The residents of Fuggerei pay only 88 cents per year, along with three required daily prayers.
It’s here where 142 residents live in a gated community within the city of Augsburg, where praying three times a day is a requirement and the gates are locked promptly at 10 pm. The cost to live in one of the 67 homes or 147 apartments in the little village? 88 euro cents a year, or about a single U.S. dollar.
That’s right, one dollar. For an entire year of rent.
When the Fuggerei was established by a wealthy banker, Jakob Fugger the Rich, in 1520, he intended for it to become a housing complex open to the needy and poor living nearby in Augsburg, Germany. That tradition continues today, with the only other requirements for living in the complex being a demonstrated faith in the Catholic Church, and a proven residency in Augsburg for at least two years.
Jakob the Rich set up a charitable trust in order to bankroll the Fuggerei, a trust that still finances the village. Although, the Wall Street Journal notes it only sees returns of about 0.5% to 2% each year. Tourists also bring in some money for the village, as visitors are welcome to tour the neighborhood for themselves with the purchase of a €4 euro ticket, as long as they demonstrate respect for the town and its residents.
And although visitors are not allowed to enter any of the 50- to 700-square-foot residences currently occupied, the Fuggerei maintains a model unit so visitors can get a feel for the homes that have provided solace for 495 years.
Take a closer look at the village in the photos below.