The architectural complex of Perlachturm tower and the town hall are considered to be the symbol of Augsburg. Both buildings are located at the market square where a Roman amphitheater existed in antique times. The look-out tower of the then still wooden Augsburg was erected in the 10th century. It was supposed to serve for watching out for fires. Gradually, the town was growing, and the tower “grew” with it. Almost every century Perlachturm was built on, and by 1616 it reached its current height of 70 meters. Then the local architect Elias Holl added a beautiful spire in the form of a lantern to it.
By the way, the origin of the word “perlach” is interesting. Historians presume it literally means “dances with bears” and are inclined to think that in the old times artists with tamed animals used to perform on the square. There are several traditions in Augsburg connected with the Perlachturm tower. One of them is related to St. Michael Day celebrated on September 29. A figure of St. Michael defeating the devil appears in the round-headed windows of the tower. It is considered that when the bell tolls, children have to make a wish, as St. Michael Day is considered a children’s festival. A sports competition also takes place on this day – a race to the top of the tower on a spiral staircase consisting of 261 stairs. In 1985, in honour of the 2000th anniversary of Augsburg, a carillon was mounted on the tower – a musical instrument imitating bell tinkling after Mozart’s melody. It plays four times a day on Perlachturm – at 11, 12, 17 and 18 o’clock. The observation pad is open for visits. In clear weather you can see the Alps from there.