It’s hard to talk about the lovely town of Staufen im Breisgau without bringing up the town of Knittlingen. Why?
Because of Faust, that’s why.
Don’t ask why I say these things like this — just enjoy the story, OK? ;-)
Anyway, Faust was an alchemist who was born in Knittlingen in the 15th century. In his quest to produce gold, he was said to have made a deal with the Devil himself right here at an inn in Staufen im Breisgau.
Hmm, Faust blew himself up in 1540 — making superstitious, church-goin’ folk believe the tale.
But, long before Faust came along Staufen im Breisgau was just your average Stone and Bronze Age town, where men went off to hunt and women did the gathering. And then the Romans came doing whatever it was they did. ;-)
When the Middle Ages finally came along, residents did what they did. That’s to say, they built a castle.
Sorry, Burg Staufen isn’t a fully functioning castle — it’s been in ruins since the Swedes sacked it in 1633. But, I find this mid-13th century castle ruin incredibly romantic — and the view of the Black Forest, the Margraves’ Land and the Breisgau from its hilltop is stunning (and its free to visit, too).
Wait! Don’t leave to hike or cycle around the Schwarzwald just yet. You’ll want to stop in at the City Museum (that tells the tale of Faust) and the Ceramics Museum.
After a day of museum going and all that nature hiking and biking, go relax at the Alemannenbad, Staufen’s outdoor swimming pool — monuments included!
But, I wouldn’t recommend spending the day there during Staufen’s Annafest (last Sunday in July) or the Folk Festival the very next day. Nor, would I want to be anywhere else but at the Markgräfler Weinfest, a Wine Festival held the first weekend of August; or, at the outdoor Medieval Festival in September.
If you think Staufen’s festivals and cultural events end there, you’d be wrong. Kulturwoche (Culture Week) is every October with concert events and lectures, to name a few; and not to be confused with the Musikwoche (Music Week) — that’s a summer event (July/August).
It would be wrong of me to leave out the annual Christmas Market in the Altstadt (Old Town), that takes place in December.
Just do yourself a favor… don’t make any deals with the Devil while you’re here, OK? ;-)