City trip: Augsburg 2

We boarded the bus early on a very hot, sunny day and headed off towards Augsburg, about an hour to the west of Munich. This time we didn’t plan to see the sights in the downtown area, but lesser known spots on the edge of town. Our first stop was the Bismarck Tower. You drive through a residential area to the cemetary and walk up a wooded path to the top of the hill Steppacher Berg. Many of these towers were built in honor of the First Reichschancellor after 1868, even on other continents. You walk up the winding stairs to the top and have a wonderful view of the city and surroundings.

Bismarckturm

Our next stop was the large tree avenue Wellenburger Allee in the south of Augsburg. It is about 2 km long, shady, with a nice path for cycling and walking on the side. At the end our treat was waiting: the Schlossgaststätte Wellenburg. The food is German-Austrian, some days there is live music. We enjoyed our drinks immensely.

After a good long rest with Eiskaffee or beer, we boarded the bus again to drive to the canoe regatta area of the 1972 Olympic Games, the rowing area is in Oberschleißheim to the north of Munich. It was built at the Eiskanal near the river Lech and (of course) is used to this day and highly appreciated by canoe lovers. It is fun watching them practise turning over and sprinting through the bends.

the front end of the Eiskanal

Our last stop was the Wasserwerk of Augsburg, a water treatment plant. Augsburger are extremely proud of their pure water, which they claim is the best all around. At the drinking fountains you can fill up your bottles with wonderfully cold water.

After some strong espresso and ice cream at the See Lounge plus a short dip in the river we drove home.

City trip: Augsburg, Germany

Our group met at the train station in Munich, from there it is only about an hour to Augsburg. We started with the visit of the St. Anna Church in the center. The main part of this 13th century church is Protestant, there are even portraits of Martin Luther at the west end, but the lateral church and the east end with the Fugger family tombstones are Catholic.

In the lateral chapel the ceiling is much lower and you can see wall frescoes. This shows that we are in the oldest part of the church. Note the Gothic arches of the ceiling. Different stories of saints and dragons are depicted.

In the main part of the church, the Protestant part, everything is larger, lighter, has an entirely different look. The walls have been whitewashed and only a few portraits adorn the walls. The altars and ceiling frescoes are still very Catholic, but the rest is mostly unadorned. Take a closer look at the red wax altar which was made for the church.

The east end holds the epitaphs according to designs by Albrecht Dürer of the Fugger family, bankers and merchants from Swabia in the 15th century, the ones who made Augsburg’s fame and built houses for the poor. This group of houses edified by Jakob the Rich in 1521 is called the Fuggerei, still exists and still offers homes to about 150 destitute people for less than a euro a year. The Fuggerei is not far from the center, within easy walking distance.

After visiting the St. Anna and walking up the Luther stairs to the tiny museum at the top, we went outdoors and walked through the streets and markets which were getting ready for the festive season.

Landshut also has a university and one of the largest and most famous institutes for ceramics with a nice park all around. Later on, we did a tour of the Schaezler Palais in the Maximilianstraße. It was formerly the city dwelling of the banker Benedikt Adam Freiherr von Liebert. The architect Karl Albert von Lespilliez built a small facade towards the street which stretches all the way to the back and has a long rear wall. You will find many unique paintings and works of art plus a wonderful rococo ballroom. The word rococo comes from the word rocaille, i.e. French baroque with curves and undulations.

Our last stop was the extremely modernized church St. Moritz remodeled by British architects John Pawson in 2013. We were very impressed by the simplified architectural elements. Stark white walls, dark statues, circular light holes in the ceiling and flickering candle flames create a wonderful atmosphere.

Not too far off you can visit the “Augsburger Puppenkiste”, the famous house of marionettes like Jim Knopf and Lukas der Lokomotivführer.