The Legacy of Jakob the Rich


Public housing projects are not usually on a tourist’s itinerary, but when we heard the story of The Fuggerei, we found it irresistible.  Jakob Fugger the Rich (as he’s officially known), banker to the Popes and the Hapsburgs in the 16th century, (oh, THAT’S why he was rich!) built a settlement for needy citizens of Augsburg (Germany) in 1521.   Except for a small bombing interruption in the 1940s, the settlement has been continuously occupied and still charges the same annual rent as it did in 1521 – the value of one Rhine guilder (equal to about 88 cents today) AND a requirement to say 3 prayers eah day (one MUST be the Ave Maria) for Jakob and his descendants.

Each apartment has its own entrance from the outside, assuring the residents of their privacy and independence – and avoiding the appearance of poverty.

Entry to bomb shelter used during WWII (NOT built in 1521) Today it houses The Fuggerei Museum

Jakob’s motto was:  “Make the most of your time”.  (Heaven knows he wasn’t hopscotching around Europe and writing the 16th century equivalent of a travel blog….)

Jakob Fugger the Rich

Jakob Fugger the Rich

6 Responses to The Legacy of Jakob the Rich

  1. Gabriele Sweidel May 13, 2015 at 11:59 pm #

    Wonder how long the waiting list is?

    • Elaine Haydock May 15, 2015 at 3:39 pm #

      We thought this would make a great retirement plan for us, but it turns out you MUST be a German citizen. Drat!

  2. Yvonne Flowers May 14, 2015 at 12:18 am #

    What a great story with your unique take on it as well Elaine!

  3. Linda Czajka May 14, 2015 at 12:13 pm #

    Very interesting. Jakob had a splendid idea and it’s nice to see that it has carried on for so long! Hope you’re enjoying Augsburg as much as I did. Lovely little city. Have really been enjoying all of your entries.

    • Elaine Haydock May 15, 2015 at 3:38 pm #

      Thanks, Linda! Why am I not surprised that you’ve been to Augsburg?? Is there anyplace you haven’t been?? Can we go there with you?

  4. James B. Stewart May 26, 2015 at 5:59 pm #

    Wish I had been there. I would have loved to take your blood pressure. Jimmy Stewart (Judies best 1/2)

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