutal witch hunts in urban areas.
Religious peace in the city was largely maintained despite increasing tensions until the Thirty Years' War, which started 1618 and lasted until 1648. In 1629 the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II issued the Edict of Restitution, which restored the legal situation of 1552. The inequality of the Edict of Restitution was revoked when in April 1632, when Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden occupied Augsburg.
In 1634 the Swedish army was defeated at the nearby Battle of Nördlingen. By October 1634, Catholic troops had surrounded Augsburg. The Swedish army refused to surrender and a siege ensued through the winter of 1634/35 and thousands died from hunger and disease. During the Swedish occupation and the siege by Catholic troops the population of the city was reduced from about 70,000 to about 16,000. Diseases such as typhus and the Black Death ravaged the city.
In the first half of the 17th century Augsburg was pivotal in the European network of goldsmiths. Augsburg attracted goldsmith journeymen from all over Europe and in the 18th century a large number of silversmiths and goldsmiths became master craftsman in Augsburg.
In 1686 the Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I formed the League of Augsburg, also known as the "Grand Alliance" after England joined in 1689. The coalition consisted at various times of Austria, Bavaria, Brandenburg, England, the Holy Roman Empire, the Electorate of the Palatinate, Portugal, Savoy, Saxony, Spain, Sweden, and the Dutch Republic. The coalition was formed to defend the Electorate of the Palatinate and fought against France in the Nine Years' War.
The Reichsdeputationshauptschluss or Final Recess of 1803 saw the annexation of nearly all of the 51 Free Imperial Cities, excepting Augsburg and five others. However, when the Holy Roman Empire was dissolved in 1806, Napoleon encouraged his German allies to mediatize their smaller neighbours, and Augsburg lost its independence. It was annexed to the Kingdom of Bavaria. In 1817, the city became an administrative capital of the Oberdonaukreis, then administrative capital in 1837 for the district Swabia and Neuburg.
During the end of the 19th century, Augsburg's textile industry again rose to prominence followed by the connected machine manufacturing industry.
Augsburg was historically a militarily important city due to its strategic location. During the German re-armament before the Second World War, the Wehrmacht enlarged Augsburg's one original Kaserne (barracks) to three: Somme Kaserne (housing Wehrmacht Artillerie-Regiment 27); Arras Kaserne (housing Wehrmacht Infanterie Regiment 27) and Panzerjäger Kaserne (housing Panzerabwehr-Abteilung 27 (later Panzerjäger-Abteilung 27)). Wehrmacht Panzerjäger-Abteilung 27 was later moved to Füssen.
The MAN factory at Augsburg was the largest German manufacturer of engines for U-boats in World War II and became the target of the Augsburg Raid. When the Avro Lancaster bomber was new in service, the RAF sent 12 at low level to bomb the factory in daylight, on 17 April 1942. The bombers were intercepted en-route and only five returned, all damaged. The factory was damaged but production continued; the factory was repeatedly bombed later. A subcamp of the Dachau concentration camp outside Augsburg supplied approximately 1,300 forced labourers to local military-related industry, especially the Messerschmitt AG military aircraft firm, headquartered in Augsburg.
In 1941, Rudolf Hess, without Adolf Hitler's permission, secretly took off from a local Augsburg airport and flew to Scotland, crashing in Eaglesham. His objective was to meet the Duke of Hamilton in an attempt to mediate the end of the European front of World War II and join sides for the upcoming Russian Campaign.
The Reichswehr Infanterie Regiment 19 was stationed in Augsburg and became the base unit for the Wehrmacht Infanterie Regiment 40, a subsection of the Wehrmacht Infanterie Division 27 (which later became the Wehrmacht Panzerdivision 17). Elements of Wehrmacht II Battalion of Gebirgs-Jäger-Regiment 99 (especially Wehrmacht Panzerjäger Kompanie 14) was composed of parts of the Wehrmacht Infanterie Division 27. The Infanterie Regiment 40 remained in Augsburg until the end of the war, finally surrendering to the United States when on 28 April 1945, the U.S. Army occupied the city. The city and its Messerschmitt works were bombed on three occasions during the war. Collateral damage included the destruction of just under 25% of all homes in the city and the deaths of several hundred people.
