Monday, August 8, 2011

The Peace of Augsburg ~

Today, on August 8th, in Augsburg, Germany, the city that my mom and I were born in . . . annually celebrates the Peace of Augsburg.

The Augsburg Peace Festival is a public holiday in Augsburg. Post Offices, Banks, stores, and most businesses are closed.  This public holiday is celebrated only in Augsburg and not throughout the rest of Germany.

The celebration is held in the Rathaus Platz, a shopping mall, next to City Hall. If you like, you can watch the festivities on this live web cam, keep in mind, Augsburg is nine hours ahead. As I prepared this post, I watched as workers were busy setting up for the festivities.

The Peace of Augsburg, was a treaty established in September 25, 1555, between Charles V and the forces of the Schmalkaldic League at the imperial city of Augsburg, Germany, present day, Bavaria, Germany. This treaty officially ended the struggle between two religious groups.

The Peace allowed the German princes to choose between the Lutheran or Catholic faith within the domains they controlled.  Subjects, citizens, or residents that did not conform to the prince's choice, were given a period to migrate freely to different regions where their chosen religion was accepted. On August 8th, 1629, Protestants were banned from practicing their faith in the city. The Peace of Westphalia reinstated the Augsburg Declaration of Religious Freedom in 1648. The first Augsburg Peace Festival was held on August 8th, in 1650.  

As I gleaned the information about this wonderful German city I was born in, it is my hopes that one day I can muster the courage to fly back to Augsburg (I do not like to fly!). I have deep roots in Augsburg with living family members there, it would also be an incredible experience to research my ancestry in this beautiful historic city. Augsburg was founded in 15 BC, making Augsburg, Germany's third oldest city.  I do recall mom telling me that you can still see the remains of the moat that surrounded the city centuries ago.

When I was thirteen years old, mom and I visited Augsburg and celebrated Christmas with my Oma, Opa, great-grandmother, cousins, aunts and uncles . . . it was an experience of a lifetime. I visited the Perlachtrum, a bell tower that was built in 989, originally a watchtower. Today, you can see the Perlachtrum on the live web cam and the city getting ready for the Peace of Augsburg Festival and feel as if you are there.

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The print of old Augsburg, was given to me, the keeper of our family memories and records, by my Oma in Germany, when I was in my early twenties . . . this print, proudly hangs in my home today. The print is quite large so I used my Flip Pal Mobile Scanner and then used the "stitching" tool to resize it for posting here.


Janet Iles said...

Gini - I hope you do get the courage to fly to Augsburg to see the place again and to visit family. It is a beautiful city.

It looks like a beautiful day there for their festivities.

Gini said...

My cousin, Marion encourages me often! I have a big fear of flying but I think one day I may be able to get thru it. It sure would be worth the 17 hour flight to see family and an amazing city.

Dana said...

What a great story - I remember studying that in my German history classes, but your post makes it a lot more personal than my teacher did! I hope you get the chance to see it again one day. Do you speak any German?

Gini said...

Thank you, Dana. When mom and I came to the U.S., I was speaking 3 year old German! I became very Americanized so I speak a little and understand more . . . mom was teaching me just before she suddenly passed in July 2010. But, I have made a vow to learn German . . . I purchased Rosetta Stone . . . hope to be speaking German soon, or at least starting to! Perhaps by the time I learn it a bit, it would be good timing to visit my family there! My cousin, Marion, she helps me a bit also. Thank you for stopping by.

Kathy Reed said...

I tried, really tried to post to this, but I'm having problems commenting everywhere.

Gini said...

Kathy, so sorry, not sure what the problem is. I did get this comment with no problems. You can send me an email if you like.

Dawn said...

Hi Gini -
What a coincidence! My children's 2nd great grandmother, Margaret Pfeffer, was born in Augsburg in 1881. Thanks for sharing this post with information on the city. It makes for nice background reading on Maggie's ancestral home!

Gini said...

Dawn ~ Thank you and so glad to hear of a fellow Augsburger! I am reviewing our surnames to see if there may be Pfeffer around. Augsburg is such a beautiful historic city. Thank you for stopping by and letting me know.