Tuesday 6 November 2012

Augsburg Siebentisch Running Route

Click here for route map
Length 8.6 km (5.3 miles), terrain flat except for small hill at beginning/end

For more routes, see the Route List.

Here's a route if you're in central Augsburg but you want to get out into some nature. This will follow the Lech-ditch south into the Siebentisch woods stretching south of town, along the Lech River.
Augsburg's Fuggerei, world's oldest public housing project
The woods goes on pretty much forever, and I wouldn't be surprised if you could keep on running up the Lech valley, over the Alps and on into Italy with this route. We'll keep it a bit shorter here, though. I was in Augsburg in November, with it getting dark soon after work, so I could only make it out partly into the woods each evening before everything got too black.

NOTE: if you have more daylight, you should definitely head further into the woods:  you could add an extra circle around the north part of the woods (called Spickel), or run east towards the main Lech River and then along the river itself or cross the dam to another lake on the other side, the Kuhsee (Cow Lake).

The route starts at the Rathausplatz, the town hall square, with the gigantic renaissance town hall (and the white Perlachturm watchtower to its left) dominating the scene. Looking at the size of the town hall, you can imagine how rich Augsburg was in the middle ages, when the Fugger family and the textile industry made the place wealthy. The old town is much bigger than most towns of the time.
Augsburger Rathausplatz
Facing the town hall, run down Barfüsserstraße (Barefooter-Street, named after the Franciscan monks), to the left of the Perlachturm. Hey, if you're a barefoot runner, this is your place! Follow it downhill until it levels off at Mittlerer Lech street, where you turn right.

You are now running south down a little lane with a roaring stream rushing down the side. Sometimes, the stream runs below the street, sometimes it's open to the air. Actually, it's more of a ditch than a stream. The medieval Augsburgers dug several parallel ditches from the Lech River through here to power water mills. Just behind the houses on the left side is another similar street with a ditch.
Running along the Lech ditch
Back in those days, water power was the number one energy source for industry, and it powered the textile mills for hundreds of years.

You'll pass the old Dominican monastery on the left side, then the street will end at Bei Sankt Ursula street. Turn left here, then right immediately on the first street to continue running south on Beim Schnarrbrunnen.

In a couple of hundred meters, this street also ends, at Margaretenstraße. So here, turn left to run to Remboldstraße, the busy street running parallel to the way you're heading.
Turn down this path to enter the park!
Turn right on Beim Schnarrbrunnen and then take the first turn down into the park running parallel to the street. It's quieter there. Now follow the path as it curves to the right, going around a big bastion that once guarded the southern end of town.
Follow this tunnel to Baumgartnerstraße
At the southernmost part of the park, take the tunnel under the street to keep running south along Baumgartnerstraße. It will go past a tram depot on the left and a few blocks of apartment buildings of various ages.

You will come to a loud street, Inverness Allee. But you can avoid crossing it by curving to the right through the modern little park, with the pedestrian path that takes you over the busy street.
Just past the railroad tracks: the woods begin here. Keep to right side.
On the other side, you'll find a tunnel going under the train line. Go through there, and you'll find yourself facing the woods.

Now, just keep to the right edge while running southwards. You will be following the same fast-flowing ditch. Off to the left side, you're passing the zoo. Along the right is a series of beer-gardens and lawns.
Turn off to right when you pass this sign to the Parkhäusl restaurant
Once you get past the last beer garden and lawn, you'll come to the Parkhäusl restaurant sign that you see above, where you take the paved bicycle path, Siebentischstraße, diagonally to the right. The path goes straight for about 400 meters, but after just 300 meters, you'll see a little lake to your right, Stempflesee.

The lake is only as big as a couple of football fields. At the south end of the lake, we've reached the halfway mark.
Stempflesee ducks in the evening
Loop around the lake clockwise and exit along the north end, where the stream empties the lake. Run north along the path next to the stream.

It comes back to the place where you turned onto the bicycle path a few minutes earlier. Now, just head back out the same way that you came.

But when you get back to the park around the bastion at Rote-Torwall-Straße, let's take a different way north through the old town. So turn left here and run around the bastion with its Roter Tor, the red tower, running clockwise around the bastion.

Turn right at the first side-street to run around the backside of the tower, past Murdocks Irish Pub, and you will find yourself facing the gate-tower from the other side. There are also two 500-year-old water towers next to it.

Now turn left to start running up Spittalstraße, going by the old medieval hospital. This place houses an institution that all Germans will immediately recognize: the celebrated kids' puppet theater, the Augsburger Puppenkiste.
Augsburger Puppenkiste is at home here!
Run north as the street changes its name to Bäckergasse. Then turn left where the street ends at the trees, and follow that street as it curves northwards.

Take the first left turn to run the one block to Augsburg's main street, Maximilianstraße. You will be right at the Neptune fountain. The street is amazingly wide here, with impressive old houses along each side.

Now just turn right and follow it the few blocks back to the town hall square.

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