The Fuggerei

The Fuggerei claims to be the world’s oldest social housing area. It was founded in 1521 by the wealthy Augsburg merchant Jakob Fugger (1459-1525) to provide housing for industrious Catholic residents of Augsburg who had become impoverished through no fault of their own. The complex consists of 67 buildings with 147 apartments, a church and a well.

The yearly rent was (and still is) less than one Euro in today’s money (€ 0.88, to be more exact) but the tenants were also obliged (and theoretically still are) to recite three prayers each day for Fugger and his family.

The Fuggerei in Augsburg

The master mason Franz Mozart, great-grandfather of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, lived in the Fuggerei from 1681 to 1694. He wasn’t there because of poverty, though, but because he had a job there as head mason of the housing area.

You can walk through the Fuggerei just about any time, at least during the day, and there is also a museum at Mittlere Gasse 13 where you can see an apartment with its original furnishings.

My photos in this post are from 2004. I revised the text in 2020.

See more posts on Augsburg, Germany.
See more posts on the composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791).

9 thoughts on “The Fuggerei”

  1. Probably not the best name to have these days, but it doesn’t matter if he was able to provide social housing from that far back

    1. LOL. Apparently he was a devout Catholic, so from his point of view all those Our Fathers and Hail Marys no doubt went a long way towards saving his soul from whatever sins he had committed as he was accumulating his vast wealth.

  2. Es ist doch immer wieder erstaunlich, wie weit man damals schon war. Schade, dass wir unterwegs wohl auch wieder so einiges vergessen haben?!!

  3. Finally got there a couple years ago and there are some interesting beers and places to drink them in Augsburg. One day I hope to write about them but I have my hands full with Franconia!

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