In 1521, Jakob Fugger, the Younger, later called the Rich, founded the social housing complex nowadays called Fuggerei for needy citizens of Augsburg. The annual rent for an apartment still amounts to the nominal value of one Rhenish guilder, currently about one dollar. Residents must be of the Catholic faith and say three prayers a day (the Lord's Prayer, Hail Mary, and the Nicene Creed) for the defunct Fugger clan.
One door leads to the ground, the other to the upper floor apartment.
By 1523, 52 houses had been built.
The Fuggerei, an ensemble with eight alleys, is a city within the city with
its own church with city walls and seven gates closed during the night.
Inscriptions and stones with the lily coats of arms of the Fuggers remind of
the founder's family.
The main alley
Currently, about 150 people live in the 140 apartments of the 67 two-story houses.
The hardest thing the inhabitants must tolerate are the many daily tourists visiting the Fuggerei.
The city square with the fountain.
In the back one tower of Augsburg's city hall
and the Perlach Tower peak out.
In the park area within the Fuggerei ...
... there is a bust of the founder Jakob Fugger.
A museum gives the visitor some insight into how people lived in the olden days:
The Fuggerei is the oldest social settlement in the world; however, it is not only the age but also the continuity of the Fuggerei that is unique. It is still only financed by the foundation, and its conception is regarded as exemplary today.
Today the Fuggerei also is an architectural model. but what was groundbreaking 500 years ago: Jakob Fugger did not regard the residents as beggars, but instead helped them back on their feet again.
The old sundial was destroyed during the war, but the new carries the same request to the inhabitants of the Fuggerei, "Nütze die Zeit (Use your time)." The founder was conservative but far ahead of his time too.
After the guided tour of one hour, I felt hungry and thirsty. At the entrance to the Fuggerei the Schänke offered all that I needed.
|Augusta wheat beer, Weißwurst with sweet mustard, and a Bretzen|
Apologies to all my Bavarian readers. I know it is an act of sacrilege to eat a Weißwurst after noon. A Bavarian veal sausage shall never hear the lunchtime bells.