Jakob Fugger

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Jakob Fugger "von der Lilie" (also called Jakob Fugger "der Reiche" or more rarely "Jakob II. Fugger"; * March 6, 1459 in Augsburg ; †  December 30, 1525 there ) was the most important merchant between about 1495 and 1525 , Coal mining entrepreneur and banker in Europe. He came from the Augsburg trading family Fugger . He expanded the family business into a Europe-wide company within a few decades. He had already started his apprenticeship as a 14-year-old in Venice , where he mostly stayed until around 1487. Jakob Fugger was also a clericand had a benefice , but never lived in a monastery . The basis of the family fortune was created primarily through the cotton trade with Italy . The family company grew rapidly after the brothers Ulrich, Georg and Jakob Fugger started banking with the Habsburgs and the Curia , initially in the mining industry in Tyrol and, from 1493, in the mining of silver and copper in what is now the Czech Republic and Slovakia. From 1525 the Fugger had rights to mine mercury and cinnabar in Almadén (Spain).

After 1487, Jakob Fugger de facto determined the business policy, which in a little over a decade developed “from a conventional trading company of medium range to a pan-European group with a strong focus on the mining and banking sector” . The company temporarily held a monopoly-like position on the European copper market. Copper from Upper Hungary (today's Slovakia) was shipped via Antwerp to Lisbon and from there to India . Jakob Fugger was just as involved in the first and only trade voyage by German merchants to India (1505/06) in a Portuguese fleet, as he was in an early, albeit failed, Spanish trade expedition to the Moluccas in 1525 .

With his support for the House of Habsburg , the Augsburg banker influenced European politics. He financed the rise of Emperor Maximilian I and significantly the election of his grandson, the Spanish King Karl, as the Roman-German King. Jakob Fugger also financed the marriages with the House of Jagiellonians ( wedding in Vienna in 1515 ), which subsequently secured the kingdoms of Bohemia and Hungary for the House of Habsburg. He also helped finance wars and military campaigns. These include the “ Swiss War ” of 1499, which was fought between the Swabian Confederation and the Swiss Confederation , and the wars that Maximilian I waged against France and Venice . During the German Peasants' War (1524/1525) he was on the side of the princes who bloodily suppressed the uprising.

Jakob Fugger's foundations in Augsburg ensured lasting fame. The Fugger Chapel in St. Anna , which he donated, was built from 1509 to 1512 and then splendidly furnished, is the burial place of the brothers Ulrich, Georg and Jakob Fugger and the first Renaissance building in Germany. The Fuggerei , officially founded in 1521 , is a poor settlement for Augsburg artisans and day laborers willing to work. Today it is the oldest surviving social settlement in the world. The establishment of the Fuggerei also served the purpose of improving Fugger's public image. The Damenhof, built in 1515 in the Fugger houses in Augsburg, is the first secular building of the German Renaissance.

With the purchase of the county of Kirchberg and the dominion of Weißenhorn with the town of Weißenhorn as well as the dominions of Wullenstetten and Pfaffenhofen south of Ulm by Jakob Fugger in 1507, the rise of the Fugger "from the lily" into the nobility began . In 1511 the bourgeois entrepreneur Jakob Fugger was raised to the nobility for reasons of tenancy. "The elevation of a merchant to the baron class was a process without parallel in the empire" . In 1514, Emperor Maximilian I made him an imperial count. In 1508, Jakob Fugger also acquired the Schmiechen Hofmark on the eastern Lechleite south and the Biberbach dominion with the Markt castle in the Lech Valley north of Augsburg.

Jakob Fugger's fortune, which for today's standards reached almost unimaginable dimensions (in today's purchasing power extrapolated around 300 billion dollars or a good two percent of the European gross domestic product of his time), helped him to be nicknamed "the rich".


Origin, education and early years in Venice

Coat of arms of the Fugger von der Lilie, awarded in 1473

Jakob Fugger was born the tenth of eleven children of Jakob Fugger the Elder (* after 1398; † 1469) and his wife Barbara (1419–1497), daughter of the mint master Franz Bäsinger. The Fuggers, now in the second generation of Augsburg citizens , had established themselves as successful merchants in the city. The not incapable of wealthy Hans Fugger , the grandfather of Jakob Fugger “the rich”, immigrated to Augsburg in 1367: he acquired citizenship through marriage and already made a considerable fortune through cotton trading with Italy. His son Jakob Fugger d. Ä. was already one of the richest citizens of Augsburg a few years before his death.

Jakob Fugger had six older brothers. Andreas and Hans died young in Venice, as did Peter in Nuremberg in 1473. His brother Markus was a clergyman , from 1470 a clerk in a papal chancellery in Rome , where he died in 1478. The remaining brothers Ulrich (1441–1510) and Georg (1453–1506) laid the foundations for the company's Europe-wide rise. Around 1470 they founded factories in the important trading centers of Venice and Nuremberg . Credit Ulrich Fugger to the Habsburg Emperor Friedrich III. are said to be the reason why the Fuggers were awarded the lily coat of arms by the emperor in 1473. According to this coat of arms, this branch of the family has since called itself “from the lily” to distinguish itself from the relatives “from the deer”.

Until 2009, historians assumed that Jakob Fugger, who had received the minor orders at the age of 12, lived as a canon in the Herrieden Abbey in Central Franconia until 1478 . However, a document from the House, Court and State Archives in Vienna shows that Jakob Fugger represented Fugger in Venice as early as 1473, i.e. at the age of 14. The more recent research assumes that Jakob Fugger worked mainly at the Fondaco dei Tedeschi , the house of German merchants in Venice, from 1473 to 1487 . Venice was not just the trading hub for the Mediterranean. The lagoon city also made it possible for Jakob Fugger to have a sound education in banking and, above all, in the metal business. Jakob Fugger's stay in Italy for several years later led to the erection of Germany's first Renaissance buildings in Augsburg . The legal and architectural structures of the Fuggerei he founded are likely to have been inspired and influenced by social housing estates in Venice.

The entry into the coal and steel industry

Jacob Fugger (right) in the office, the “ golden office ”, with his chief accountant Matthäus Schwarz

Jakob Fugger did early business in the mining industry near Salzburg . He lent money to the independent silver mine owners in the Salzburg Slate Alps, who had constant need for capital. For this, however, he did not have promissory notes issued - as would have been usual - but demanded Kuxe (a kind of share participation in the assets of a mining union) and was able to use this participation to force more and more mining companies in the Gastein and Schladming area to sell the silver directly to the Selling Fugger instead of giving it to middlemen.

