The Fuggerei in Augsburg

Statue of Jakob Fugger, The Fuggerei, Augsburg. Photo: TES.

The Fuggerei in Augsburg (Germany/Bayern) is one of the oldest social settlements in the world. It was founded and financed by the banker Jakob Fugger (1459-1525) for needy and poor citizens in 1521. The Fuggerei is inhabited by 150 persons in 140 apartments in 67 buildings nowadays and is still a social settlement, financed through an endowment. The most famous resident was the great grand-father of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Franz Mozart (1649-1694) was a master builder and the Mozart family lived in an upstairs apartment, where he eventually died in 1694, not aware of the fame of his great grand-child. The Fuggerei is an ensemble with eight lanes and seven gates, a church,school and an administrative building. The Fuggerei is a city within a city, beautifully reconstructed after World War II damage. The Fugger dynasty and bankers once financed the rulers of Europe. They disappeared from political and financial power, but the Fuggerei is still there. (Source and further information: www.