Thursday, May 19, 2011

Romantic Road (V): Rest day: Augsburg

Augsburg is the biggest city on the Romantic Road.

In the centre of Augsburg is an area called the Fuggerei, which is the world's oldest social housing area. Dating from the early 1500s, the rent for one of the houses remains about 88 cents per year. For the price that I paid to enter, I should've been allowed to stay for about 5 years.

It was founded by the wealthy Fugger family. If you're rich enough to build a housing complex, you're rich enough to change your name via deed poll.

It irked me a bit. Most people in Germany were really good about letting me butcher their language, but the lady at the ticket office wouldn't let me get past "Ich..." without making me switch to English.

The Fuggerei

Each doorbell pull in the Fuggerei has a different shape. Apparently, this was so that, in the pre-street lighting era, people could find the right house in the dark by feeling their way.

I went to the museum at the Fuggerei, which seemed a little off. It was in a subterranean WWII bomb shelter. Its two themes seemed to be the terrible damage that was done to the area by air raids in WWII, and how much Augsburg loved Hitler. It didn't engender a lot of sympathy.

The Augsburg Synagogue

Augsburg was a former Roman settlement, and has a really interesting museum of Roman archaeology.

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