Jakob Fugger was responsible for Fugger's business on the Augsburg - Tyrol - Venice - Rome line. Around 1485 the Fuggers also founded a trading post in Innsbruck (trading post in Hall from 1510 , in Schwaz from 1539 ). Jakob Fugger first got into business there in 1485 with the Tyrolean sovereign Archduke Sigmund through a small loan . As the sole owner of the Tyrolean Bergregal, this Habsburg had granted mining rights to private mine tenants, who had to pay part of the income to Sigmund as a lease payment. Although the duke had income from this business that earned him the nickname “the rich in coins”, he was constantly in need of money. His lavish court rulings, the provision of numerous illegitimate children and his extensive construction work made it necessary to take out more and more loans. When damages of 100,000 guilders became due, which had to be paid to Venice as a result of the war, Jakob Fugger stepped in as a financier. In 1488, the duke's credit liabilities to the Fuggers amounted to over 150,000 guilders. In addition to this sum, the method of payment was particularly noteworthy. Jakob Fugger did not pay the money to the prince himself, but to the creditors . The court and craftsmen received their wages directly and punctually from the Fuggers. As a result, the Fuggers were entitled to “temporarily all silver and copper”. In 1517, for example, the Fuggers procured around half of the Tyrolean state budget . A Tyrolean chronicler wrote: "In this country everything that amounts to money is moved, the Fuggers of Augsburg hold the great estate of Schwaz and draw 200,000 guilders annually from it". In such lawsuits, it was of course overlooked that it was Maximilian I who (with a few exceptions) pledged “all lucrative lords and courts” and took advantage of them. The historian Eike Eberhard Unger has determined: "However, the Fuggers did not always make as huge profits as they were said to be ...". Matthäus Schwarz was the chief accountant of the Fugger Society and confidante of the family. After his commercial apprenticeship in Milan and Venice, where he acquired knowledge of accounting, he got a job with Jakob Fugger in 1516.

The connection to Maximilian I.

Emperor Maximilian I Albrecht Dürer (1519)

The expansion of the highly risky, albeit extremely lucrative business relationship between the Fuggers and Maximilian I can no doubt be traced back to Jakob. The decision to support the ruler of the same age financially and thus in terms of power politics was based on his assessment that the House of Habsburg was the decisive gender for the future in Germany. Jakob Fugger first met the young Roman-German king in 1489 at the Frankfurt trade fair. At that time, his plans for the still independent Duchy of Tyrol had already been discussed with King Chancellor Johann Waldner. When Duke Sigmund and the Tyrolean estates met on March 16, 1490 , it was no coincidence that King Maximilian was also present. Under pressure from the estates, who accused him of mismanagement, Sigmund had to abdicate in favor of Maximilian, who undertook to repay all the loans from his predecessor.

This made the Fuggers one of the most important financiers of Maximilian, who had been co-regent in the Holy Roman Empire since 1486 . Maximilian was born in 1493 after the death of his father Friedrich III. sole ruling Roman-German king. Maximilian, "the last knight", as he was also called, was formerly seen as "the worst steward of all Habsburgs and wasteful to the point of madness". Today, this judgment is viewed in a more nuanced way: Despite all the financial difficulties and numerous failed political projects, it is recognized that Maximilian I was ultimately able to realize his plans. By marriage, not by campaigns, he secured the kingdoms of Spain , Bohemia and Hungary for the House of Habsburg .

On 15 July 1507, the Roman-German King Maximilian sold I. Jakob Fugger the at Ulm Situated County Kirchberg , the adjacent rule Weißenhorn with the associated city and the gentlemen Wullenstetten and Pfaffenhofen an der Roth owned by the Habsburgs in western Austria For that was the Habsburg who proclaimed himself emperor in Trento in 1508 , 50,000 guilders . In 1508 Maximilian I also sold the Schmiechen Hofmark to Jakob Fugger, and in 1514 the Biberbach estate. Emperor Maximilian I raised Jakob Fugger to the nobility in 1511 and appointed him imperial count in 1514 so that the citizens of Augsburg could exercise their rule without resistance from the nobility.

Criticism of the business of the Fugger by the reformer Martin Luther , who was largely alien to economic demands, and novel-like depictions of the Fugger history ("Buy yourself an emperor" etc.) have led to the view that Jakob Fugger had the King and Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire in hand. Rather, recent research has assumed the opposite. At the end of his life, Maximilian I was so heavily indebted to Jakob Fugger that the Augsburg banker could not help but continue to support the Habsburgs in order to secure his claims. When Maximilian's grandson and successor, the Spanish King Charles I, was to be elected German King and thus future Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation in 1519, Jakob Fugger alone financed the enormous sum of 545,585 guilders of the almost 852,000 guilders voting money German elector. In doing so, he wanted to prevent the election of the French King Francis I, which would have endangered his demands. But by doing this, Jakob Fugger had made the Augsburg family company dependent on the Habsburgs. Later, the Fuggers were to lose the vast majority of their wealth through three Spanish national bankruptcies .

The Fugger mining company

Augsburg, Schedel's World Chronicle (1493)

Probably at the urging of Jakob Fugger, the company was converted into one of the first open trading companies in Europe (the compagnia palese des Welschen Rechts) in 1494. At the same time, the name was changed to "Ulrich Fugger und Gebrüder von Augsburg" in order to indicate the equality of the three brothers involved in business matters. The significantly increased influence of Jacob within the company can be seen in this development. Jakob Fugger has been determining company policy more and more since the late 1480s, although the oldest brother Ulrich always managed the company externally. This indicates "that the Tyrolean sources almost consistently speak of Jakob Fugger's society and that later the central contracts of Hungarian trade were also concluded by him".

In the years that followed, Jakob Fugger made extremely profitable use of the enormous growth potential in mining and ore trading. As security for loans that he had given the Habsburgs and the King of Hungary, he had mining income in Tyrol ( Schwazer Bergbau ) and mining rights in Upper Hungary transferred. In this way, the mining company finally acquired a dominant position in the trade in copper in the Holy Roman Empire. With their business partner Hans Thurzó , the Fuggers founded the "Hungarian Trade" in 1494. The mines in Neusohl ( Banská Bystrica ) financed by the Fuggers belonged to the Kingdom of Hungary. Jakob now created a real mining group: In addition to a smelter in Neusohl , the Saigerhütte Fuggerau in Carinthia was founded in 1495 , and soon afterwards the Saigerhütten in Hohenkirchen in Thuringia and in Moschnitz ( Moštenica in today's Slovakia). The copper was distributed through factories in Breslau , Leipzig , Krakow and Ofen (in today's Budapest). For the transport to the Baltic Sea , Jakob Fugger had a new road specially built over the Jablunka Pass , via which the copper deliveries were transported to the Baltic Sea ports in Gdansk , Stettin and Lübeck . From there the copper was shipped from Upper Hungary via Antwerp to Lisbon , where it was the most important Portuguese commodity for export to India . Fugger's copper reached the copper market in Venice from Neusohl via Wiener Neustadt and the Adriatic ports of Trieste and Zengg . The Fuggers got into the Silesian gold mining industry in 1502. Slovakian copper production accounted for almost 40 percent of Europe-wide copper production. 40 percent of European copper came from Tyrol - where the Fuggers largely dominated the market. The Augsburg company thus had a dominant position in the copper business in Europe, albeit not a monopoly . The Handelsblatt wrote: "For the thousands of miners who worked in the Fugger mines and smelting plants, life (...) was as uncertain and hard as it was for the industrial proletariat of the 19th century."