Following the war, the three Kaserne would change hands confusingly between the American and Germans, finally ending up in US hands for the duration of the Cold War. They became the three main US barracks in Augsburg: Reese, Sheridan and FLAK. US Base FLAK had been an anti-aircraft barracks since 1936 and US Base Sheridan "united" the former infantry barracks with a smaller Kaserne for former Luftwaffe communications units.
The American military presence in the city started with the U.S. 5th Infantry Division stationed at FLAK Kaserne from 1945 to 1955, then by 11th Airborne Division, followed by the 24th Infantry Division, U.S. Army VII Corps artillery, USASA Field Station Augsburg and finally the 66th Military Intelligence Brigade, which returned the former Kaserne to German hands in 1998. Originally the Heeresverpflegungshauptamt Südbayern and an Officers' caisson existed on or near the location of Reese-Kaserne, but was demolished by the occupying Americans.
From 1266 until 1548, the terms Stadtpfleger (head of town council) and Mayor were used interchangeably, or occasionally, simultaneously. In 1548 the title was finally fixed to Stadtpfleger, who officiated for several years and was then awarded the title for life (though no longer governing), thus resulting confusingly, in records of two or more simultaneous Stadtpfleger.
The current mayor of Augsburg is Eva Weber of the Christian Social Union (CSU) since 2020. The most recent mayoral election was held on 15 March 2020, with a runoff held on 29 March, and the results were as follows:
|Candidate||Party||First round||Second round|
|Eva Weber||Christian Social Union||41,534||43.1||63,762||62.3|
|Dirk Wurm||Social Democratic Party||18,116||18.8||38,532||37.7|
|Martina Wild||Alliance 90/The Greens||17,851||18.5|
|Andreas Jurca||Alternative for Germany||4,673||4.8|
|Peter Hummel||Free Voters of Bavaria||3,053||3.2|
|Frederik Hintermayr||The Left||2,564||2.7|
|Lisa McQueen||Die PARTEI||1,896||2.0|
|Bruno Marcon||Augsburg in the Citizens' Hands||1,478||1.5|
|Anna Tabak||We are Augsburg||1,261||1.3|
|Lars Vollmar||Free Democratic Party||1,249||1.3|
|Christian Pettinger||Ecological Democratic Party||1,183||1.2|
|Claudia Eberle||Pro Augsburg||941||1.0|
|Source: City of Augsburg (1st round, 2nd round)|
The Augsburg city council governs the city alongside the Mayor. The most recent city council election was held on 15 March 2020, and the results were as follows:
|Christian Social Union (CSU)||1,653,781||32.3||5.4||20||3|
|Alliance 90/The Greens (Grüne)||1,198,090||23.4||11.0||14||7|
|Social Democratic Party (SPD)||734,066||14.3||8.1||9||4|
|Alternative for Germany (AfD)||337,834||6.6||0.7||4||±0|
|Free Voters of Bavaria (FW)||230,952||4.5||0.9||3||1|
|The Left (Die Linke)||189,034||3.7||0.5||2||±0|
|Free Democratic Party (FDP)||117,201||2.3||0.7||1||±0|
|Ecological Democratic Party (ÖDP)||114,119||2.2||0.3||1||±0|
|Generation AUX (GenAUX)||108,956||2.1||New||1||New|
|Augsburg in the Citizens' Hands (AiB)||96,690||1.9||New||1||New|
|Pro Augsburg (PRO A)||94,346||1.8||3.3||1||2|
|We are Augsburg (WSA)||77,189||1.5||New||1||New|
|Political Voters' Association/Democracy in Motion (Polit-WG/DiB)||29,149||0.6||2.5||0||1|
|Source: City of Augsburg|
|Climate data for Augsburg (1981–2010)|
|Average high °C (°F)||2.3
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−0.8
|Average low °C (°F)||−3.9
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||40.1
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||64.1||90.1||127.3||173.8||211.8||218.1||240.1||223.2||159.3||107.9||59.1||48.7||1,723.5|
Ring of Mercy on the Dom (Cathedral) St. Maria
St. Ulrich and St. Afra Cathedral
Plaque commemorating the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification at St. Anne's Church
The pagan goddess Cisa has been linked to the civic emblem of Augsburg, known as Stadtpir. Cisa and the Stadtpir came to represent the prosperity of the city. The Stadtpir was stamped on cloth that was approved by the town cloth inspector. Metalworks produced in the city were also stamped with the Stadtpir. The Stadtpir adorns the 17th century town hall.
