The legacy of Jakob Fugger ‘The Rich’ lives on at Augsburg’s Catholic welfare settlement, the Fuggerei, which is the oldest of its kind in existence. Around 200 people live here today and their rent remains frozen at 1 Rhenish guilder (now €0.88) per year, plus utilities and three daily prayers. Residents wave to you as you wander through the car-free lanes of this gated community flanked by its 52 pin-neat houses (containing 140 apartments) and little gardens.

To see how residents lived before running water and central heating, one of the apartments now houses the Fuggereimuseum, while there's a modern apartment open for public viewing at Ochsengasse 51. Interpretive panels are in German but you can ask for an information leaflet in English or download it from the website before you arrive.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Augsburg attractions

1. Fuggereimuseum

0.03 MILES

See how residents lived in the Fuggerei before running water and central heating in this museum located in one of the building's apartments.

2. Brechthaus

0.19 MILES

Opened in 1998 to celebrate local boy Bertolt Brecht's 100th birthday, this house museum is the birthplace of the famous playwright and poet, where he…

3. Goldener Saal

0.27 MILES

Located on the 2nd floor of Augsburg's Rathaus, the meticulously restored Goldener Saal is the city's resplendent main meeting hall. It's a dazzling space…

4. Rathaus

0.27 MILES

Rising above the Rathausplatz are the twin onion-domed spires of the Renaissance Rathaus, built by Elias Holl from 1615 to 1620 and crowned by a 4m-tall…

5. Perlachturm

0.27 MILES

For widescreen city views, climb the 70m-tall Perlachturm next door to the Rathaus – when it reopens, that is. At the time of research the structure was…

6. Rathausplatz

0.31 MILES

The heart of Augsburg’s Altstadt, this large, pedestrianised square is anchored by the Augustusbrunnen, a fountain honouring the Roman emperor; its four…

7. Maximilianmuseum

0.36 MILES

The Maximilianmuseum occupies two patrician townhouses joined by a statue-studded courtyard covered by a glass-and-steel roof. Highlights include a…

8. Dom Mariä Heimsuchung

0.41 MILES

Augsburg’s cathedral has its origins in the 10th century but was Gothicised and enlarged in the 14th and 15th centuries. The star treasures here are the…