They were merchants, politicians and financiers, and the most influential figures in Renaissance Augsburg. With a list of customers including popes, kings and emperors, the Fugger and Welser families were the Rockefellers and Quandts of their age.
The Fugger and Welser Museum near the cathedral in Augsburg tells the story of these two historic dynasties. But how did these two families become so rich in the first place? The museum seeks to answer this question from various perspectives, from trade relations and business practices to social networks. It also focuses on the importance of Augsburg as a centre of trade at the dawn of modernity. This is not your typical museum, however. Instead of classic exhibition pieces behind glass, it delivers an experience. Built in 1530 in the Italian Renaissance style, this protected building is fitted with the latest media equipment to tell the families' stories. A combination of film, audio, projections, interactive content and even a living book brings the history of the Fuggers and Welsers to life. Carefully crafted experience stations offer the chance to eavesdrop on conversations between Jakob Fugger "The Rich" and Bartholomäus V. Welser, for example. In the top floor of the museum, visitors can learn traditional court dance, surrounded by the social gossip and political intrigue of Renaissance Augsburg.
As well as the city's past, the museum also focuses on modern history, regularly incorporating elements of today's economy into its exhibition.
The Fugger and Welser Museum offers a range of tours and events that provide an in-depth look at individual aspects of the exhibition. There is also a special interactive programme for children, with plenty to see, do and hear, along with exciting activities for children's birthdays .
Information on current prices and opening times can be found here.
As the northern end point of the trade route between the kingdoms and principalities of Germany and Italy, Augsburg has always been a melting pot of both cultural and culinary influences. The city offers both traditional local cuisine and countless Italian restaurants that line the streets of the old town. One of the best is Ristorante AnticoDuomo, located directly behind the cathedral. With its historic atmosphere, diners can enjoy Italian cuisine and reflect on their visit to the museum.
The museum is about 23 minutes by foot from Augsburg main station. Leave the station via the eastern exit and walk straight ahead towards the green spires of the cathedral. Once you reach the cathedral square, keep going down Innere Pfaffengässchen. After around 200 metres, turn left into Beim Pfaffenkeller and walk another 100 metres, where you will find the Fugger and Welser Museum.
Hi! It's me, Bruno the dachshund. I'm a curious little dog as well as an explorer, and I think the best museums are the ones that let me touch exhibits, try stuff out for myself and make something. That's why I'm a big fan of a special museum tour for kids in Augsburg: it teaches them about how people worked in the past and what they did for enjoyment. The whole group learned a real dance from the Renaissance period, one that people used to dance in the city 500 years ago. This made it so much easier for me to imagine how people lived long ago. Come on, join in the fun!
Discover Bavaria with Bruno the dachshund and the DB:
More family destinations here.