The Spring Equinox on march 20th 2004 was a very stormy, rainy and cloudy day in Southwest Germany. As there was no chance to get a splendid picture of the Black Forest mountains, I stayed at home in Staufen and waited for the weather clearing up usually in the afternoon.
Finally I took the pano at sunset from the top of the Staufen castle ruins. That's a scenic place on a steeply rising vineyard about 86 m above the plain of the Rhine Valley, at 376 m above sea level, overviewing the territories of Germany, Switzerland and France bordering on each other. The castle probably was built in the 11th century to protect the silver mines in Münstertal nearby. In 1632 it was destroyed by Swedish troops during the Thirty Years' War.
Staufen is a romantic medieval town (7300 inhabitants) situated at 50 km north from Basel (Switzerland) and 30 km east from France. Well known for its superb wines, the Schladerer distillery and as former residence of a Goethe-Institut.
The most popular inhabitant of Staufen was Johann Georg Faust, a legendary alchemist and magician. It is told that in 1539 the devil came and got him at his room in the "Löwen" lounge - it's here the source of Goethe's famous drama "Dr. Faustus and Mephistophiles".
The pano starts looking south. You see a part of the old town of Staufen on your left, the railway station and the small local lake. In the distance the sun is going down at the border Switzerland to France over the Rhine Valley. Turn right to the flagpole and see the looming mountain range of the Vosges at Alsace (France) at the horizon. The rising ground in front is the "Kaiserstuhl" a world-wide known volcanic-ground vineyard. Going on to the right you face the walls of the castle ruins. In the east you see the branches of the Black Forest mountains and the medieval city of Staufen.
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