Tales of the Fugger and Welser families
The »Fugger and Welser Museum« is not just concerned with the histories of the Fugger and Welser families. We also tackle the economic history of Augsburg and Europe at the time of the »Commercial Revolution« and this angle runs like a constant thread through the museum. It is a tale of the weaving of fustian, of foreign trade, financial dealings and the mining industry, of innovations in technology, of the emerging postal service, of the beginnings of globalisation and of the feudal rights and land holdings of the Fuggers and the Welsers around Augsburg.
Just as important is the contemporary display and presentation of museum content, which is why The Fugger and Welser Museum is equipped with state-of-the-art technology. To find out more, please click on Technology.
The Fugger and Welser
Come with us on a guided tour of The »Fugger and Welser Museum«. Our staff will be waiting in the entrance hall to give you a warm welcome and to answer any questions you may have about the museum. In the first room, you’ll get to know the families better that have given the museum its name: the Fuggers and the Welsers.
Trade routes and maritime trade
In the following rooms on the ground floor, you can find out about the economic hub of Augsburg and the trade metropolis of Venice, as well as the trade routes in Europe and the routes taken by maritime trade to India and South America. We will also whisk you off to the New World and introduce you to the »new found man«, El Dorado and Albrecht Dürer.
First and second floors
On the first floor, multimedia information points explore the topics at the museum in more depth. In the hallway, we introduce you to Johann Wiesel, after whom the building which houses The »Fugger and Welser Museum« is named. On this floor you’ll also find fascinating facts about the social networks and communications structures of the Fuggers and Welsers. Here you’ll find a reconstruction of the »Golden Office« of Jakob Fugger »the Rich« – the control centre of the Fugger family firm. And you can listen in on an imagined business conversation between Jakob Fugger and Bartholomäus Welser V.
Finally, on the second floor you can take part in an Augsburg burgher dance and eavesdrop on the citizens of Augsburg chatting about business, religion and politics. At the music post, visitors can listen to the sounds of the Renaissance.
Deep down in the Vaulted Cellar, the museum uncovers the significant role the Fuggers and the Welsers played in the mining industry. You can find out about innovative mining techniques and learn a thing or two about metals and how to extract, process and use them. You’ll hear, see and read about how tough working conditions were for miners – and how women and children also toiled in the mines. The cellar also houses an exhibition of manillas – bangles of copper, bronze and brass that served the Portuguese in West Africa as a primitive currency for buying gold, ivory and slaves.
In the garden at the Wieselhaus, discover beds with plants that even the humanists of the 16th century studied and understood. You’ll also learn something of the herbalist, Philippine Welser, the historian and archaeologist, Markus Welser, and the well-travelled doctor, Leonhart Rauwolff.