Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Augsburg
AUGSBURG, a celebrated city of Germany, capital of the circle of Swabia andNeuburg in Bavaria, the principal seat of the commerce of South Germany, and of commer cial transactions with the south of Europe. It derives its name from the Roman Emperor Augustus, who, on the conquest of Rhaetia by Drusus, established a Roman colony named Augusta Vindelicorum (about 14 B.C.) In the 5th century it was sacked by the Huns, and afterwards came under the power of the Frankish kings. It was almost entirely destroyed in the war of Charlemagne against Thassilon, duke of Bavaria ; and after the dissolution and division of that empire, it fell into the hands of the dukes of Swabia. After this it rose rapidly into importance as a manufacturing and commercial town, and its merchant princes, the Fuggers and "VYelsers, rivalled the Medici of Florence ; but the alterations produced in the currents of trade by the discoveries of the loth and 16th centuries occasioned a great decline. In 1276 it was raised to the rank of a free imperial city, which it retained, with many changes in its internal constitution, till 1806, when it was annexed to the kingdom of Bavaria. Meanwhile, it was the scene of mmierous events of historical importance. It was besieged and taken by Gustavus Adolphus in 1632, and in 1G35 it surrendered to the imperial forces; in 1703 it was bombarded by the electoral prince of Bavaria, and forced to pay a contribution of 400,000 dollars ; and in
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the war of 1803 it suffered severely. Of its conventions the most memorable are those which gave birth to the Augs burg confession (1530) and to the Augsburg alliance (1686). The city is pleasantly situated in an extensive and fertile plain, between the rivers Wertach and Lech, 36 miles W.N.W. of Munich, lat, 48 21 44" N., long. 10 54 42" E. Its fortifications were dismantled in 1703, and have since been converted into public promenades. Maxi milian Street is remarkable for its breadth and architectural magnificence. One of its most interesting edifices is the Fugger House, of which the entire front is painted in fresco. Among the public buildings of Augsburg most worthy of notice is the town-hall, said to be one of the finest in Germany, built by Elias Holl in 1616-20. One of its rooms, called the "Golden Hall," from the profusion of its gilding, is 113 feet long, 59 broad, and 53 high. The palace of the bishops, where the memorable Confession of Faith was presented to Charles V., is now used for Government offices. The cathedral dates in its oldest portions from the 10th century. There are also vari ous churches and chapels, a school of arts, a polytechnic institution, a picture gallery in the former monastery of St Catherine, a museum, observatory, botanical gardens, an exchange, gymnasium, deaf-mute institution, orphan asylum, public library, several remarkable fountains dating from the 16th century, &c. The "Fuggerei," built in L519 by the brothers Fugger, consists of 106 small houses, let to indigent Roman Catholic citizens at a merely nominal rent. The manufactures of Augsburg are various and important, consisting of woollen, linen, cotton, and silk goods, watches, jewellery, and goldsmith-work, mathema tical instruments, machinery, leather, paper, chemical stuffs, types, <fec. Copper-engraving, for which it was formerly noted, is no longer carried on ; but printing, litho graphy, and publishing have acquired a considerable de velopment, one of the best-known Continental newspapers being the Allgemeine Zeitung or Augsburg Gazette. Augs burg is an important railway junction. On the opposite side of the river, which is here crossed by a bridge, lies the little village of Lechhausen. Population in 1871, 51,270.