Thursday, 15 August 2013


A lovely wine festival that my wife and I attended in Staufen at the beginning of this month has prompted me to write the following brief missive:

Staufen im Breisgau is situated just south of Freiburg. The town's biggest claim to fame is its association with Dr Faustus, the inspiration behind Goethe's Faust. According to legend, it was in Staufen where Dr Faustus is reputed to have made his pact with Mephisto.

Staufen's more recent, and probably more dubious, claim to fame dates back to as recently to 2007, when geothermal drilling caused extensive damage to the fabric of its old town. Some of Staufen's oldest buildings, including the town hall, were affected, showing visible hairline cracks from ground to roof level. According to the latest measurements, the ground in the centre of Staufen is currently rising three to five millimetres each month. Earth movements of that kind can, of course, cause long-term damage. Only at the beginning of this month, the first building in Staufen was demolished as a result of the irreparable damage caused.

Thus, it was poignant that the proceeds for the official wine glass at this year's festival went to the foundation working to stop Staufen from literally crumbling to the ground (see photo).

Staufen darf nicht zerbrechen!

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