The "Stoinerne Ma" ("Stony Man") is a life-size stone figure on the eastern Augsburg city wall in the area of the so-called "Sweden staircase", which is located in the immediate vicinity of the Galluskirche and St. Stephan convent (on the outside of the city wall). It is probably a one-armed baker with a loaf of bread and a shield. In the area of the feet there is a helically twisted pedestal.
According to the legend, it is the baker "Konrad Hackher" who, during a long siege of the city, baked bread from sawdust and threw it into the ditch clearly visible for the besiegers over the city wall. The impression that Augsburg would still have so much bread that one could throw it over the wall is said to have demoralized the besiegers so much that they fired at him with a crossbow out of anger. A hit struck off his arm, and soon afterwards the siege was broken off. Historically, the event belongs to the Thirty Years' War, more precisely to the siege of Augsburg during the years 1634/35, when Catholic Bavarian troops under Field Marshal von Wahl wanted to recapture the city occupied by the Protestant Swedes. The baker's deed is not reliably proven.
The statue is often visited by walkers strolling along the city wall. As it is said to be a fortunate thing to touch the stone figure's iron nose. This custom is particularly popular with lovers.
In the wall of the property Bei den Sieben Kindeln 3 ("At the seven infants 3") there is a recessed stone relief from the Roman period. Legend says that the commemorative plaque was commissioned by a Roman officer to commemorate the drowning of one of his children (therefore it is said to be "seven" children, although the plaque represents only six: the seventh child is drowned and lies in the coffin). According to current knowledge, the plate once formed the long side of a Sarcophagus.
The city of Augsburg had two civic plague houses. The two civic plague houses, called Lazarethe, were established when the black death first appeared in Augsburg in 1349. Thereafter they were opened whenever a plague epidemic occurred in the city. As soon as a medical practitioner, such as a barber surgeon, diagnosed the plague the patients were transferred to the plague houses by order of the city council. The transfer to the plague houses was publicly announced, so as to prevent panic and the breakdown of economic life. In the second half of the 18th century, the plague houses were used to treat other diseases, such as smallpox and scurvy.
|1 July 1910||Meringerau||9.5 km2|
|1 January 1911||Pfersee||3.5 km2|
|1 January 1911||Oberhausen||8.6 km2|
|1 January 1913||Lechhausen||27.9 km2|
|1 January 1913||Hochzoll||4.4 km2|
|1 April 1916||Kriegshaber||59 km2|
|1 July 1972||Göggingen|
|1 July 1972||Haunstetten|
|1 July 1972||Inningen|
|Largest groups of foreign residents|
|Nationality||Population (31 December 2017)|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||1,823|
Public transport is very well catered for. It is controlled by the Augsburger Verkehrs- und Tarifverbund (Augsburg transport and tariff association, AVV) extended over central Swabia. There are seven rail Regionalbahn lines, five tram lines, 27 city bus lines and six night bus lines, as well as several taxi companies.
The Augsburg tramway network is now 35.5 km-long after the opening of new lines to the university in 1996, the northern city boundary in 2001 and to the Klinikum Augsburg (Augsburg hospital) in 2002. Tram line 6, which runs 5.2 km from Friedberg West to Hauptbahnhof (Central Station), opened in December 2010.
