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Augsburg (in the Swabian local dialect Augschburg, Latin Augusta
Vindelicorum and Augusta Vindelicum) is an independent city in
southwest Bavaria and one of the three Bavarian metropolises. It is
a university town and seat of the government of the Swabian district
as well as the district office of the Augsburg district in the west
surrounding the city.
The city became a major city in 1909 and, with over 300,000 inhabitants, is the third largest city in Bavaria after Munich and Nuremberg. The Augsburg conurbation also ranks third in terms of population and economic strength in Bavaria and is part of the Augsburg planning region, in which around 885,000 people live. In 2017, Augsburg had the second-lowest rate of all criminal offenses among German cities with over 200,000 inhabitants.
The name of the city, which is one of the oldest in Germany, goes back to 15 BC. Roman army camp founded in BC and the later Roman provincial capital Augusta Vindelicum. In the 13th century, the city broke away from episcopal rule, became an imperial city by 1316 at the latest and was often the scene of diets with close ties to the rulers of the Holy Roman Empire, which were financed by the Welser and Fugger merchant families ("Fuggerstadt"). After the Reformation, Augsburg, in which the Augsburg Religious Peace was concluded in 1555, became biconfessional.
The city is the only German city with a public holiday that is limited to the urban area, the Augsburg High Peace Festival, which is celebrated every year on August 8th. This makes Augsburg the city with the largest number of public holidays in Germany.
The city lies on the rivers Lech, Wertach and Singold. The oldest part of the city as well as the southern quarters are located on the northern foothills of a high terrace that arose between the steep hillside of Friedberg in the east and the high Riedeln on the western edge of the hill.
In the south extends the Lechfeld, a post-glacial gravel plain between the two large rivers Lech and Wertach, in which rare primeval landscapes have been preserved. The Augsburg city forest and the Lechtalheiden are among the most species-rich Central European habitats.
Augsburg borders the Augsburg - Western Forests nature park, a large forest area. In addition, the urban area itself is heavily greened, which is why the city was the first German city to be recognized as the greenest and most livable city in the European competition Entente Florale Europe in 1997. The city is the largest communal forest owner in Bavaria and the third largest in Germany.
The city is surrounded in the east by the district of Aichach-Friedberg and in the west by the district of Augsburg. Due to the elongated city area in north-south direction, many cities and municipalities border on Augsburger Flur.
The agglomeration is formed by Friedberg (district of Aichach-Friedberg), Königsbrunn, Stadtbergen, Neusäß and Gersthofen (all district of Augsburg), starting in the east and following clockwise, all of which with their settlement core border directly on the built-up area of Augsburg.
In addition, the municipalities of Rehling, Affing, Kissing, Mering and Merching (all districts of Aichach-Friedberg) as well as Bobingen, Gessertshausen and Diedorf (all districts of Augsburg) border the city (clockwise from the north).
The urban area consists of 42 urban districts, which form 17 planning areas. This type of urban structure has existed since 1938. The total area is 147 square kilometers (39th place among German cities).
The districts are partly formerly independent communities, partly newly established residential areas. Some districts have spatially separated settlements (residential areas) with their own names. Districts not mentioned in the administrative structure are the Augsburg old town as part of the inner city and the Augsburg textile district, which is partly in Spickel-Herrenbach, partly in the inner city.
The former barracks and residential areas of the US Army kept their names after the troop withdrawal in 1998, including Centerville, Cramerton, Reese, Sheridan, Sullivan Heights and Supply-Center. Many of these barracks are now residential areas.
The city lies on three rivers: the Lech is the largest flowing body of water and is widened by the tributary of the Wertach, which flows north of the Wolfzahnau nature reserve. The third Augsburg river, the Singold, has its source in the Ostallgäu and flows into the widely ramified artificial stream and canal system in the city. The numerous canals in Augsburg - most of them flow through the Lechviertel in the old town - are spanned by 500 bridge structures. They are part of the site “The Augsburg Water Management System”, which was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List on July 6, 2019.
The factory canal into which the Singold flows is derived from the Wertach in Göggingen, flows north as the Wertach Canal, Holzbach or Senkelbach and returns to the Wertach after the Augsburg balloon factory.
