Augsburg, Germany

Augsburg's Renaissance town hall. Photo © Sacred Destinations.

Augsburg is a Bavarian city in south central Germany, located 42 miles NW of Munich and 50 miles E of Ulm. Augsburg is Bavaria's third-largest city (pop. 275,000) after Munich and Nürnberg and serves as a gateway to the Alps and the south. Augsburg's 2,000 years of history and wealth of art and architecture have made it one of southern Germany's major tourist destinations.

Augsburg was founded under Emperor Tiberius in 15 BC and ruins from the 4th century AD have been found beneath the cathedral. Augsburg has hosted many distinguished visitors and boasts an array of famous native sons, including painters Hans Holbein the Elder and the Younger and playwright Bertolt Brecht. In 1518, Martin Luther was summoned to Augsburg to recant his 95 Theses before a papal emissary. The city is home to several notable churches, including a cathedral with the oldest stained glass windows in the country.

St. Anne's Church
Founded in 1321 by Carmelite monks, this fine Gothic church went on play a role in the history of the Reformation. It is notable for its fine works of art and its Luther museum.
Jewish Cultural Museum
The Jewish museum traces the history of Jewish communities in the area and includes a tour of Augsburg's main synagogue (1917), an Art Nouveau building with a gold dome.
Augsburg Cathedral
Augsburg's historic cathedral has the distinction of containing the oldest stained-glass windows in the world (12th century). The cathedral was begun in 944 AD.
St. Ulrich and St. Afra
These two churches form the most attractive ecclesiastical compound in Augsburg. Constructed around 1500 over a Roman temple, one is Catholic and the other is Protestant.