Augsburg (Swabian German: Augschburg) is a city in Swabia, Bavaria, Germany, around 50 km west of Bavarian capital Munich.
Augsburg was granted the status of a Free Imperial City on March 9, 1276 and from then until 1803, it was independent of its former overlord, the Prince-Bishop of Augsburg. Frictions between the city-state and the prince-bishops were to remain frequent however, particularly after Augsburg became Protestant and curtailed the rights and freedoms of Catholics.
With its strategic location at an intersection of trade routes to Italy, the Free Imperial City became a major trading center. Augsburg produced large quantities of woven goods, cloth and textiles. Augsburg became the base of two banking families that rose to great prominence, the Fuggers and the Welsers. The Fugger family donated the Fuggerei part of the city devoted to housing for needy citizens in 1516, which remains in use today.
The Reichsdeputationshauptschluss or Final Recess of 1803 saw the annexation of nearly all of the 51 Free Imperial Cities, excepting Augsburg and five others. However, when the Holy Roman Empire was dissolved in 1806, Napoleon encouraged his German allies to annex their smaller neighbours, and Augsburg lost its independence. It was annexed to the Kingdom of Bavaria.