The Fugger and the Hanseatic League

The Hanseatic League or Hanseatic League was the name given to the associations of Low German merchants whose goal was the safety of the crossing and the representation of common economic interests, especially abroad. In the late Middle Ages, the Hanseatic League, which now included more than 70 cities on the coast and inland, had a trading monopoly on the North and Baltic Seas. The Fugger trading house had secured the transport of their coal and steel products to the Baltic Sea through various trade agreements and on roads and rivers they had built themselves. From there it went by sea to Antwerp and Portugal and that was in competition with the interests of the Hanseatic League . The sea routes controlled by the Hanseatic League lost their importance with the overseas discoveries and the relocation of sea trade. Antwerp was an up- and-coming new economic and financial center in the west . Jakob Fugger had his own trading post there, which traded between Antwerp and Lisbon. Exotic goods came to Augsburg via this trade route. Because in cooperation with the Portuguese crown, represented by Manuel I , he found a sales area for his copper in the East India controlled by Portugal and the trade routes there. As early as the beginning of the 16th century, the Fuggers shifted their trading interests to northern Europe in order to open up and expand further markets there. The first branches were in Antwerp in 1494 and in Lübeck in 1496. Starting from Lübeck, Danzig becomes particularly important, from where they operate the copper trade. The Hanseatic League reacted too late to the Upper German competition of the Fuggers, especially against the Swedish copper. Because Danzig, Stettin and Hamburg had refused to take action against the Upper Germans together with Lübeck, the conflict of interests also came to the fore. When a Dutch ship with 200 tons of copper from Upper Hungary , the area of ​​today's Slovakia, left the port of Danzig in November 1510 , it was seized by the crew of a ship of the Hanseatic League near the Hela peninsula .

The Fugger trading house expected the Crown, represented in Maximilian I , to provide support in shielding its strategic commercial expansion efforts, which were to lead from the Baltic into the area of ​​the Grand Duchy of Moscow . This also protects his transports for his coal and steel products that made their way through the Baltic ports . The Lübeck Hanseatic League, which hijacked Fugger goods, was not ostracized. The influence of the Low German League also made him fear that a monopoly process against the Swabians was set in motion in the Reichsfiskal . As a result, it was found that the Fugger could not bring about any significant punitive action against the Hansa, but this in turn had to accept its expansion with Danish-Russian and Polish-Prussian help in 1513 in the Baltic States. The election of Leo X as pope did not lead to an increase in the power of the Roman Fugger branch in southern Europe, as the Medici pope preferred his family contacts. On the other hand, the tension between the Republic of Venice and the emperor, whose requests for credit to Fugger did not diminish, increased the Fugger's social standing. On July 17, 1514, Jakob Fugger was the first German merchant to be granted the dignity of imperial count.

The Vatican as a customer

Swiss Guard, 2009

Around 1495, the Fuggers were “the first Upper German trading company to have direct business relationships with the Curia.” After the death of Pope Alexander VI. in August 1503 Jakob Fugger intensified his contacts with the Vatican in Rome. In 1505/06 he financed the recruitment of the Vatican's Swiss Guard, which still exists today, for the new Pope Julius II . The first shops of clergyman Markus Fugger, who died in 1478, in Rome are known around 1473. In 1477, the Fuggers transferred church income from Sweden to Rome for the first time on behalf of the Curia. Between 1508 and 1524 the Fuggers (with interruptions) leased the Roman mint , the "zecca". There is evidence of 66 coins for four popes from this period . The Fuggers were then (not least due to the “ Sacco di Roma ” of 1527 and the little German-friendly Medical Pope Clement VII ) represented with a trading post in Rome until the end of the 1530s.

As one of the leading bankers in Europe and through his close contacts with the Vatican, Jakob Fugger also participated in the indulgence system. Indulgences were then a common means of financing churches, hospitals and even North Sea dikes. The indulgences only came into disrepute because of their too frequent use by the building-loving and art-loving Renaissance popes as well as by the sovereigns involved in indulgences.

To acquire two archbishoprics, the bank provided Hohenzollern Albrecht of Brandenburg , Archbishop of Magdeburg since 1513 and also Archbishop of Mainz from 1514, with a loan of 48,000 guilders in 1515. In order to pay off his debt to the Fuggers, Albrecht gave the Fuggers the half due to him from the new indulgence announced by Pope Leo X for the construction of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. For the Fuggers, the indulgence trade was, from an economic point of view, only a completely insignificant banking business. Nevertheless, the sale of indulgences created a considerable potential for conflict, which, due to its moral dubiousness, contributed to the implementation of the Reformation in Germany in the following years . The behavior of the appointed indulgence preacher, the Dominican Johann Tetzel , gave Martin Luther the occasion for his 95 theses. In 1520 Luther wrote his essay “To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation” and in it attacked Jakob Fugger personally: “One really ought to put a bridle in the mouth of the Fugger and the like society”.

Jakob Fugger and overseas trade

The trade in goods played only a subordinate role for the Fuggers compared to their coal and steel companies. Jakob Fugger's involvement in early trading expeditions occupies a prominent place in Fugger's history only because of the exoticism associated with it.

