Augsburg - Cradle of the German Renaissance

Prices from £1,595


12 Dec 2019 - 16 Dec 2019
Duration: 4 nights
Ref: 19AUGS
With: Dr Ulrike Ziegler


Prices from £1,595
Single Supplement: £275
Deposit: £200

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It is not by surprise that the German Renaissance is dawning in Augsburg. Ever since the city had been founded at the instigation of Emperor Augustus in 15 BC its cultural and economic ties with Italy were uninterrupted. When this former capital of the Roman province of Raetia made its way into the Middle Ages, it’s the lucrative trade with Italy that allows Augsburg to skyrocket as a commercial centre. This meteoric rise is closely connected with the name of one family: the Fuggers. As merchant-bankers they not only financed kings and emperors like Maximilian I and Charles V but also displayed their wealth as art patrons. It is through them that Renaissance art is first introduced to Augsburg. On this new Art Pursuits Abroad study tour we are going to explore the riches of Augsburg’s Renaissance heritage.


Dr Ulrike Ziegler studied art history and archaeology at the University of Regensburg and King’s College Aberdeen specialising in medieval art and architecture. Her PhD focused on art exhibitions and cultural politics of post-war Germany. She has taught at university and is now lecturing for various cultural institutions. She has organised and led many study trips in Germany and Austria. In addition to tour lecturing, Ulrike is developing Art Pursuit Abroad’s German programme.

DAY 1:

We take our BA flight from London Heathrow arriving at Munich around lunchtime. On arrival our coach transfers us to our four-star hotel in the historic heart of Augsburg. An introductory walk will acquaint us with Augsburg’s Roman heritage, its medieval mercantile history and its landmark buildings, the massive town hall and cathedral.

DAY 2:

We start the day with a lecture in the hotel on the leading Augsburg family, the Fuggers. Their ascent from humble weavers to the leading merchant-bankers of Renaissance Germany is stunning. We will study their impact on the development of Renaissance art as well as their implications with the Reformation. Afterwards we visit the church of St Anna where we get special access to the sumptuously decorated Fugger burial chapel showcasing delicate sandstone reliefs and putti executed by Hans Daucher. We continue our explorations with a private visit to the richly stuccoed rooms of Hans Fugger’s former Chamber of Arts and Curiosities, replete with stucco busts of antique emperors and gods. The afternoon is dedicated to the basilica of St Ulrich and Afra, the city’s two patron saints. This late gothic building is a treasure house of art from the late Middle Ages to the late Renaissance. We will be granted special access to an exquisite treasury of reliquaries and liturgical textiles.

DAY 3:

We leave the hotel by coach to visit Kirchheim in Schwaben. Tucked away in the Swabian countryside we will visit one of the many Fugger castles in the vicinity. This one boasts to own the most beautiful Renaissance ceiling in all the country carved from exquisite Indian cedar wood. The nearby court church houses not only the marble tomb of Hans Fugger by Hubert Gerhard and Alexander Colin, but also a delightful Rubens painting. After return to Augsburg there will be a free afternoon for own explorations.

DAY 4:

In the morning we walk to the nearby Maximilian museum housed in a palatial town house of 1546. The notable collections comprise the original Bronze sculptures by Adriaen de Vries and Hubert Gerhard belonging to Augsburg’s magnificent public fountains. Displays of sumptuous art and stone sculpture complement our impressions on Renaissance art in Augsburg gained so far. The Schaezlerpalais picture gallery exhibits paintings by local painters of c. 1500 such as Hans Burgkmair but also a portrait of Jakob Fugger the Rich by Albrecht Dürer. In the late afternoon we stroll over the Christmas market to visit a choral concert in the opulently decorated Golden Hall of Augsburg’s Renaissance town hall.

DAY 5:

The coach takes us to Munich city centre for a visit to the Jesuit church St Michael where the Bavarian duke Wilhelm V had planned a gigantic bronze tomb for himself. Surviving in situ is an elegant crucifixion by Giambologna. The same Wilhelm strove to alter his Munich residence into a modern Renaissance palace. He must have felt relieved when the Fugger family passed on their troop of exquisite artists that had just excelled in their Augsburg work. We study their impact on the Munich residence – a grotto courtyard and the Antiquarium – as well as the halls displaying the impressive sculpture from this conversion measure. After an included lunch in an elegant Munich restaurant we continue to the airport for a flight to London Heathrow scheduled to arrive at 7:10 pm.


Twin/double share: £1595 per person
Double room for sole use supplement: £275
Price of the tour without flights: £1395
Deposit: £200


  • Scheduled return flights (economy class) with British Airways
  • Transfers and excursions by private coach
  • Four nights bed & breakfast at the 3* Hotel Drei Mohren
  • Two dinners and one lunch
  • Guided visits to sites listed in the programme
  • Services of the lecturers and a local tour manager
  • Detailed programme and study notes
  • All entrance fees, taxes, and gratuities for coach drivers and waiters

Hotel Drei Mohren

The tradition-steeped Hotel Steigenberger Drei Mohren is situated on Augsburg's spectacular Maximilianstraße, right next to the Schaezlerpalais, housing an impressive art collection. The Fuggerei and the main train station both take approx. 14 minutes to walk to, while the Town Hall Square and Perlachturm tower can be reached in about 5 minutes. All of the 132 rooms, apartments and suites are characterised by an elegant interior and are oozing with charm. Equipped with a flat-screen TV, minibar, work desk, padded sitting area and a bathroom with marble vanity top, even the standard rooms offer maximum comfort, leaving nothing to be desired.