Industrial city in Bavaria, Germany, at the confluence of the Wertach and Lech rivers, 52 km/32 mi northwest of Munich; population (2005 est) 262,700. Products include textiles, cash registers, diesel engines, motor vehicles, electrical goods, and aircraft. It is named after the Roman emperor Augustus, who founded it in 15 BC.
In the Middle Ages Augsburg was a centre of commerce on the route to Italy. It was the home of two great medieval merchant families, the Fuggers and the Welsers; the birthplace of painter Hans Holbein; and the site of the Messerschmitt aircraft works in World War II. The University was founded in 1970.
The cathedral (10th-15th centuries) has altars by Holbein the Elder and contains the oldest stained glass in the world (11th century). There are other fine medieval and Renaissance churches; a 17th-century Rathaus (town hall), which is one of the most notable Renaissance buildings in Germany; and a beautiful Renaissance street, the Maximilianstrasse. In the east of the city is the Fuggerei, a settlement founded by the Fuggers in 1519 for needy citizens. One of Germany's most popular tourist routes, the Romantic Highway (Romantische Strasse), runs from the Main Valley via Augsburg to Füssen on the Austrian border.
Founded by Augustus who named it Augusta Vindelicorum, Augsburg became an important town of the Roman province of Rhaetia. In the 6th century it was made a bishopric, and in 1276 it was made a free city of the Holy Roman Empire. It reached the height of its prosperity under Emperor Maximilian I at the beginning of the 16th century, when it was the home of powerful merchant families such as the Fuggers and the Welsers. In this period Augsburg was also a great art centre: the Holbeins were natives of the city, and among the other artists who worked here were Dürer, Titian, Burgkmair, and Altdorfer. During the Reformation the Confession of Augsburg (1530) was a statement of the Protestant faith presented to the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Augsburg. The Peace of Augsburg was declared in 1555, establishing the right of the princes to impose a religion on their subjects. Augsburg became part of Bavaria in 1806. During World War II there was considerable damage from air-raids. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's father, Leopald, was born in Augsburg, and a Mozart festival is held annually.
We're sorry this article wasn't helpful. Tell us how we can improve.