After the Portuguese Vasco da Gama discovered the sea route to India in 1498 and thus made the Portuguese monopoly on spices possible, Jakob Fugger also took part in the spice trade and opened a trading post in Lisbon in 1503 . On October 3, 1503, the Casa da Índia gave him permission to trade in pepper, other spices and luxury goods such as pearls and precious stones from Lisbon. In 1505 the company, together with other Augsburg, Nuremberg and Genoese trading houses, took part in the first (and only) trip to India with the participation of German companies with the comparatively small amount of 3,000 guilders. Three merchant ships sailed with the 22 ships in the fleet of the first Portuguese viceroy of India, Francisco de Almeida , on March 25, 1505 from Lisbon and reached the west coast of India on September 13, 1505. The journey ended in 1506 with the return to Lisbon. Although a third of the imported goods were to be paid to the King of Portugal, the net profit was 175%. The Portuguese king now declared the spice trade with India a crown monopoly in order to secure the income and to exclude foreign merchants. However, the Portuguese remained dependent on the Fugger's copper deliveries, as copper was an indispensable export good in India trade and only Jakob Fugger was able to reliably deliver the necessary quantities. Incidentally, the Fuggers had already negotiated with the Portuguese in Augsburg in 1493 about an expedition to China that was ultimately not carried out.

Unlike the Augsburg Welsers , the Fuggers were extremely cautious in trading with the Far East and America, which was discovered in 1492. In a second trade expedition in 1525, which was supposed to lead past the southern tip of America to the Spice Islands, Jakob Fugger only contributed a comparatively small sum himself. The complete failure of the Moluccas expedition by the Spaniard Garcia de Loaisa proved the sober Augsburg merchant right.

Jakob Fugger's great crisis

The Fuggers needed enormous capital, especially for mining in Upper Hungary - which the company was far from able to raise at the time. In 1496, Cardinal Melchior von Meckau was therefore the main financier of the Fuggers. The Prince-Bishop of Brixen had secretly invested around 150,000 guilders at Fugger against interest for years past the cathedral chapter. In this way, the prince of the church circumvented the officially applicable church interest ban. In 1509 von Meckau suddenly died in Rome. Deposit slips were found in his sleeve, revealing this facility. The Pope, the diocese of Brixen and the von Meckaus family, as potential heirs, now demanded the immediate payment of the deposit, which would have driven the Fugger into insolvency. This situation showed the political assistance that Emperor Maximilian gave his banker. The emperor declared to Pope Julius II ready to intervene in his armed conflict with Venice. In return, the Habsburg was recognized as the heir of the late Cardinal von Meckau and the inheritance - which suddenly only comprised 100,000 guilders - could be offset against the Fugger's outstanding claims. The Pope was resigned from the Fuggers with jewels. In the same year 1509, however, the emperor demanded the corresponding consideration, and Jakob Fugger supported him with 170,000 guilders in his campaign against Venice.

Since the death of his brother Ulrich (Georg died in 1506), Jakob Fugger has run the family business alone and almost monarchically. The family business now operated under the name "Jakob Fugger and Gebrüder Söhne". In the years leading up to his death, Fugger managed to increase the family company's equity, which in 1511 was around 200,000 guilders, to around two million guilders.

After Jakob Fugger had sought legal advice first and foremost, he got in touch with Johann Eck . Eck argued that the deposits at interest and loss are not questionable, in contrast to fixed-income investments. Eck did the preparatory work with his “Tractatus de contractu quinque de centum” (1514), in which he listed three hundred arguments. Fugger asked Eck to draw up an expert opinion on the deposit agreement in which he opposed the traditional prohibition of interest of the Roman Catholic Church and made him stand up for an interest rate of five percent. On July 12, 1515, he caused a sensation during a disputation on the question of the prohibition of interest , the Upper German interest dispute , at the then world-famous University of Bologna . On the central question of taking interest, Eck, who had already had contacts with the Fugger bank in Augsburg , pleaded for an interest rate of five percent in the sense of what was then a modern position. ( Johann Eck on the prohibition of interest ).

The election of Charles V in 1519

Portrait of Charles V Bernard van Orley (1519 to 1520)
Jakob Fugger before Charles V, burning promissory notes (Karl Becker 1866)

Emperor Maximilian died in January 1519 and left his grandson Karl I, the Duke of Burgundy and King of Spain, the Habsburg hereditary lands with the Burgundian neighboring countries and a controversial claim to the Roman-German imperial throne. In order to politically secure his demands on the House of Habsburg (more than 170,000 guilders), Jakob supported the 19-year-old heir to the throne in his election as Roman-German king. The English King Henry VIII and the French King Francis I had also announced their candidacy. In the run-up to the election, Franz I had even secured the votes of the Elector and Archbishop of Trier and of the Elector of the Palatinate and also offered 300,000 guilders to vote. The electoral college consisted of three ecclesiastical (the archbishops of Mainz, Cologne and Trier) and four secular princes (the King of Bohemia, the Duke of Saxony, the Margrave of Brandenburg and the Count Palatine of the Rhine). In this very difficult situation for Charles I, Jakob Fugger's financial strength decided in favor of the Spanish king. He transferred the monstrous sum of 851,918 guilders to the seven electors, whereupon the Habsburg Charles was unanimously elected King of Rome on June 28, 1519. Jakob Fugger raised almost two thirds of the total, namely 543,585 guilders himself. The remaining third was financed by the Welsern (around 143,000 guilders) and three Italian bankers (55,000 guilders each). This voting money is often seen as a bribe. But the balance of interests between the new king and elector was also common in earlier and later Roman-German royal elections: the only unusual thing was the amount of 1519, which resulted from the uncertainty about the outcome of the election, as well as the balance in money instead of in land, titles or Right.

A few days later, the Pope allowed the Roman King Charles V to also call himself “Elected Emperor”. It wasn't until 1530 that Karl became. V. in Bologna was actually crowned emperor by the Pope. It was the last ever coronation of an emperor by the Pope.

Charles V, who commanded an empire “in which the sun never set”, was now deeply indebted to the Fugger. In 1521 Charles V's debts to Jakob Fugger amounted to 600,000 guilders. The emperor repaid 415,000 guilders by compensating the Fuggers with the Tyrolean silver and copper production. When at the Reichstag in Nuremberg in 1523 the imperial estates discussed a limitation of commercial capital and the number of branches of companies, Jakob Fugger reminded his emperor of the electoral aid granted at the time: “It is also knowingly and is due to the fact that your Imperial Majesty won the Roman crown could not have achieved without my involvement ... " . With the simultaneous demand for immediate settlement of the outstanding debts, Jakob achieved from Emperor Charles V that the considerations on the monopoly restriction were not pursued any further. In 1525 Jakob Fugger was also awarded the three-year lease for the mercury and cinnabar mines in Almadén in Castile. The Fuggers remained in the Spanish mining business until 1645.

