Staufen, Germany


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Over President's Day weekend we packed our bags and explored a new-to-us part of Germany - the Black Forest or Schwarzwald. It's pretty much what you think of when you think "Germany": small town fairytale too-cute-to-be-true colorful villages.


The weather was a little grey and overcast, but it stayed dry and the sun peaked out now and again. For February, we'll take it! 
Our two adventurers. 
They also make the best models for photos. 
Staufen is small and off the beaten path, but has a lot of charm. It is surrounded by vineyards and has the ruins of a castle high up on a hill above it.
Flower market! 
The Marktplatz is a cozy square with a fountain and the town hall. 
The town hall was restored in 2007 and during the restoration they installed an "environmentally friendly" heat pump. But, as engineers were drilling deep into the ground behind the town hall to do so, they punctured a layer of anhydrite, a mineral that soaks up ground water and turns into a bigger mineral called gypsum. This has caused the ground underneath town to rise as much as a centimeter a month. If you look closely at the facade of the white town hall above and below, you can see large cracks running up and down it. Basically all the buildings in town are showing the same growing cracks and all are at risk. So sad.
Colorful alleyways.
While exploring we found a super fun toy store! We enjoyed looking at all the interesting toys and games. 
An old linotype machine, a type of printing press, in a nearby store.
Leaving the square we walked down the main drag, Haupstraße. I LOVE wrought iron signage.

Strict building codes are enforced here. Only certain colors can be used and all the shutters on a building must be uniform. 
The fun part is that since this isn't a very touristy town, all the shops along here offer real services, not just souvenir trinkets. The downtown is full of shops like bakers and butchers and pharmacies, etc.
Looking back down the main street.

At the end of the Haupstraße is another square which shows off one of the major economic activities in this region: wine production. There is a gigantic old wine press here along with a still used bottling co-op where local vintners bottle and sell their wine. 
Staufen was also home to the real life Dr. Faust, as made famous in Göthe's (essentially the German Shakespeare) seminal work.
In the early 16th century a popular and successful doctor/scientist/fortune teller/alchemist named Johann George Faust was brought to town to produce gold. He lived and worked in this house at #47 and while experimenting with various chemical processes he was killed in an accidental explosion in 1540. The local townspeople assumed that the devil must have been involved and legends about him began to swirl. Eventually, these stories grabbed the attention of Göthe who wrote a story where Faust makes a pact with a demon named Mephistopheles who eventually kills him. Grim.
A quick peek at the main square:
Cobbled streets.
We ducked into the oldest surviving courtyard in town through this little archway. 
Be still my heart, so colorful and fun.
Fox joined me on this one! #ihavethisthingwithfloors
The charming little river that runs around town. 
We couldn't find a magnet, all of the shops were either closed already or closing at 2pm, so I took a picture of this town map and will make my own magnet!
Our family (minus Chris because we don't use the stroller anymore so we don't have our trusty improvised tripod!) in Staufen, Germany on Saturday February 18th 2017.

Next up: Freiburg, Germany!

5 comments

  1. What a quaint little town! That is sad about the foundations cracking though :(

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  2. Oh loved your tour pictures--we were in Southern Germany in 1989 and we just loved it. Great little towns and friendly people. We hired a car and drove..well, hubster drove, that is ;)))). Hugs, julierose

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  3. p.S. My hubby was stationed in Stuttgart,Germany in the Army in the 60's and says he played with the Army Band all over that area--probably in Staufen...We stayed in Freiberg on our trip very near Staufen... hugs, Julierose

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  4. What another gorgeous part of Europe! I"m so going to miss your travel posts when you guys return to the USA. :)

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  5. Lovely photos in this series (I'm reading backwards from your cuckoo clock purchase). As well as the pretty towns, I'm loving your pretty shoes!

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