The Romantic Road: Places to Explore

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Augsburg

Augsburg is Bavaria's third-largest city, after Munich and Nürnberg. It dates to 15 BC, when a son of Augustus set up a military camp here on the banks of the Lech River. The settlement that grew up around it was known as Augusta, which is what Italians call it to this day. The fashionable Maximilianstrasse lies on the Via Claudia Augusta, the same route that led from Italy to the silver-rich Augsburg and onward to the north. City rights were granted Augsburg in 1156, and 200 years later the Fugger family were first noted in municipal records. This family of bankers would become to Augsburg what the Medici were to Florence. Their wealth surpassed that of their Italian counterparts, though, such that they loaned funds to them from time to time. Some present-day members of the family run local charitable foundations.

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