At the Hochablass, the Hauptstadtbach and the Neubach are diverted from the Lech, which merge again after a few hundred meters, to briefly flow downstream into the Herrenbach, which flows north (downstream Proviantbach with its outflows and feeders, Hanreibach and Fichtelbach) and the Kaufbach, which flows west forks. The Kaufbach feeds the Schäfflerbach and the city ditches and inner city canals, which flow together again to the north on the grounds of the UPM-Kymmene and as a city stream in the western area of the Wolfzahnau flow again with the Proviantbach to reach the Lech a few meters before the Wertach confluence . The Mühlbach flows through the Pfersee district.
The Brunnenbach, the Reichskanal and the Lochbach (a Lechkanal) flow through the city forest. They branch out into other small streams to unite again shortly before the inner city.
The Kuhsee and the smaller Stempflesee are located in the alluvial forest that the Lech flows through. In the north of Augsburg there are the Autobahnsee, the Kaisersee and the Europaweiher at the Augsburg Garbage Hill. The Wertach reservoir, the Lautersee and the Ilsesee (local recreation area) are located in the south of Augsburg.
The nature reserves in the south of Augsburg serve the Augsburg drinking water supply. The city forest and the Lechau forest near Unterbergen are therefore designated as drinking water protection areas. The water drawn from there with a degree of hardness of 13.5 ° dH (medium hard) supplies the cities of Augsburg, Neusäß, Friedberg and Stadtbergen.
nature and environment
After the large-scale incorporations of the 1970s, the city is one of the greenest cities in Germany with around a third of green and forest areas.
The Augsburg city forest - with about 21.5 square kilometers the largest Bavarian alluvial forest - forms a closed forest area in the southeast and is of high regional importance for nature conservation and as a local recreation and leisure area. There are seven landscape protection, four FFH and two nature protection areas in the urban area (as of May 2016).
The south-west of the city is covered by parts of the Augsburg-Westliche Wälder nature park. This 1,175 square kilometer nature park is the only one in Bavarian Swabia. It is bounded in the north by the Danube, in the east by the slopes of the Wertach and Schmutter and in the west by the Mindel. In the south it extends to the edge of the Unterallgäu.
The city is nationwide as a model city for environmentally friendly lighting. Measures against light pollution in the area of public lighting have reduced electricity consumption and thus carbon dioxide emissions by 20 percent, which leads to annual savings of 250,000 euros.
In a study by the Geers Foundation in 2011, Augsburg had the second best value of German cities with over 250,000 inhabitants after Münster - only 17.0 percent of the city area was exposed to a daily average of more than 55 decibels.
In November 2013, Augsburg was awarded the German Sustainability Prize as the “most sustainable city in 2013”.
The city lies in the transition between the humid Atlantic and the dry continental climate on the Lechfeld plain in a slight valley location. Other weather-determining factors are the Alps as a Central European and the Danube as a regional weather divide. Therefore the weather is relatively changeable. Over the past six decades, Augsburg has seen an increase in temperature, a decrease in precipitation and an increase in the occurrence of extreme values.
The weather periods vary between moderate, not too cold winters and warm, not excessively hot summers. Large amounts of snow, which protect the vegetation during periods of frost, usually do not fall until January and last until mid-March. Larger amounts of precipitation are recorded in early summer, mostly from westerly winds. Longer dry periods occur in midsummer and early autumn.
The foehn brings warm and dry air currents from the south into the lower Alpine foothills to Augsburg all year round. Associated with this is good visibility, so that the Bavarian and Allgäu Alps can often be clearly seen.
The average annual temperature is around 8.4 degrees Celsius, and the annual rainfall is around 850 millimeters. During the hot summer of 2003, a temperature of 36.0 degrees was measured on August 13, the absolute maximum value since the beginning of temperature observations is 37.1 degrees on July 27, 1983. The lowest registered temperature was -28.2 degrees, measured on February 12, 1929.
Due to its location in the most thunderstorm-intensive state of Bavaria, Augsburg is often affected by violent storms, which lead to enormous Lech and Wertach floods. This had the greatest impact in 1999 when a weir broke on the Wertach and entire parts of the city were flooded.
On autumn days it is often foggy in Augsburg because of its location in the valley of the Lech. After Munich, Augsburg is the snowiest city in Germany.