Jakob Fugger and the German Peasants' War (1524/1525)

Jakob Fugger called the rebellious peasants "lazy rabble." He accused them of "wanting to be rich without exerting themselves". In order to fight the revolting peasants, who often live in serfdom , the Swabian Federation assembled an army on behalf of the princes. "Jakob Fugger also took part in the war against the peasants through financial support from the federal army." Led by Georg Truchseß von Waldburg-Zeil ("Bauernjörg"), the Swabian Confederation managed to put down the peasant revolt in several bloody battles. Tens of thousands of peasants were killed, their leaders burned alive or beheaded. Book author Greg Steinmetz wrote: “Like so many investments, Jakob's bet on Truchseß had paid off. Peace returned to southern Germany. The goods that were left in a warehouse after the Frankfurt trade fair could finally be transported to Augsburg without any problems. "  

Jakob Fugger's foundations and buildings

The Fugger Chapel in the Anna Church in Augsburg

The Fugger Chapel in the Anna Church in Augsburg, 2007

Together with his brother Ulrich and also in the name of his brother Georg, who died in 1506, Jakob Fugger donated their common burial place in 1509 , the Fugger Chapel in the Augsburg Carmelite Monastery Church of St. Anna . The Fugger Chapel, which was built until 1512 and was splendidly furnished in the following years, was planned according to the Italian model and is thus the first Renaissance building in Germany. Especially Venetian, but also Florentine and Roman funerary chapels influenced the creation of an unknown master builder as well as the artists involved in the chapel. Important German masters were involved in furnishing the church: Albrecht Dürer , Hans Burgkmair the Elder. Ä. , Jörg Breu the Elder Ä. and Hans Daucher. Dürer created the epitaphs Ulrich and Georg Fuggers, Jörg Breu painted the wings of the large and small organ, Hans Daucher designed the central Corpus Christi group and the putti on the marble balustrade in front of the chapel. The monastery church of St. Anna later became a Protestant church, which is why only two nephews of Jakob Fugger were buried here. But the burial chapel of the Catholic Fugger in the Protestant church is today one of the great sights of Augsburg, the religious foundation, which was officially laid down in 1521, still exists today. It used to be believed that the Fuggers made the foundation of the Fugger Chapel out of fear for their souls. More recent research now assumes that Jakob Fugger tried to prepare for its elevation to the nobility with this building, which was admired for its splendor, but also heavily criticized. In addition, Fugger wanted to set himself apart from the Augsburg patricians and other wealthy families in the city with this innovative and unique building . In addition, the chapel was supposed to perpetuate the name of the Fuggers following the example of Italian donors ( “Memoria” ).

The Augsburg Fugger houses

Fuggerscher Stadtpalast, 2006
Damenhof in the Fugger houses in Augsburg (Germany's first profane Renaissance building).

The Fugger already owned two large houses in a prominent location in Augsburg when Jakob Fugger had the Fugger houses built on what was then Weinmarkt (today's Maximilianstrasse ) from 1512 to 1515 . The builder of this city residence, for which two properties were converted into a joint building, is presumably Hans Hieber from Augsburg. In 1515 Fugger had the ladies' courtyard built in the Fugger houses. This grand courtyard, designed in the style of Florentine courtyards, was the first secular building of the German Renaissance. The Fugger houses were the home of Jakob Fugger and his wife Sibylle Fugger-Arzt and since then the new administrative headquarters of the family company. In 1523 Jakob Fugger had this complex, which was also designed to entertain illustrious guests, expanded again.

Later Fuggers continued to expand the complex of Fugger houses. Under Anton Fugger (1493–1560), an imperial palatium was built for Emperor Charles V, which later emperors also used as an inn at the Reichstag in Augsburg. In 1519 Martin Luther was interrogated in the Fugger houses by cardinal Thomas Cajetan . In addition to the emperors Maximilian I , Karl V , Ferdinand I and Rudolf II , the Swedish King Gustav II Adolf , Albrecht Dürer , Titian and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (on the occasion of a concert in 1777) stayed here.

During the Second World War, the Fugger houses were largely destroyed in air raids on Augsburg in 1944 and rebuilt in a simplified manner by 1955. The four inner courtyards and the famous "Badstuben", two collection rooms by Hans Fugger (1531–1598), have been preserved. The Fugger houses are still owned by the princely Fugger-Babenhausen family. The Fürst Fugger Privatbank has its headquarters in part of the Fugger houses .

The St. Moritz Predicature Foundation

Jakob Fugger had been campaigning for a better sermon in his family's parish church, the Augsburg Collegiate Church of St. Moritz , since 1515 . In 1517 Pope Leo X issued a bull that gave Jakob Fugger and his heirs the right of patronage for preaching positions in the church. Since the St. Moritz Predicature Foundation still exists, the Fuggers are still proposing the pastor of the parish church of St. Moritz to this day.

The Augsburg Fuggerei

Glance into the Herrengasse of the Fuggerei.

From 1516 Jakob Fugger had a settlement built for needy artisans and day laborers from Augsburg. By 1523, 52 houses in the row house settlement had been built. “Fuckerey” was first named in 1531, what is now the world's oldest existing social housing estate. The Fuggerei was originally intended for citizens of Augsburg who were impoverished through no fault of their own and who wanted to set up their own household outside of the social housing estate on their own. Numerous craftsmen went about their work in the Fuggerei. Residents were often families with numerous children. The annual rent was one Rhenish Gulden (the weekly wage of a craftsman), an ideal consideration also consists of three prayers (the Lord's Prayer , the Creed and the Ave Maria ), which all residents should say once a day for the founder and his family. The Fuggerei was expressly donated by Jakob Fugger in the name of his brothers Ulrich and Georg, who had already died. Handelsblatt author Guido Komatsu described the Fuggerei as “a stone-turned advertising brochure” for the Fugger, as “a lesson on media effects and storytelling ”. Komatsu also judges that the establishment of the Fuggerei was "a small investment compared to Fugger's economic strength".

Around 150 people now live in the Fuggerei, which has been expanded to 67 houses and a church and administration building over the years. According to the foundation letter signed in 1521, only needy Catholic citizens of Augsburg are allowed to move into the Fuggerei. You say the three prayers every day to this day. The nominal, inflation-free converted annual (cold) rent for one of the approximately 60 square meter apartments in the social estate is only 0.88 euros today . The Fuggerei is financed by the Jakob Fuggers Foundation, which fortunately was converted from a capital foundation into an investment foundation in the 17th century. Until a few years ago, the Fuggerei was only financed from the foundation's forest and real estate holdings; since 2006, income has been added from entrance fees. The Fuggerei is administered by the Fugger Foundation Administration, whose supervisory body is the Fürstlich und Graeflich Fugger Family Senior Council. It consists of representatives of the three lines Fugger von Kirchberg and Weißenhorn , Fugger-Babenhausen and Fugger von Glött .

