For almost 500 years, rent in the historic German town of Fuggerei has remained the same. Residents in a gated community pay just 88 cents per year (or US$1), but there's one requirement: They are all required to pray three times a day.
Located in the city of Augsburg, over 100 people still live in the gated community which was established in 1520 by a wealthy banker and entrepreneur, Jakob Fugger, a.k.a. "Jakob the Rich," as a housing complex for the poor. Not much has changed since then.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the community continues to open its doors to those in need, as long as they demonstrate their faith in the Catholic Church, and have lived in Augsburg for at least two years. Also, the resident must have fallen into poverty, through no fault of their own, and have no debts. Residents must volunteer part-time work in the community. The units are apartments but have the usual modern conveniences. Each unit has a unique doorbell adding to the appeal. The gates to the community lock at 10 p.m. every evening.
Fuggerei maintains one apartment as a museum, so if you're interested in visiting and not living there, it is still a great destination. The town is located north of Munich, just outside of Lechhausen.
To read more about this village, visit Atlas Obscura.
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The Wall Street Journal. In this Picturesque Village, the Rent Hasn't Been Raised Since 1520. December 26, 2008.