Maximilianstrasse (Augsburg)

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View from the Perlach Tower into Maximilianstrasse

The Maximilianstrasse (often just shortened Maxstraße , formerly wine market called) in the old city of Augsburg is one of art's most historic streets in southern Germany.


Origins of the street

The origins of Maximilianstrasse, which runs in a north-south direction, go back to Roman times. Its northern section from the town hall to the Merkurbrunnen lies on the historic Roman road Via Claudia Augusta , which dates back to 15 BC. The military camp founded in BC and the resulting settlement of Augusta Vindelicum with Northern Italy . The Via Claudia Augusta quickly developed into the most important trade route between Rome and its new province of Raetia and remained so until the late Middle Ages. The further course of the Via Claudia Augusta leaves Maximilianstraße and follows today's Dominikanergasse and Predigerberg to Haunstetter Straße and further south.

The wine market

The city model of Augsburg by Hans Rogel (1560–1563) clearly shows the Weinmarkt and the street divided in the south.

Today's Maximilianstrasse originally corresponded less to a real street than to a sequence of squares, which were at best subdivided by the Merkurbrunnen, built in 1599, and the Herkulesbrunnen, built in 1602. On the way from the town hall to the church of St. Ulrich and Afra you passed the Merkurbrunnen, the bread market, the wood market and finally the wine market.

The elongated wine market was the most important part of today's street in terms of urban history. It was in its middle section and was bordered to the north and south by buildings that stood in the middle of today's street. Not only was wine sold on this square, it also played an important role as the largest central square in the city for events such as the Reichstag, processions and tournaments.

With the gradual rise of Augsburg to the most powerful European financial metropolis of the 16th century, patrician families , bankers and merchants settled on the Weinmarkt and built their trading establishments and houses there. Representative buildings such as the Fugger houses , the Schaezler Palace , the Roeck House and the palatial hotel "Zu den Drei Mohren" were built here. Due to the sometimes horrific prices for building sites on the street, the facades often remained narrow, instead the houses extended far back and were provided with inner courtyards to loosen up the buildings. A striking example of this building practice - which was also widely used later - is the magnificent Schaezler Palace from the 18th century with a width of 19 m and a building depth of 107 m. There are almost no remains of the facade paintings, which were considered fashionable on the Weinmarkt in the 18th century.

The Weinmarkt existed as a square under this name until 1771, when it was called Königliche Straße .

Dance house and seal house

In the middle of today's Maximilianstrasse, not far from the Moritzkirche , the dance house stood since 1396 . It included a dance hall on the upper floor and a market hall for bakers, butchers and fruit sellers on the ground floor. In the new building built in 1429, the mansion also moved in and gender dances were held. The building was also an important meeting place and was used for diets and visits by the king. The dance house was demolished in 1632.

To the south, the wine market has been bordered by the municipal seal house since 1604 ; in front of it was the Hercules Fountain, built in 1602 . The sealed house was a magnificent three-storey building that was built by the city master builder Elias Holl . The wines were tested in this house and sealed after the so-called Ungeld, a kind of consumption tax for retail sales, had been levied.

On the south side of the seal house was a long row of houses with salt and wine stalls, which separated the street from here to the square in front of Sankt Ulrich and Afra, where there was still a wine shop.

19th century

Maximilianstrasse with the town hall and Perlach (approx. 1835).

In 1809, the sealed house with the wine and salt stalls was torn down, creating a street prospect that now opened up a view of the mighty Ulrichskirche in the south. After the seal house was demolished, the new street was renamed "Maximilianstraße" in honor of the Bavarian King Maximilian I Joseph . The Hercules Fountain stayed in its place and has since been like an island in the middle of the newly created wide street. The broad upper Maximilianstrasse was used for markets, for example for the spring festival.

The buildings on Upper Maximilianstrasse survived the devastating British air raid on Augsburg in February 1944 relatively unscathed. The town hall, the Perlach tower and the Fugger houses were hit hard .

20th century

For the 1000th anniversary of the battle on the Lechfeld in 1955, the small square-like extension of Maximilianstrasse in front of the Ulrichskirche was named "Ulrichsplatz". In 1957 the name of the entire Maximilianstrasse changed: the official namesake was now Emperor Maximilian I , who enjoyed staying in Augsburg throughout his life and had a decisive influence on the city's history.

The lower Maximilianstrasse between Moritzplatz and Perlachturm has been closed to private traffic since 1992 .

Today's meaning

Augsburg City Hall and Perlach Tower
Herkulesbrunnen in Maximilianstrasse

In terms of art history, Maximilianstrasse is one of the most interesting streets in Europe; the magnificent buildings of the Gothic , Renaissance , Rococo , Neoclassic and post-war periods give an impression of the city's history. Between Rathausplatz and Ulrichsplatz - always in view of one of Augsburg's magnificent fountains - numerous boutiques, restaurants, pubs, bars and discos have settled.

Project "Kaisermeile"

The historical appearance of the upper Maximilianstrasse in particular has hardly changed for several decades. With the urban development project “Kaisermeile”, the city now wants to implement some innovations. With restrictions on individual traffic and widening of the footpaths, even more space is to be created for street cafes and nightlife is to be further promoted.

One of the new tram lines as part of the Augsburg mobility hub traffic project is also to be routed over Maximilianstrasse.

See also


Web links

Commons : Maximilianstraße  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Jump up ↑ The dance house was near the Moritzkirche. In: Augsburger Allgemeine , July 12, 2018.

Coordinates: 48 ° 21 '55 "  N , 10 ° 53' 58"  E