Other foundations and buildings by Jakob Fugger

Jakob Fugger gave foundations to numerous churches and monasteries in Augsburg, including the Dominican monastery church of St. Magdalena (today the seat of the Roman Museum in Augsburg). His coat of arms can be found there, as in the nearby cloister of the former St. Catherine's monastery. The Church of St. Blas in Almagro, Spain, was founded under Jakob Fugger. The Markuskapelle (today: Capella del Crocefisso) originally donated by his brother Markus Fugger in Santa Maria dell'Anima , the church of the German community in Rome, was rebuilt under Jakob Fugger from 1500 to 1514. The castle chapel of Oberkirchberg , St. Sebastian, was probably built in the time of Jakob Fugger . In 1513/14 Fugger had the New Castle built in Weißenhorn.

Marriage, successor and inheritance

Wedding picture of the married couple Jakob Fugger and Sibylla Artzt , 1498
Spouses Jakob Fugger and Sibylla Artzt , miniature in the Fugger's book of honor, Augsburg, workshop of Jörg Breu the Younger , 1545–1549

In 1498 the almost 40-year-old Jakob Fugger married Sibylla Artzt (also: doctor), the 18-year-old daughter of a respected Augsburg citizen. Through this wedding, Jakob Fugger, like his brothers Ulrich and Georg, gained access to the elegant Augsburg gentleman's room. A few years after the wedding, between 1502 and 1506, Jakob Fugger bought from the city of Basel for 40,000 guilders for his young wife jewels from the Burgundian treasure , which the Swiss confederates had looted in 1476 in the battle against Charles the Bold of Burgundy . Jakob Fugger spent a lot of time in his office and on business trips and little time with his wife. The marriage of the two remained childless. After Jakob Fugger's death on December 30, 1525, the widow Sybille Fugger married Konrad Rehlinger the Elder, contrary to all conventions, only seven weeks later . Ä. who had been a business friend of her husband and converted to the Protestant faith.

Jakob Fugger died on December 30th, 1525 as probably the richest entrepreneur in Europe. The balance sheet carried out by his heirs in 1527 showed assets of 3,000,058 guilders , liabilities of 867,797 guilders and thus a surplus of around 2.1 million guilders. However, the assets included 1,650,000 guilders. A conversion of these assets into today's value ratios is at best possible to a limited extent due to the current amount of money in circulation and other parameters. According to a report in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in December 2016, his assets converted into today's purchasing power amounted to 300 billion US dollars . After that, he would have been the wealthiest private person in human history.

Because he had no descendants of his own, the company and its assets were passed on to his nephews Raymund and Anton Fugger upon his death , with Anton running the company. With his death in 1560 the "Age of Fugger" ended.

Contemporary portraits by Dürer and others

In the summer of 1518 Albrecht Dürer was the representative of the city of Nuremberg at the Reichstag in Augsburg. On this occasion a sketch was made with the portrait of Jakob Fugger. The original of the picture, later executed by Dürer as an oil painting, is now in the State Gallery of Old German Masters in the Schaezlerpalais in Augsburg. Dürer certainly drew Jakob Fugger as a full-body portrait as early as 1505/06. This drawing was lost. On the other hand, portrait drawings by Hans Holbein the Elder have survived. Ä. and Hans Burgkmairs d. Ä. as well as a painted portrait by Hans Maler zu Schwaz . The portrayal of Jakob Fugger on one of the organ wings in the Fugger Chapel in St. Anna, which Jörg Breu d. Ä. created. Only casts of a copy of a carved representation of Jakob Fugger in the pose of a Roman general from the destroyed choir stalls of the Fugger Chapel have survived. Medals and medallions with his portrait can be seen in the Fugger Museum in Babenhausen , for example .

Jakob Fugger also appears on several later history paintings.

Appreciation and character

Contrary to what has often been described, Jakob Fugger was neither the first capitalist nor the earliest global player, nor did he build the first international corporation. Early capitalism with banks, interest collection and cashless payment transactions, accounting systems, long-distance trading, Europe-wide branch networks and internal company messaging systems are structures and techniques that Italian merchants were familiar with from the 13th century at the latest, i.e. well over a century before Jakob Fugger's birth (among the greatest bankers In the 14th century Europe belonged to the Florentine families Bardi and Peruzzi ). Under Jakob Fugger, the company's overseas trade was limited to a few, extremely cautious participations in trade expeditions. In contrast, the network of branches was really impressive: Almost 20 factories are known: After those in Venice (1473 or earlier) and Nuremberg (from 1474 at the latest) there were factories in Milan (1483 at the latest), Innsbruck (1485), Antwerp (1493 ), Rome (around 1500) and Lisbon (1503). Other factories are known from Ofen (Budapest), Krakow, Neusohl, Danzig, Lübeck, Amsterdam, Breslau, Leipzig and Vienna, among others. In addition, there were well over 30 smaller branches, mines and processing plants, which ensured regular income and constant profit increases.

Jakob Fugger is described as "... an entrepreneur and business leader on a grand scale, a man of will with steel nerves ..." or as a "prototype of the early capitalist" . Such characterizations lack any scientific basis, since there are no documents on the personality of Jakob Fugger. The Augsburg Chronicles simply refer to him as “richer man” or “mighty man”. Any further appreciation or criticism of this epoch arise from the respective political or denominational position and can therefore hardly be seen as sources to be taken seriously. In any case, Jakob Fugger's life's work shows that he was endowed with a pronounced instinct for the economic and political benefits of innovations. He did not invent anything himself, but made optimal use of existing knowledge. The Munich scientist Peter Geffcken, for example, sees Jakob Fugger as a brilliant manager and calls him the “dawn of modernity”. When evaluating personality according to today's understanding, it is usually overlooked that merchants at the time, in stark contrast to managers of the present, were committed to the “common good”, i.e. the common good. Book author Greg Steinmetz says: "There is no question that Jakob Fugger was greedy for money and that he squeezed out his workers."

Jakob Fugger's ability to use foundations, buildings and high-level art as a medium for building prestige and the “memoria” of his family was outstanding . He certainly had a keen sense for the development of social capital and the formation of political networks through “relationship work”. In order to be able to manage a trading network and a company structure with the Fugger design and the traffic and information technology available at the time, Jakob Fugger must have succeeded in attracting and retaining extremely capable employees. This also applies to his own family members, among whom only the most capable were considered for his successor. Jakob Fugger ran the company absolutely monarchically, at least for the last 15 years. Toughness against competitors and political opponents, one's own relatives, as well as against oneself is always recognizable.

Jakob Fugger is one of the most famous Germans and is the most famous from Augsburg. In 1967 a bust of Jakob Fugger was put up in the Walhalla , the "German hall of fame" near Regensburg.

