Today, Augsburg is popular with German vacationers headed to the
Alps or southern Bavaria and generally regarded as a pleasant stop by all
tourists. To reach Augsburg's Old Town, where the attractions of interest to most travelers
will be found, you will need to navigate to the core of a fairly large city.
In addition, during major soccer matches, the main roads into the
center will be closed.
The center of the Old Town is the Rathausplatz, which is dominated by the
city’s renowned Rathaus (city hall) and its companion Perlach Tower
The Rathaus is regarded as the most pleasing architectural hall of its type in
northern Europe. Although the building was badly damaged during World War
II it has been restored to its former glory. Its famed attraction, the Golden Room or Goldener Saal, was reconstructed
with painstaking attention to detail and is well worth a quick look (fee).
The Perlach Tower, next door to the Rathaus, offers nice view of the city and its attractions, but climb to
the top is steep (fee).
Rathausplatz is a pleasant place to soak up the ambiance, have a coffee and
desert while enjoying the sun and the crowd. The Rathausplatz also features
an interesting and ornate fountain capped with a statue of Augustus Caesar
(17th century). The fountain is a companion piece to two others (capped with
statues of Mercury and Hercules) of similar design, which are in close
proximity on Maximillianstrasse. Finally, the Rathausplatz is surrounded by
some of Augsburg's finest shopping.
The religious-buildings of Augsburg are among its leading attractions.
Although Saint Ulrich’s Churches (one Catholic, one protestant) the
Synagogue, the Heilig-Kreuze church, Saint Jacob’s and other buildings are
all worth a visit, we focus here on Saint Anna’s and the Dom.
Anna’s, which is close to the Rathausplatz, dates from the early 14th century
and was originally built as a Carmelite Monastery. The church was damaged
during World War II and continues to suffer the ravages of time. Although
currently being rehabilitated, it is unclear if the Lutheran parish will be
able to raise the money in time to save this unique treasure. We highly
recommend a quick visit.
Chapel, with its famed frescos, was built in the early 15th century and
dedicated to the Apostle James and Saint Helen (mother of the Roman
Emperor Constantine,). Although the chapel was donated by an individual, the
goldsmiths were custodians of the chapel and used it for burials.
Martin Luther lived in the monastery at Saint Anna’s during his trial for
heresy in 1518. It was also during this period that the Fugger Chapel
(Die Fuggerkapelle) was added to the church. Built by Jakob Fugger, the Rich
(if was there any doubt) as a burial chamber for his brothers and family,
the highly detailed Chapel is a glorious display of Renaissance art.
St. Anna's is of modest size and the current rehabilitation/preservation
work limits the areas of the church available for viewing.
of the Rathausplatz, along Peutingerstrasse and Hoher Weg, is the Dom St.
Maria, dating from the 10th century with later additions. The church itself
is somewhat plain and the interior equally bland, except for its stained
glass, altars and crypt.
The stained glass windows showing the Prophets date
from the 12th century and are thought to be among the earliest of this type
of work in Europe.
The side altars contain altarpieces by Hans Hoblein, a master at the art. The Dom's smallish crypt is from an earlier basilica and has the aura of very old
stonework, warmth and peace. Click
here for some interesting, perhaps controversial, images of a small
altar in the
On northeast of the Dom, attached to the cloister, you will find the
Diocesan Museum (Diozesanmuseum St. Afra Augsburg), which contains many
original treasures from the Dom and the diocese. The original, ornate brass
doors of the Dom, dating from the 11th century can be found here. The
collection is small but interesting and a bargain for the low price of
throughout six rooms of this modest museum are displays of historical
artifacts that chronicle the bishops, saints and important personages
associated with the diocese. Room 5 is the site of an excavation that reveals part of the
transept of the original cathedral dating from the 9th century.
time to explore the cloister as it has an amazing collection of memorial
slabs dating from the 13th to the 19th century.
Due to the historical
nature of the building housing the museum, it is only partially accessible
by wheelchair.) The
website for the museum is in German, but includes interesting pictures
of some of the items on display by room. (Try using the Google
translator on the page, it's not perfect, but it will help).
On the other side of the Dom is a small outdoor area containing some the
remains of a Roman wall and finds from local excavations. Speaking of the
Romans, the Roman Museum can be found in the former St. Magdelana Monastery (south of the
Rathaus). The exhibitions focus on the Roman period of Augsburg’s history
and many of the displays (all excavated locally) are quite interesting.
Its holdings include a relatively large number of stone monuments and
relics of everyday life from the area's times as the capital of a Roman
province (Augusta Vindelicum).
The Maximillian Museum, housed in a 16th century patrician residence, mixes town
history with an interesting collection of works by local gold- and
silversmiths (across from Saint Anna’s at 24 Philippine-Welser-Strasse). The
museum’s collection is eclectic, including furniture, sculptures, porcelain,
clocks and instruments. It is a nice way to wrap up a day in Augsburg.
you are looking for more to explore, consider the other religious buildings
mentioned above, or take a look at the Fugger Palace (Jacob, the Rich,
again) for its impressive courtyard. In addition, you might be interested in
, billed as the
Europe's oldest social housing project.
Click here for the official website of the
For more information on what to see and do in Augsburg, check-in with the
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