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The Financial Express

1 dollar rent for a whole year: Fuggerei, world's oldest housing complex


1 dollar rent for a whole year: Fuggerei, world's oldest housing complex

Germany is one of the most picturesque countries in the World. The country also finds its place among the most expensive countries in the world to live in. 

What if you are told you can live in a ‘medieval’ German village by paying only a dollar per year?

As unrealistic as it might sound, this is really the case of Fuggerei, a neighbourhood in the city of Augsburg, Germany, which is situated in the South-Western state of Bavaria. For nearly 500 years, the residents of the town have been paying the same rent.

This all started with the Fugger family who, after accumulating a bit of wealth and property in that region, wanted to give something back to society as well as help the more impoverished group of people. 

They donated their land in the year 1521 in order to establish a social housing complex, the first in the world of that sort. However, one has to be a Catholic and a citizen of Augsburg to live in Fuggerei. 

However, the residents also have to oblige by a curfew at 10 pm and have to pay for the health of the Fugger family three times a day - two conditions which are still in use in the housing complex, although not as rigidly as they used to be in past.

After 500 years, the conditions have not really changed as well as the archaic criteria have remained the same with the residents having to pay € 0.88 which is equivalent to one Rhenish Guilder, the currency of Augsburg in the past.

The complex has now been open for tourists as well. Tourists need to pay only €4.00 in order to visit the housing complex. 

The complex was destroyed twice during the Thirty Years' War as well as World War Two. However, the rebuilding process didn’t change the rental terms which continue to be the same today.

The whole area is regarded as an important heritage site as the complex has an aura that dates back to 500 years. 

It continues its glorious existence disregarding inflation, the ups and downs in German history and all the changes the world has seen in that time.

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