Since 1963, in memory of Jakob Fugger, the Jakob Fugger Medal of the Association of Bavarian Newspaper Publishers has been awarded at irregular intervals for “outstanding merits and extraordinary achievements in the magazine press”. The award is one of the most prestigious prizes in the German-speaking magazine industry. Jakob Fugger is also shown on the medal for services to foundations , which is awarded by the Federal Association of German Foundations to important personalities from the foundation sector for their life's work. As the founder of the Fuggerei, Jakob Fugger is considered a role model for the German foundation system.


Prose and drama

Various novels and plays as well as a television series deal with the life of Jakob Fugger - usually in the field of fiction and without recourse to historical facts. The novel by Eugen Ortner Glück und Macht der Fugger , published in the 1920s, dealt most well with the life and history of Jakob Fugger . The book by Günter Ogger ( Buy yourself an emperor. The history of the Fugger ), which was published in large numbers, had a major impact on the public image of the Fugger, but it cannot be understood as a well-founded non-fiction book. One trillion dollars from Andreas Eschbach makes clear comparisons between the Fugger trading house and modern multinational corporations. Gold for the Kaiser by Thomas RP Mielke is a historical novel with Jakob Fugger at the center. The Puppeteers by Tanja Kinkel is also a novel set in Fugger's time, which approaches the character Jakob Fugger from the point of view of a fictional nephew, but negates historical facts. The play Jakob Fugger Consulting by Sebastian Seidel stretches back to the present day and questions how Jakob Fugger would behave today. The German-Czechoslovak television production Vom Loom zum Weltmacht , which was commissioned by Bayerischer Rundfunk in 1983 , deals in a dramatized form with the rise and fall of the Fugger family and in particular with the person of Jakob Fugger.

Jakob Fugger in research

In non-fiction there are a number of publications that seriously deal with Jakob Fugger and his vita. The Fugger Archive in Dillingen an der Donau publishes the series of materials on the history of the Fuggers . Another scientific series is the studies on the Fugger history .

Fugger research has only been carried out for a little over a hundred years. Nevertheless, a number of older scientific works today must be considered obsolete in detail, whereas more recent research has come to significantly different facts and assessments. A largely up-to-date and comprehensive summary of Fugger's history based on the latest research is provided by Prof. Mark Häberlein's 2006 publication Die Fugger. History of an Augsburg family (1367–1650) . In recent years, the Munich historian Peter Geffcken in particular has developed more recent findings on Jakob Fugger .

Post-colonial criticism

The mostly positive portrayals of Jakob Fugger and his political and economic activities are countered by many initiatives with post-colonial criticism. Some articles point to the one-sided historiography of the Fuggers. The role of the Fuggers is glossed over and it is concealed that the Fuggers played an active part in forced labor, enslavement, oppression and exploitation. Historically critical debates on this aspect of Fugger's work have so far been sparse.

Musical "Heart of Gold"

The musical Herz aus Gold , specially written by the Theater Augsburg , tells the story of Jakob Fugger. The premiere took place on July 1, 2018 on the open-air stage in Augsburg.

Web links

Commons : Jakob Fugger  - Collection of images, videos and audio files


Scientific non-fiction

  • Martha Schad : The women of the Fugger family - with power to world fame. 5th edition. Series Piper, Munich 2012, ISBN 978-3-492-23818-2 .
  • Bruno Bushart: The Fugger Chapel near St. Anna in Augsburg. Munich 1994.
  • Richard Ehrenberg: The Fugger Age, Money Capital and Credit Transactions in the 16th Century. 2 volumes, Jena 1896.
  • Peter Geffcken: Jakob Fugger's early years. In: Martin Kluger (Augsburg): Jakob Fugger (1459–1525). His life in pictures. context medien und verlag, Augsburg 2009, ISBN 978-3-939645-14-6 .
  • Peter Geffcken: Jakob Fugger the Rich (1459-1525): "Kingmaker, strategist and organizer". In: Back then. 7/2004.
  • Peter Geffcken: Fugger - story of a family: "The merchants with the trident". In: Back then. 7/2004.
  • Mark Häberlein: The Fugger. History of an Augsburg family (1367–1650). Stuttgart 2006.
  • Sarah Hadry: The Fuggers in Kirchberg and Weißenhorn. System of rule and serfdom, denominationalisation and residence formation. Augsburg 2007.
  • Max Jansen: The beginnings of the Fuggers. Leipzig 1907.
  • Peter Kalus: The Fuggers in Slovakia. Augsburg 1999.
  • Franz Karg: The profile of a city gentleman. Jacob the Rich, the first Fugger in Weißenhorn. In: Weißenhorner Profile 1160-2010. Contributions and studies on the city's history. (= Catalogs and publications of the Weißenhorn local history museum. 5). Weißenhorn 2010.
  • Hermann Kellenbenz : The Fuggers in Spain and Portugal until 1560. A large company of the 16th century. 2 volumes. Munich 1990.
  • Martha Schad : The women of the house of Fugger von der Lilie (15th-17th century) Augsburg-Ortenburg-Trient. Mohr-Verlag, Tübingen 1989, ISBN 3-16-545478-7 .
  • Norbert Lieb: The Fugger and art. Volume 1: In the late Gothic and early Renaissance ages. Munich 1952.
  • Götz von PölnitzFugger, Jakob the Rich. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 5, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1961, ISBN 3-428-00186-9 , pp. 710-714 ( digitized version ).
  • Götz von Pölnitz : The Fuggers. 6th edition. Mohr & Siebeck, Tübingen 1999, ISBN 3-16-147013-3 .
  • Götz von Pölnitz : Jakob Fugger . Mohr & Siebeck, Tübingen 1949. (online at: books.google.de )
  • Benjamin Scheller: Memoria at the turning point. The Jakob Fugger the Rich Foundations before and during the Reformation (approx. 1505–1555). Berlin 2004.
  • Aloys Schulte: The Fugger in Rome 1495–1523. 2 volumes, Leipzig 1904.
  • Marion Tietz-Strödel: The Fuggerei in Augsburg. Tübingen 1982.
  • Eike Eberhard Unger: The Fuggers in Hall i. T. Tübingen 1967.

