Just like Rothenburg ob der Tauber to the north, Augsburg is home to a fabulous Christmas market, with a fantastic variety of stalls ranging from the traditional German norm to some whacky alternative Christmas items.
But of course the town has so much more to offer and like most towns and villages in this part of Bavaria the architecture is simply amazing with Romanesque, Gothic and Rococo styles blending together, even within the same building.
A wonderful example of this is the magnificent Dom, a cathedral that houses the famous Prophet Windows – the oldest stained glass in the world that was produced in the mid 12th century.
Augsburg is renowned as the birthplace of Mozart’s father and the composer often gave performances in the town. Another famous name connected with the town is Martin Luther the instigator of the Protestant Reformation in the early 16th century.
At the Pope’s behest Luther was interrogated by Cardinal Cajetan in Augsburg about his role in the Protestant Revolt but 12 years later, in 1530, the Augsburg Confession laid the foundations of the Lutheran faith. It would be another 25 years before the Peace of Augsburg brought about the end of the rift between the Catholic and Lutheran churches.
Augsburg Germany – A Rich Man’s Town
Augsburg is still home to descendants of Jakob Fugger who, in the 15th century, was to become the richest man in the world and arguably the most powerful. He paid for armies, brokered deals across Europe and no-one who wanted to rule a country in the known world could do without the financial might of Fugger the Rich.
Born in 1459 Jakob was training to be a priest when, at the age of 19, he was hauled back to run the family business following the deaths of his father and elder siblings. Taking much unheard of gambles he eventually controlled the European silver and copper markets and accumulated incredible wealth.
Heads of state would borrow heavily from Jakob to pay for their armies and of course once he had them in his pocket he could ask a lot of ‘favours’. Following Jakob’s death in 1525 the family influence and fortune gradually declined.
One lasting legacy that Jakob Fugger left was his passion for Renaissance architecture and he was the movement’s biggest influence in Germany.
Like most other German town Augsburg loves a good festival. Apart from the aforementioned Christkindlmarkt held during Advent; the town is also home to two of the biggest folk festivals in Europe. Taking place every Easter and September the festivals feature lots of music accompanied by wonderful street markets.
Gateway To The Alps
Augsburg is a great starting point for those who want to explore the Bavarian Alps and the see the amazing fairytale castles of Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau that were built by the eccentric Ludwig II of Bavaria.