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Augsburg(ouks`bo͝ork), city (1994 pop. 264,764), capital of Swabia, Bavaria, S central Germany, a major industrial center on the Lech River. The major industries include the manufacture of textiles, clothing, machinery, computers, electronic equipment, motor vehicles, and airplanes. The city is an important rail junction.
Augsburg was founded (c.14 B.C.) by Augustus as a Roman garrison called Augusta Vindelicorum. In early medieval times it was controlled by the Frankish kings. It was made a free imperial city in 1276 and was later a powerful member of various Swabian leagues, including the Swabian LeagueSwabian League,
association of Swabian cities and other powers in SW Germany for the protection of trade and for regional peace. The Swabian League of 1488–1534 is the best known of the long series dating from the 14th cent.
..... Click the link for more information. of 1488–1534.
Augsburg was one of Europe's most important commercial and banking centers in the 15th and 16th cent. and was a rallying point of German science and art. The city was the home of the FuggerFugger
, German family of merchant princes. The foundation of their wealth was laid by Hans Fugger, allegedly a weaver, who moved to Augsburg in 1367. His descendants built up the family fortune by trade and banking.
..... Click the link for more information. and WelserWelser
, German family of wealthy merchants and bankers at Augsburg. It reached the height of its prosperity under Bartholomäus Welser, 1488–1561, who had advanced large sums to Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.
..... Click the link for more information. families and was the birthplace of Hans HolbeinHolbein, Hans
the elder, c.1465–1524, German painter and draftsman.
Holbein worked principally in Augsburg and Ulm, painting altarpieces for churches and probably creating portraits as well.
..... Click the link for more information. the Elder, Hans Holbein the Younger, and Hans BurgkmairBurgkmair or Burckmair, Hans
, 1473–1531, German engraver, woodcut designer, and painter. Having learned woodcutting from Schongauer, he settled in 1498 in his native Augsburg.
..... Click the link for more information. . Several important agreements, including the Augsburg Confession (1530), were concluded there during the ReformationReformation,
religious revolution that took place in Western Europe in the 16th cent. It arose from objections to doctrines and practices in the medieval church (see Roman Catholic Church) and ultimately led to the freedom of dissent (see Protestantism).
..... Click the link for more information. . Augsburg suffered greatly in the Thirty Years War (1618–48). In 1806 it became part of BavariaBavaria
, Ger. Bayern, state (1994 pop. 11,600,000), 27,239 sq mi (70,549 sq km), S Germany. Munich is the capital. The largest state of Germany, Bavaria is bordered by the Czech Republic on the east, by Austria on the southeast and south, by Baden-Württemberg on the
..... Click the link for more information. .
Augsburg's many noteworthy structures include the cathedral (begun in the 9th cent.); the 16th-century Fuggerei, an enclosed settlement for poor persons founded by the Fugger family; and the 17th-century town hall. Bertolt BrechtBrecht, Bertolt
, 1898–1956, German dramatist and poet, b. Eugen Berthold Friedrich Brecht. His brilliant wit, his outspoken Marxism, and his revolutionary experiments in the theater made Brecht a vital and controversial force in modern drama.
..... Click the link for more information. was born in Augsburg.
city in the Federal Republic of Germany, in the Land of Bavaria, in the foothills of the Alps, at the confluence of the Lech and Wertach rivers (Danube Basin), in the direction of the alpine passes. The population in 1968 was 210,500.
It is an important transportation hub and an ancient center of the textile (mainly cotton) industry, which has retained its prime importance in the city’s economy. The city’s industries include the machine-building (Heinkel aviation plants; production of engines, printing and office machines, reactor equipment), metalworking, and pig iron and steel casting industries. In the Augsburg area there are big hydroelectric power plants, synthetic fiber plants (Bobingen), atomic fuel plants (Meitingen), and others. There is a conservatory in Augsburg.
Augsburg arose on the site of a Roman military camp (in Latin, Augusta Vindelicorum, founded in 15 B.C) and was the center of the Roman province of Raetia. Augsburg became the residence of a bishop in the early Middle Ages and was an important trade and artisan center as early as the tenth and 11th centuries. In 1276 it was raised to the rank of a free imperial city. In 1368 power passed from the patricians to the artisan guilds. In the 15th and 16th centuries Augsburg was one of the trade and financial centers of Europe (the big trade and banking houses of the Fugger, Welser, and other families arose here) and an important center of the German Renaissance. In 1806 it was annexed by Bavaria, which also took over the lands of the secularized bishopric. The development of capitalist industry in the 19th century brought a new economic upswing to Augsburg. Under the fascist regime, Augsburg became a big center of the war industry (Messerschmitt plants, etc.). From 1945 to 1949 it was in the American occupation zone of Germany.
Architectural monuments include the Romanesque cathedral (11th century; Gothic reconstructions, 1326–1431; bronze doors with reliefs, 11th century); the late Gothic Church of St. Ulrich (nave, 1466–1500); Renaissance buildings, such as the chapel of the Fugger bankers (1509–17), the J. Fugger House (1512–15), the artisan settlement known as the Fuggerei (1516–23, architect I. Krebs), which consists of 53 standard two-storied houses, with two apartments per house, placed according to a regular plan; early Baroque buildings of the architect Elias Holl, such as the Zeughaus (1602–07) and the Rathaus (1615–20, the Golden Hall of which burned down in 1944). The city’s museums include the City Gallery and a branch of the Old Pinakothek of Munich.
REFERENCESEpshtein, A. D. “Iz ekonomicheskoii i sotsial’noi istorii Augsburga ν XV-nach. XVI vv.” In Srednie veka, issue 10. Moscow, 1957.
Zorn, W. Augsburg, Munich, 1956.
Breuer, T. Die Stadt Augsburg, Munich, 1958.