Augsburg (German pronunciation: [ˈʔaʊ̯ksbʊʁk] ( listen); Austro-Bavarian: Augschburg) is a city in Swabia, Bavaria, Germany. It was a Free Imperial City for over 500 years, and is notable for the Augsburg Confession.
It is a university town and home of the Regierungsbezirk Schwaben and the Bezirk Schwaben. 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 286,000 citizens. After Neuss and Trier, Augsburg is Germany's third oldest city, being founded by the Romans as Augusta Vindelicorum, named after the Roman emperor Augustus.
Augsburg is the only German city with its own legal holiday, the Augsburger Hohes Friedensfest, celebrated on August 8 of every year. This gives Augsburg more legal holidays than any other region or city in Germany.
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 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.
On Augsburg borders the nature park Augsburg Western Woods - a large forestland. The city itself is also heavily greened. 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.
|Climate data for Augsburg (1981–2010)|
|Average high °C (°F)||2.3
|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|
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The city was founded in 15 BC by Drusus and Tiberius as Augusta Vindelicorum (Latin pronunciation: [awˈɡʊsta wɪndɛlɪˈkoːrʊ̃] English pronunciation of Latin: / /), on the orders of their stepfather Emperor Augustus. The name means "Augusta of the Vindelici". This garrison camp soon became the capital of the Roman province of Raetia.
Early development was due to a 400-year affiliation with the Roman Empire, especially because of its excellent military, economic and geographic position at the convergence of the Alpine rivers Lech and Wertach, and with direct access to most important Alpine passes. Thus, Augsburg was the intersection of many important European east-west and north-south connections, which later evolved as major trade routes of the Middle Ages.
Around 120 AD Augsburg became the 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 of Bavaria in the 11th century, but arose each time to greater prosperity.
|Mixed Imperial City of Augsburg|
|Paritätische Reichsstadt Augsburg|
|Free Imperial City|
|Historical era||Middle Ages|
|•||Bishopric established||4th century|
|•||Bishopric gained Imperial immediacy||c. 888 1276|
|•||City gained immediacy||1276|
|•||Diet of Augsburg:
|•||Joined Schmalkadic League||1537|
|•||Peace of Augsburg||1555|
|•||Occupied by Sweden||1632–35 1803|
|•||Mediatised to Bavaria||1803|
Augsburg was granted the status of a Free Imperial City on March 9, 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 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.
Religious peace in the city was largely maintained despite increasing Confessional tensions until the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648). In 1629, Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II issued the Edict of Restitution, which restored the legal situation of 1552 and again curtailed the rights of the Protestant citizens. The inequality of the Edict of Restitution was rescinded when in April 1632, the Swedish army under Gustavus Adolphus captured Augsburg without resistance.
In 1634, the Swedish army was routed at nearby Nördlingen. By October 1634, Catholic troops had surrounded Augsburg. The Swedish garrison refused to surrender and a siege ensued through the winter of 1634/35 and thousands died from hunger and disease. According to J. N. Hays, "In the period of the Swedish occupation and the Imperial siege the population of the city was reduced from about 70,000 to about 16,000, with typhus and plague playing major roles."
In 1686, Emperor Leopold I formed the League of Augsburg, termed by the English as the "Grand Alliance" after England joined in 1689: a European coalition, consisting (at various times) of Austria, Bavaria, Brandenburg, England, the Holy Roman Empire, the Palatinate of the Rhine, Portugal, Savoy, Saxony, Spain, Sweden, and the United Provinces. It was formed to defend the Palatinate from France. This organization fought against France in the Nine Years War.
Augsburg's peak boom years occurred during the 15th and 16th centuries thanks to the bank and metal businesses of the merchant families Fugger and Welser, who held a local near total monopoly on their respective industries. Augsburg's wealth attracted artists seeking patrons and rapidly became a creative centre for famous painters, sculptors and musicians - and, notably, the birthplace of the Holbein painter family. In later centuries the city was the birthplace of the composer Leopold Mozart and the playwright Berthold Brecht. Rococo became so prevalent that it became known as “Augsburg style” throughout Germany.