Augsburg has seven stations, the Central Station (Hauptbahnhof), Hochzoll, Oberhausen, Haunstetterstraße, Morellstraße, Messe and Inningen. The Central Station, built from 1843 to 1846, is Germany's oldest main station in a large city still providing services in the original building. It is currently being modernized and an underground tram station is built underneath it. Hauptbahnhof is on the Munich–Augsburg and Ulm–Augsburg lines and is connected by ICE and IC services to Munich, Berlin, Dortmund, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Stuttgart. As of December 2007, the French TGV connected Augsburg with a direct High Speed Connection to Paris. In addition EC and night train services connect to Amsterdam, Paris and Vienna and connections will be substantially improved by the creation of the planned Magistrale for Europe.
The AVV operates seven Regionalbahn lines from the main station to:
Starting in 2008, the regional services are planned to be altered to S-Bahn frequencies and developed long term as integrated into the Augsburg S-Bahn.
Until 2005 Augsburg was served by nearby Augsburg Airport (AGB). In that year all air passenger transport was relocated to Munich Airport. Since then, the airport is used almost entirely by business airplanes.
Augsburg is a vibrant industrial city. Many global market leaders namely MAN, EADS or KUKA produce high technology products like printing systems, large diesel engines, industrial robots or components for the Airbus A380 and the Ariane carrier rocket. After Munich, Augsburg is considered the high-tech centre for Information and Communication in Bavaria and takes advantage of its lower operating costs, yet close proximity to Munich and potential customers. In 2018 the Bavarian State Government recognized this fact and promoted Augsburg to Metropole.
|UNESCO World Heritage Site|
|Criteria||Cultural: (ii), (iv)|
|Inscription||2019 (43rd Session)|
|Area||112.83 ha (278.8 acres)|
|Buffer zone||3,204.23 ha (7,917.8 acres)|
The water systems of Augsburg were built between the 14th century and today. A network of canals, water towers, pumping equipment and hydroelectric power stations have provided drinking water and power for the city for centuries.
Augsburg is home to the following universities and colleges:
The local newspaper is the Augsburger Allgemeine first published in 1807.
FC Augsburg is a football team based in Augsburg and plays in the WWK ARENA to the south of the city centre. FC Augsburg secured promotion to Bundesliga in 2011 and have remained there ever since, qualifying for the Europa League for the first time in 2015 and securing mid-table finishes across the last few seasons. The club, nicknamed the Fuggerstädter or simply as FCA, reached the last 32 in the 2015-16 Europa League with a 1-0 aggregate defeat to Liverpool. The WWK ARENA, nicknamed the "Anfield of the B17 Highway" following the Liverpool UEL match, opened in July 2009 and also hosted games of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup. The 30,660 capacity arena is easily accessible from the city centre or the adjacent B17 dual carriageway.
The city is home to a DEL (first-division) ice hockey team, the Augsburger Panther. The original club, AEV, was formed in 1878, the oldest German ice sport club and regularly draws around 4000 spectators, quite reasonable for German ice hockey. Home games are played at the Curt Frenzel Stadion: a recently rebuilt (2012–2013) indoor rink and modern stadium and the club reached the 2018/19 DEL semi finals, eventually losing in the winner-takes-all game 7 to EHC Red Bull München (4-3 series defeat). Consequently, the Panthers qualified for the Champions Hockey League. Augsburg is also home to one of the most traditional German Baseball clubs, the Augsburg Gators and 2 American Football Clubs, the Raptors and Augsburg Storm, and in nearby Königsbrunn there's the Königsbrunn Ants.
For the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, a Lech dam protective diversionary canal for river ice was converted into the world's first artificial whitewater slalom course: the Eiskanal and remains a world-class venue for whitewater competition and served as prototype for two dozen similar foreign courses.
While commonly called Fuggerstadt (Fuggers' city) due to the Fuggers residing there, within Swabia it is also often referred to as Datschiburg: which originated sometime in the 19th century refers to Augsburg's favorite sweet: the Datschi made from fruit, preferably prunes, and thin cake dough. The Datschiburger Kickers charity football team (founded in 1965) reflects this in its choice of team name.
Among younger people, the city is commonly called "Aux" for short.