Staufen im Breisgau is a picturesque little town in the foothills of the Black Forest. It attained immortality thanks to Goethe's 'Faust', in which the town was the place where the ill-fated alchemist and astrologer Faust had lived and practised his trade. Thus Staufen is also known as the 'Fauststadt', i.e. Faust's town.
The ruins of the Roman castle perched atop the Staufenberg is the backdrop of Goethe's 'Faust'.
In spite of its petite size, Staufen has a lot to offer. The longstanding association with Goethe's Faust means that all admirers of Goethe rush to the town throughout the year. Winelovers will no doubt enjoy the beautiful vineyard sceneries in the surrounding hills and venture on a wine-tasting tour in some of the local wine farms and wine cellars. Cake lovers will find themselves spoilt for choice, as Staufen has several highly regarded cafes which produce delicious cream cakes and chocolates, including the world-renown Black Forest cherry cake (Schwarzwaelderkirschtorte), so often inmitated yet never quite the same. The town has one of the most picturesque and best preserved old town centres in Germany, with painted gables, colourful facades, fountains, cobblestone streets, pretty courtyards and small open-air cobblestone streams known as 'Bächlein' in German that flow serenely through the town.
Staufen's pretty town centre and one of the several open-air cafes.
For those who are interested in gourment foods, Staufen also has some decent restaurants offering local specialities (such as Schweinhexe Black Forest style or Wurstsalat) accompanied by a glass of local white wine. Wine shops are easy to come by, for Staufen lies in the centre of southern Germany's wine-making area, the 'Markgräflerland' district.
The display window of one of the many wine shops in Staufen specialising in local vintages.
How to go:
From Freiburg, take the regional train to Bad Krozingen, then change train to Staufen. The trip takes less than 45 minutes, Two or three times a day, there are direct trains from Freiburg main station to Staufen.
For those who want to explore other parts of southern Black Forest, Staufen is a good place to base yourself. You can travel by bus or train to Muenstertal, or head west to Breisach and the French border towns of Neuf-Breisach, Colmar etc. in the province of Alsace.