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Auerbach’s Keller, Leipzig, Germany

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Auerbachs Keller in Leipzig, Germany [photo: Elinore, CC BY-SA 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/, via Wikimedia Commons]
Auerbachs Keller in Leipzig, Germany [photo: Elinore, CC BY-SA 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/, via Wikimedia Commons]

Auerbachs Keller

Location: Mädler Passage, Grimmaische Straße 2-4, 04109 Leipzig. It located right next to the Old City Hall.

Leipzig’s most famous restaurant has been welcoming visitors since 1530. Featured in Goethe’s most famous work Faust, diners can enjoy a unique atmosphere. In addition to the menu’s culinary delights, guests are fascinated by the sense of history which comes to life in the basement restaurant. On entering the Mädler Passage arcade, guests are greeted by bronze statues of Mephisto and Faust created by painter and sculptor Mathieu Molitor. By the way, touching Faust’s statue is supposed to bring you luck. The diners are reminded of scenes from Goethe’s drama by murals and a sculptor entitled Walpurgis Night (the witches’ sabbath) hanging from the ceiling.

For centuries, tales have been spun about master of the black arts Heinrich Faust’s legendary ride on a barrel in Auerbachs Keller, as painted on a wooden panel by Leipzig artist Andreas Brettschneider in 1625. This scene was immortalised when Goethe used it in his book. Tourists from Germany and abroad flock to Auerbachs Keller every night to hear the stories told by the maître de chai.

Naturally, Goethe was only able to internalise the spirit of this place after intensive first-hand research. It is thus no surprise to learn that his contemporaries often reported seeing a thirsty Goethe here during his student days. By the way, at that time Auerbachs Keller had an underground tunnel leading to the University of Leipzig, enabling many a professor to discreetly retire after a night on the tiles.

In the early 1990s, much of the money spent on refurbishing the Mädler Passage was used on Auerbachs Keller, including to restore the historical murals.

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