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It became an Imperial Free City on March 9, 1276. Given its strategic location on the trade routes to Italy, it became a major trading centre. It produced large quantities of woven goods, cloth and textiles, and was the base for the Fugger banking empire. The Fuggerei, part of the city devoted to housing for the needy citizens of Augsburg, was founded in 1516 and is still in use today.
In 1530 the Augsburg confession was presented to the Holy Roman Emperor at the Diet of Augsburg. In 1806, when the Holy Roman Empire was dissolved, Augsburg lost its independence and became part of the kingdom of Bavaria.
The patron saint of Augsburg is Saint Afra, who was killed by the Romans at Augsburg in 304. The White Water Canoeing events for the 1972 Summer Olympics were held on the Lech in Augsburg.