- FRANCE AND BLACK FOREST -

STAUFEN PART 1

LINKS to pages in the France and Black Forest site and to the Colin Day Travelling Days series:

     1 : Journey to Kork
     2 : Reims
     3 : Metz
     4 : Kork
     5 : Triberg

     6 : Donaueschingen
     7 : Staufen
     8 : Titisee
     9 : Freiburg
    10 : Journey from Kork

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The town of Staufen is situated in the district of Breisgau-Hochschwarzwald (Breisgau-Upper Black Forest) and has approximately 7700 inhabitants.

Staufen lies on the border between two natural and economic areas: the Rhine plain up to the foothills with its cultivation of grain, winegrapes and vegetables; and the Black Forest, with its cattle and forestries, and, in an earlier time, mining.

We take a walk through different parts of this attractive town............

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Some of the local arts and crafts.........


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The Hauptstrasse (above, right and below) is Staufen's main street and is where most of the town's businesses and markets are located. It is also home to the Rathaus (City Hall), a quaint building that is divided into two parts. One side of the Rathaus was completed in Gothic style while the other side is Renaissance architecture.

On several buildings on the Hauptstrasse, one can see paintings depicting scenes of Goethe's Faust and of life in the Schwarzwald. Many of these buildings have undergone some serious renovations in the past five years.

Since 2008, the centre of the city has reported to have risen some 12 cm after initially sinking a few millimeters. This has caused considerable damage to buildings in the city centre, including the historical town hall (see below).

One hypothesis for the cause of this geological change is a drilling operation conducted in the spring of 2007 to provide geothermal heating to the city hall.

The drilling perforated an anhydrite layer and caused high-pressure groundwater to come into contact with the anhydrite, which then began to expand. Currently no end to the rising process is in sight. By 2010 some sections of town had risen by 30 cm.

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In the year 1602 the family line of the Staufens ends with the last of its Lords.

Somewhat later, during the Thirty Year Wars, Swedish troops occupied Staufen, burning the castle down to the ground in 1632. In the following years marauding and plundering soldiers invade the city, making the inhabitants flee into the neighbouring forests.

In the year 1848 one last major battle is fought in Staufen. On the 24 th of September of that year, government troops corner the freedom fighters unter Gustav Struve to win the battle. This battle marks the end of the German Revolution of 1848/49.



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One of the most famous citizens of Staufen was Johann Georg Faust, the legendary alchemist and magician, who probably lived in the town about 500 years ago. Goethe’s works of world literature made him the epitome of the man in search of ultimate wisdom.

There are not many documents left concerning the life of Faust – all in all only twelve. These documents outline a man that must have fascinated the people of his time.

Not only ordinary people were convinced that he possessed magic powers. Martin Luther and Melanchton, religious and secular leaders and even very influential people were compelled to take a closer look at this seemingly universal teacher. He was frequently consulted as healer, clairvoyant, alchemist and astrologist, even though he wasn’t considered worthy of being part of society.

It may be assumed that Count Anton of Staufen wanted Faust to make gold at a time when the silver mine in the Muenster Valley (one of his major sources of income)started to dry up.

In the year 1539 Faust lost his life in a room at the Lion Inn (pictured) in a quite spectacular way due to a chemical explosion.


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"Staufen is famous for another legend i.e. that of Dr. Faustus or Faust. The legend goes that Dr. Faust was a bored man disappointed with his life.

"Looking for a little spice in his life, Faust makes a deal with Mephistopheles (a.k.a. The Devil) by exchanging his soul for unlimited knowledge, worldly pleasures and the magical powers he needed to acquire them.

"Faust then went on to seduce women and got into other mischief before dying.

"Christopher Marlowe wrote about Faust in 1604 while Johann Wolfgang Goethe gave Faust worldwide fame with his 1808 play by the same name."

With acknowledgement to 'Journal Grussen (Greetings) from the Schwarzwald'

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