Fuggerei square
Fuggerei by Deningures, licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Fuggerei is the oldest social housing complex in the world. It’s located within the city of Augsburg and the annual rent is 0,88 euro. Yes, you read that correctly, 0,88 euro.

Origin

The Fuggerei housing complex was founded in the year 1516 by Jakob Fugger and his brothers. Jakob, also known as Jakob the rich, was a cunning business man and banker. Were he alive today, he’d probably be the richest man alive.

Jakob Fugger bust
Fuggerei-20 by Boris Ott, licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Being so successful and having all that money, Jakob decided to give something back to the people of his hometown. In 1516 the construction of Fuggerei started, and by 1523 a total of 52 houses were built.

Housing rules

Fuggerei statue
photo by Boris Ott, licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

The annual rent was set on 1 Rhinish Gulden, the equivalent of 0,88 euro in today’s money. There are some rules for being allowed in the Fuggerei:

  • you must be an Augsburg resident for at least 2 years
  • be of the Roman Catholic faith
  • be indigent without debt
  • 3 daily prayers (the Lord’s Prayer, Hail Mary and the Nicene Creed)

Current state

At this moment, Fuggerei has 67 houses and 147 apartments. There’s also the St. Mark’s church and an administrative building. The gates still close at 10 o’clock every evening.

The Fuggerei can be visited for an 4 euro entrance fee. 1 floor-apartment has been kept uninhabited, serving as a museum for visitors.

Fuggerei park
Fuggerei by Vikulia_V, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
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