Popular non-fiction books

  • Martin Kluger : The Fuggers in Augsburg. Merchants, coal and steel entrepreneurs, bankers and donors . 1st edition. context Verlag Augsburg, Augsburg 2013, ISBN 978-3-939645-63-4 .
  • Martin Kluger: The Fuggers around Augsburg, Munich and Ulm. Nobility, castles and churches . context Verlag, Augsburg 2012, ISBN 978-3-939645-43-6 .
  • Martin Kluger: The Fugger's bank. A brilliant chapter in European economic history . context Verlag, Augsburg 2011, ISBN 978-3-939645-42-9 .
  • Martin Kluger: The Fuggers in Augsburg. Merchants, donors and patrons. context Verlag, Augsburg 2010, ISBN 978-3-939645-31-3 .
  • Martin Kluger: Fugger - Italy. Business, Weddings, Knowledge and Art. Story of a fruitful relationship . context Verlag, Augsburg 2010, ISBN 978-3-939645-27-6 .
  • Martin Kluger: The Fugger: The German Medici in and around Augsburg. context Verlag, Augsburg 2009, ISBN 978-3-939645-13-9 .
  • Martin Kluger: “Jakob Fugger (1459–1525). His life in pictures ” , context Verlag, Augsburg 2009, ISBN 978-3-939645-14-6 .
  • Martin Kluger: The Fuggerei. A guide to the oldest social housing estate in the world. context-verlag, Augsburg 2009, ISBN 978-3-939645-16-0 .
  • Franz Herre : The Fuggers in their time. 12th edition. Wißner-Verlag, Augsburg 2005, ISBN 3-89639-490-8 .
  • Greg Steinmetz: The richest man in world history. Life and work of Jakob Fugger . 2nd Edition. FinanzBook Verlag , Munich 2016, ISBN 978-3-89879-961-4 .


Individual evidence

  1. Peter Geffcken: Fugger - story of a family: "The merchants with the trident". In: Back then. 7/2004.
  2. Mark Häberlein: The Fugger. History of an Augsburg family . W. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2006, ISBN 3-17-018472-5 , pp. 42 and 65 .
  3. Mark Häberlein: The Fugger. History of an Augsburg family . W. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2006, ISBN 3-17-018472-5 , pp. 66 .
  4. Guido Komatsu: Money and Faith. In: Handelsblatt online edition. December 20, 2010, accessed August 13, 2021 .
  5. Peter Geffcken: Jakob Fugger the Rich (1459-1525): "Kingmaker, strategist and organizer". In: Back then. 7/2004.
  6. Daniel Eckert: This is how Fugger became the richest person in history . In: The world online. June 6, 2016. Accessed July 9, 2018.
  7. Peter Geffcken: Jakob Fugger's early years. In: Jakob Fugger (1459–1525). His life in pictures. context media and publishing, Augsburg 2009.
  8. Compare prices in the 15th century
  9. a b Eike Eberhard Unger: The Fugger in Hall iT Tübingen 1967.
  10. Sarah Hadry: The Fugger in Kirchberg and Weißenhorn. System of rule and serfdom, denominationalisation and residence formation. Augsburg 2007.
  11. a b Mark Häberlein: The Fugger. History of an Augsburg family (1367–1650). Stuttgart 2006.
  12. Peter Geffcken: Jakob Fugger the Rich (1459-1525): "Kingmaker, strategist and organizer". In: Back then. 7/2004.
  13. Guido Komatsu: Money and Faith. In: Handelsblatt online edition. December 20, 2010, accessed August 13, 2021 .
  14. Michael North: History of the Baltic Sea: Commerce and Cultures. CH Beck, Munich 2011, ISBN 978-3-406-62182-6 , p. 114.
  15. ^ Götz von Pölnitz : Fugger and Hanse. JCB Mohr, Tübingen 1953, p. 295.
  16. Greg Steinmetz: The richest man in world history. Life and work of Jakob Fugger. 2nd Edition. Finanzbuch Verlag, Munich 2016, ISBN 978-3-89879-961-4 , pp. 107-119.
  17. Fugger - story of a family: "The merchants with the trident". In: Back then. 7/2004.
  18. ^ Aloys Schulte: The Fugger in Rome 1495–1523. 2 vols., Leipzig 1904.
  19. The Great Biographical Lexicon of the Germans. P. 149: Johannes Eck, biography of Prof. Dr. Heribert Smolinsky
  20. Franz Herre: The Fuggers in their time. Augsburg, 2000.
  21. Greg Steinmetz: The richest man in world history. Life and work of Jakob Fugger . Digital edition. FinanzBook Verlag, Munich 2016, p. 306 .
  22. Fugger website: Timeline for the year 1525. Retrieved on August 11, 2021 .
  23. Greg Steinmetz: The richest man in world history. Life and work of Jakob Fugger - digital edition . FinanzBook Verlag, Munich 2016, p. 323 .
  24. Benjamin Scheller: Memoria at the turning point. The Jakob Fugger the Rich Foundations before and during the Reformation (approx. 1505–1555). Berlin 2004.
  25. Guido Komatsu: Money and Faith. Handelsblatt online edition, December 20, 2010, accessed on August 13, 2021 .
  26. Guido Komatsu: Money and Faith. In: Handelsblatt online edition. December 20, 2010, accessed August 13, 2021 .
  27. Norbert Lieb: The Fugger and the art. Volume 1: In the late Gothic and early Renaissance ages. Munich 1952.
  28. ^ Richard Ehrenberg: The age of the Fugger, money capital and credit transactions in the 16th century (2 vols). Jena 1896.
  29. ^ Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung GmbH: Who owns the most? The world of millionaires - picture 8 of 8. In: FAZ.NET. December 5, 2016, accessed December 5, 2016 .
  30. Jakob Fugger the Rich (1459–1525): "Kingmaker, Strategist and Organizer". In: Back then. 7/2004.
  31. Greg Steinmetz: The richest man in world history. Life and work of Jakob Fugger - digital edition . FBV, 2016, p. 379 .
  32. ^ Association of Magazine Publishers in Bavaria eV: Jakob Fugger Medal of the VZB ( Memento from January 2, 2014 in the Internet Archive ).
  33. Federal Association of German Foundations: Medal for Services to the Foundation ( Memento from August 4, 2014 in the Internet Archive ).
  34. fuggerandwelserstreetdecolonized Berlin site
  35. Augsburg blog Homestory
  36. ^ Project Fugger - the other side
  37. “Heart of Gold” celebrates its premiere on the open-air stage. , Augsburg TV, July 2, 2018, accessed on July 21, 2018.
  38. A Jakob Fugger musical will be premiered in Augsburg on Saturday - Gold or Love. In: Donaukurier. June 28, 2018. Retrieved July 21, 2018.


  1. The Reichsfiskal was a legally scholarly imperial civil servant who, from the 16th century, represented the emperor's rights in the imperial courts, particularly in the prosecution of those who violated imperial laws, orders and judgments.