Augsburg is an independent city in the south-west of Bavaria. The College town is home of the Regierungsbezirk Schwaben and also of the Bezirk Schwaben and the Landkreis Augsburg. 1906 Augsburg became Großstadt and is nowadays with more than 264,000 citizens the third-largest city in Bavaria. Only Munich and Nuremberg are larger.
The name of the city dated from the Roman settlement Augusta Vindelicorum. The city was founded by the Roman emperor Augustus 15 BC as a castra. Therefore the "Fuggerstadt" is the second oldest city in Germany after Trier.
The city was founded in 15 BC in the reign of Roman emperor Augustus as a garrison called Augusta Vindelicorum. Around 120 AD Augsburg became the capital of the Roman province Raetia. It was laid to waste by the Huns in the fifth century, by Charlemagne in the eighth, and by Welf of Bavaria in the eleventh; it rose each time only to greater prosperity.
It became an Imperial Free City on March 9, 1276. Given its strategic location on the trade routes to Italy, it became a major trading centre. It produced large quantities of woven goods, cloth and textiles, and was the base for the Fugger banking empire. The Fuggerei, part of the city devoted to housing for the needy citizens of Augsburg, was founded in 1516 and is still 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 protected, a mixed Catholic–Protestant city council presided over a majority Protestant population; see Paritätische Reichsstadt . Until the Thirty Years' War (1618–48), religious peace in the city was largely maintained despite increasing confessional tensions. In 1629, Ferdinand II issued the Edict of Restitution resulting in the installation of an entirely Catholic city government that radically curtailed the rights of local Protestants. This persisted until April 1632, when the Swedish army of Gustavus Adolphus took the city without resistance. Just over two years later, the Swedish army was routed at nearby Nördlingen, and by October 1634 Catholic troops had surrounded Augsburg. The Swedish garrison refused to surrender and a disastrous siege ensued through the winter of 1634–5, during which thousands died of hunger and disease.
These difficulties, together with the discovery of America, and of the route to India by the Cape, conspired to destroy the town's prosperity. In 1806, when the Holy Roman Empire was dissolved, Augsburg lost its independence to become part of the kingdom of Bavaria. It increased considerably in industrial importance in the 19th century. It contained large cotton and woollen mills, machine shops, and manufacturers of acetylene gas, paper, chemicals, jewellery, and leather. Out of one acetylene gas plant the company KUKA was founded (1898) as Keller und Knappich Augsburg, today one of the leading companies for industrial robots. Also it gave birth to the Maschinenfabrik Augsburg (Later to merge with Maschinenfabrik Nürnberg and become Maschinenfabrik Augsburg Nürnberg or MAN AG) — a machine factory where Rudolf Diesel pioneered commercial production of his Diesel engine.
In the Nazi-era, Augsburg became the capital of the Gau Schwaben, one of 42 administrative regions of Nazi Germany.
In 1941 Rudolf Hess took off from a local airport and flew to Scotland to meet the Duke of Hamilton and attempt to mediate the end of the European front of World War II and join sides for the upcoming Russian Campaign.
In 1945 elements of the U.S. Army occupied the heavily damaged city. An American Military presence in the city started with the 11th Airborne Division, moving to the 24th Infantry Division, US Army Seventh Corps Artillery, and, ending with the 66th Military Intelligence Brigade, which left the area in 1998.
On the head of the city Augsburg as chairman of the town council governed since 1266 the so-called Stadtpfleger, sometimes also called mayor, so it happened that both titles were in use at the same time.
Not before 1548 the title was fixed on Stadtpfleger. These man officiated for some years and after that they were elected for lifetime. This is why there were sometimes two or more Stadtpfleger simultaneously.
|Election results of the Town Council since 1972 in percent|
|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|
|June 30, 1997||257,300|
|December 31, 2002||259,231|
|December 31, 2003||259,217|
|December 31, 2004||260,407|
|December 31, 2005||263,804|
|December 31, 2006||269,449|
¹ Census result
Information on the partner cities can also be found at www.augsburg.de
The tram network is now 35.5 km-long following the opening of new lines to the university in 1996, the northern city boundary in 2001 and to the Klinikum Augsburg (hospital) in 2002. Two more tram lines are planned to be completed in 2011.
Augsburg has seven stations, including the Hauptbahnhof (main station), which was built from 1843 to 1846 and is Germany’s oldest main station in a large city still in service in its original building. It is currently being modernized and an underground tram station is being built under it. It is on the Ulm–München line and is connected by ICE and IC services to Munich, Berlin, Dortmund, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Stuttgart. Since December 2007 the french TGV connects 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:
The patron saints of Augsburg are Saint Ulrich and Saint Afra, who was killed by the Romans at Augsburg in 304. An earlier patroness was Zisa, referenced in the 11th century, feast day September 28), possibly an early Germanic goddess and originally the consort of Tyr.
Every year on 29 September (Michaelmas or St. Michael's Day) the Turamichele (Archangel Michael) appears in a window on the west side of the citytower (Perlachturm) and fights with the devil. The day is also marked by a big children's party.
The city is home to a DEL (first-division) ice hockey team, the Augsburger Panther. The original club, AEV, was formed in 1878 and is the oldest ice sport club in Germany. The team regularly draws around 4000 spectators, which is quite reasonable for German ice hockey. The club plays its homegames at the Curt Frenzel Stadion. It is not actually an indoor ring in the proper sense since the sides are open. A new stadium is in the process of planning.
The FC Augsburg is a 2nd Bundesliga football team based in Augsburg and plays in the Rosenaustadion. A new stadium called Impuls Arena is scheduled to open in 2009 and it is planned to host games of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup.