Auerbachs Keller

Auerbach's Cellar


Useful Information

photography
Entrance to Auerbachs Keller, Germany. Public Domain.
Location: Grimmaischen Straße 2-4, Leipzig
(51.339718291122196, 12.375502826983496)
Open: All year daily 11:30-24.
[2020]
Fee: free.
[2020]
Classification: SubterraneaCellar
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension:  
Guided tours: n/a
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: yes
Bibliography: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1808): Faust I Project Gutenberg. gutenberg
Address: Auerbachs Keller Leipzig GmbH, Mädler Passage, Grimmaische Strasse 2-4, D-04109 Leipzig, Tel: +49-341-21610-0, Fax: +49-341-21610-11. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

1525 Doctor and university professor Heinrich Stromer von Auerbach (1482-1542) established a bar for students in the wine cellar of his house.
1528-31 New construction of the Auerbachs Hof with a three-storey cellar.
1534 Turnover has increased so much that Heinrich Stromer pays almost one third of the city's total wine tax.
1589 In the folk book Historia by Dr. Johan Fausten, the story of Faust's barrel ride out of a Leipzig wine cellar is told for the first time.
1625 Johann Vetzer, the great-grandson of Heinrich Stromer, has the story of the barrel ride recorded in a picture.
1912-14 Groß Keller built together with the Mädler Passage.
1945 Taken over by the Soviet travel agency Intourist.
1949 taken over by the State Trade Organisation (HO) of the GDR.
1990 Taken over by landlord from Hanover, West Germany.
1994 purchased by real estate agent Schneider.
1995 Schneider bankruptcy.
1996 Host Ulrich Reinhardt regains lost reputation.

Description

photography
Auerbachs Keller, Germany. Public Domain.
photography
Auerbachs Keller, Germany. Public Domain.

Auerbachs Keller (Auerbach's Cellar) is a wine bar and restaurant in Leipzig. It is said to be the second oldest restaurant in Leipzig and the fifth most famous restaurant of the world. This fame is not a result of its age, it is actually the fact that it was one of the most popular wine bars during the time when Leipzig was the center of German intelligence. The famous guests include Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller. Goethe studied in Leipzig between 1765 and 1768, and often visited Auerbachs Keller. Here he saw two pictures, showing the legend of Dr. Faust, which was a popular play performed using puppets since his childhood. He was inspired to his Faust I and dedicated one scene, Auerbachs Keller in Leipzig, to this location.

In 1525, the doctor and university professor Heinrich Stromer von Auerbach (1482-1542) set up a wine bar for students in the wine cellar of his house. He justified this scientifically by saying that "wine is an excellent prophylactic against many ailments if it is used correctly". Hence the name Auerbach's cellar. The wine bar was successful and in 1528 he had the house demolished and built a modern residential and exhibition building. The new building had a three-storey cellar witcg are today known as witch's kitchen, barrel cellar, Luther's parlour and the Goethe cellar. These cellars have been preserved to this day. After its completion, the wine cellar became a huge success and as early as 1534 Heinrich Stromer paid almost a third of the city's total wine tax.

It is unclear how the story of Faust's barrel ride out of a Leipzig wine cellar came about. It is documented for the first time in 1589 in the third edition of the popular book Historia von Dr. Johan Fausten. It also seems to have been read and so Johann Vetzer, the great-grandson of Heinrich Stromer, had the story painted in 1625. The pictures by Andreas Bretschneider were hung in the pub in a promotional manner. They were then probably also the inspiration for Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Unusually, the cellar was run by an Italian from 1780 and became known as the Italienerkeller. After Franciscus Venoni, Pietro di Mainoni was landlord and established the tradition of eating oysters.

A new era was ushered in with the sale to the suitcase manufacturer Anton Mädler in 1911. He planned to demolish the building, including the cellar, but there were massive protests from the local population. Mädler decided not only to preserve the cellar but also to extend it. From 1912 to 1914, the modern covered shopping street Mädler-Passage was built, and the enlarged cellar is ceremoniously opened as early as 1913. New are the Grand Cellar and the Wines Salon Alt-Leipzig. Bronze sculptures by Mathieu Molitor are placed at the entrance, depicting Faust and Mephistopheles on one side and the enchanted students on the other.

After the Second World War, the cellar is taken over by the Soviet travel agency Intourist. During the fairs, the cellar is open as a fair restaurant only for Western visitors, who have to pay in dollars. In 1949, the management of the cellar is taken over by the GDR's State Trade Organisation (HO). With the end of the GDR, the historic restaurant is leased to a landlord from Hanover, but he is quickly labelled "East level" at "West prices". And then the passage is also bought by estate agent Schneider, who goes bankrupt shortly afterwards. After East and West have done their best to run the pub down, innkeeper Ulrich Reinhardt finally takes over. The experienced innkeeper runs the cellar as a family business and is thus able to restore it to its former glory.

Auerbachs Keller is located in the renovated Mädler Passage on Grimmaische Straße in Leipzig. It serves mainly dishes of classic Saxon cuisine, hearty home cooking at family-friendly prices. Beef roulade, sauerbraten, braised ox cheeks in red wine sauce, Leipziger Schwarzbierfleisch, but also roast wild boar and roast haunch of venison. The usual side dishes are red cabbage, potato dumplings and potato pancakes. A dessert speciality is the Leipziger Quarkkäulchen.