In 1806, when the Holy Roman Empire was dissolved, Augsburg lost its independence and 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.
During World War II, one subcamp of the Dachau concentration camp was located outside Augsburg, supplying approximately 1,300 forced labourers to local military-related industry, most 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 airport and flew to Scotland to meet the Duke of Hamilton, and crashed in Eaglesham 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 in 28 April 1945, the U.S. Army occupied the heavily bombed and damaged city.
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. The former Wehrmacht Kaserne 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.
|Election results of the Town Council since 1972 in percent|
Allegedly Cisa (dea Ciza) was the city goddess of Augsburg. A representation of the Cisa can be seen on the weather vane of the Perlachturm; moreover, according to legend, some representations on the bronze doors of the cathedral are said to indicate the goddess. The mountain on which her temple is said to have stood was called "Zisenberk". The golden vane on top of Perlach-Tower next to city hall is the original likeness of the goddess from the 15th century.
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. Of course, 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 depicting six playing, naked children standing around a coffin.
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, representing Erotes.
|July 1, 1910||Meringerau||9.5 km2|
|January 1, 1911||Pfersee||3.5 km2|
|January 1, 1911||Oberhausen||8.6 km2|
|January 1, 1913||Lechhausen||27.9 km2|
|January 1, 1913||Hochzoll||4.4 km2|
|April 1, 1916||Kriegshaber||59 km2|
|July 1, 1972||Göggingen|
|July 1, 1972||Haunstetten|
|July 1, 1972||Inningen|
|December 1, 1871 ¹||51,220|
|December 1, 1890 ¹||75,629|
|December 1, 1900 ¹||89,109|
|December 1, 1910 ¹||102,487|
|June 16, 1925 ¹||165,522|
|June 16, 1933 ¹||176,575|
|May 17, 1939 ¹||185,369|
|September 13, 1950 ¹||185,183|
|June 6, 1961 ¹||208,659|
|May 27, 1970 ¹||211,566|
|June 30, 1975||252,000|
|June 30, 1980||246,600|
|June 30, 1985||244,200|
|May 27, 1987 ¹||242,819|
|December 31, 1990||256.877|
|December 31, 1991||259.884|
|December 31, 1992||264.852|
|December 31, 1993||264.764|
|December 31, 1994||262.110|
|December 31, 1995||259.699|
|December 31, 1996||258.457|
|December 31, 1997||256.625|
|December 31, 1998||254.610|
|December 31, 1999||254.867|
|December 31, 2000||254.982|
|December 31, 2001||257.836|
|December 31, 2002||259.231|
|December 31, 2003||259.217|
|December 31, 2004||260.407|
|December 31, 2005||262.676|
|December 31, 2006||262.512|
|December 31, 2007||262.992|
|December 31, 2008||263.313|
|December 31, 2009||263.646|
|December 31, 2010||264.708|
|December 31, 2011||266.647|
|December 31, 2015||281.111|
|December 31, 2017||295.895|
¹ Census result
|Largest groups of foreign residents|
|Serbia and Montenegro||2,849|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||1,534|
Information on the partner cities can also be found at www.augsburg.de
Public transport is very well catered for. It is controlled by the Augsburger Verkehrsverbund (Augsburg transport union, 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:
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 for general aviation and business airplanes. Passenger flights resumed in 2016 with a once-per-week flight to Salzburg that ended later in 2017.
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.
Augsburg is home to the following universities and colleges:
The local newspaper is the Augsburger Allgemeine first published in 1807. There are also several local radio stations and a local TV station (a.tv).
FC Augsburg is a football team based in Augsburg and plays in the WWK ARENA. FC Augsburg was promoted to Bundesliga in 2011. The new stadium (opened in July 2009) also hosted games of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup.
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. Also Augsburg is home to one of the most traditional German Baseball clubs, the Augsburg Gators.
For the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, a Lech River 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.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Augsburg.|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Augsburg.|