Augsburg is Bavaria’s third largest city and, at over 2000 years, the oldest. Its impressive stream and canal system earned the City on the Romantic Road the coveted title of Unesco World Heritage Site. The city’s most famous son is Jakob Fugger – 500 years ago the richest man in the world. With his “Fuggerei”, he created a unique monument to charity. His life and work still shape the image of the city today.
No clan of entrepreneurs has been as influential as the Fuggers throughout world history. Their most famous family representative, Jakob Fugger (1459 to 1525), was the first European commodity tycoon and one of the first global trading entrepreneurs.
But he was not only a tough banker and entrepreneur, he was also pious. Towards the end of his life, he was plagued by the fear that he had not done enough good. On 23 August 1521, he signed the charter for the construction of a housing estate in which Augsburg citizens in need, through no fault of their own, were to receive dignified accommodation. This facility, called the “Fuggerei”, not far from Augsburg’s Rathausplatz, is the oldest social housing in the world. People in need who cannot afford normal rented accommodation still live there today. In the “Fuggerei”, they have a safe roof over their heads.