On 23 August 1521, Jakob Fugger signed the deed of foundation for his housing development, subsequently called the »Fuggerei«. At this time, foundations were seen as a valuable Christian act. According to general convictions, they were able to shorten the length of the punishments facing sinners in the purgatory. Like most of his contemporaries, Jakob Fugger also saw himself as a tool for God's work. On a plaque from 1519 in the Fuggerei, therefore, Jakob and his brothers state they want “to return their assets, received from almighty and benevolent God” as the motivation for their foundations“.
As well as the Fuggerei, Jakob Fugger also established two other foundations, which are legally secured in the same deed of foundation: the Fugger family’s funeral chapel at St. Anna and the St. Moritz Predicate Foundation. These foundations still exist today.
Valid in perpetuity: The deed of foundation
Since 1521, the deed of foundation has required everyone, who is responsible for the Fuggerei foundation, to fulfil the founding will of Jakob Fugger. As much as possible, the core concepts of the deed must be realised unchanged and in perpetuity. At the same time, the deed gives the freedom for the requirements to be interpreted reasonably and corresponding to the the circumstances of the time. This also shows a certain far-sightedness, for in this way the Fuggerei has been able to “move with the times” and fulfil its task as a foundation in every epoch since 1521.