Chronicle

1525

 ...the physician and university professor Heinrich Stromer opens a wine bar in the cellar of his house, as "Wine is an excellent prophylactic against many ailments, if administered correctly". The large quantity of wine, which the municipal records note him as storing, Stromer sells on or serves in his cellar. 1525 can therefore be stated to be the year in which Auerbachs Keller was established.

1528

...Stromer has the 200-year-old building torn down and a new house with an enlarged cellar built, with the Hexenküche, Fasskeller, Lutherzimmer and Goethezimmer rooms surviving to this day.

1531

...the main building, "Auerbachs Hof", is completed in Grimmaische Gasse and sales rapidly increase, with the consequence that by 1534 Heinrich Stromer is responsible for almost one third of the entire wine tax levied in the city. The stone relief on the front of the building that designated the cellar can still be seen today in the Fasskeller.

1589

...the third edition of the tales of Dr. Johann Faust contain s a number of new stories, including the barrel ride from the Leipzig wine cellar.

1625

...Johann Vetzer, great-grandson of Heinrich Stromer, has Andreas Bretschneider paint the barrel ride and the carousing students on two boards in the old style to prove that the famous tale originated in Auerbachs Keller.

1631

...in the course of the Thirty Years War the wine cellar and pictures are severely damaged by Imperial and Swedish troops, with restoration frequently required.

1732

...the cellar is taken over by Johann Jacob Key, who runs the establishment until the year of Bach's death, 1750.

1765

...Johann Wolfgang Goethe starts his studies in Leipzig. During his visits in "Auerbachs Keller" the old paintings of the story inspire him to write the Faust composition.

1780

...the recatholicisation of the Dresden court brings numerous Italians to Saxony, including Franz Venoni, who leases the Keller.

 

 

1799

...the Italian Pietro di Mainoni assumes management, bringing delicacies from his homeland to Leipzig. In addition, he also establishes the tradition for eating oysters.

1833

...Albert Lortzing is a constant guest in the Keller, working on the opera Zar und Zimmermann (Tsar and Carpenter) with his friends.

 

1850

...the Keller is carefully restored by Mr Schultz, reopening on 12 September. The Fasskeller, previously only opened during fair times, is opened for day-to-day business.

1855

...the first reliable chronicle with the title "Faust in Leipzig" appears, the work of Heinrich Schulze. An English version is published to cater for foreign guests.

1885

... at that time Mori Ôgai (1862-1922) was working as a military hygienist in Germany. Together with his friend Inoue Sonken who studied philosophy in Heidelberg, he paid a visit to Auerbachs Keller. Later he wrote in his diary that they both had been considering whether it were possible to translate "Faust" into Japanese. And, indeed, in 1913 his translation of the "Faust" drama was published in Japan. Until today it is valid as authorized translation and has given a decisive impetus to the interest of Japanese people in German culture.

1902

...Gustav Wustmann, Director of the Municipal Library, publishes the biography of Heinrich Stromer of Auerbach with the title "Der Wirt von Auerbach" (The Auerbach landlord).

1911

...Anton Mädler purchases Auerbachs Hof, including the Keller, for demolition. An elegantly functional trade fair building is erected. Following worldwide protests against the demolition of Auerbachs Keller, Mädler decides not only to retain the Keller, but also to enlarge it.

1913

...on 22 February the enlarged Keller is officially opened. New additions are the Großer Keller and Alt-Leipzig wine salon. On 24 September the bronze figures by Mathieu Molitor are put into place on the stairway in the Mädler-Passage. They show the bewitched students on the one side and Faust and Mephistopheles on the other. Tenant is the wine merchant Weinhandlung Kühne, with Otto Berg as landlord.

 

1927

...until 1948 the Dortmunder Unionsbrauerei is tenant. The citizens of Leipzig and their visitors are able to admire the first neon advertisement at the entrance to the Mädler-Passage, with the legend "Auerbachs Keller".

1930

...to mark the 400-year anniversary a festschrift is written by Paul Daehne, detailing the history of Auerbachs Keller.

1945

...the Keller is used after the war to feed refugees and bombed-out citizens.

1949

...the state trading organisation (HO) takes over management of the Keller.

1964

...Auerbachs Keller is completely modernised for the forthcoming 800-year anniversary of Leipzig. To brighten it up the pictures are painted over with white paint and the ceiling paintings removed. Capacity is also reduced from 700 to 450.

1989

...the Mephisto Bar opens in the Mädler-Passage on 11 March.

1990

...following the dissolution of the HO a landlord from Hanover attempts to become a millionaire in the shortest of times, an attempt that goes spectacularly wrong.

1995

...on 28 September, Black Thursday, Auerbachs Keller is forced to declare bankruptcy and close. The New York Times commented thus: The restaurant survived almost 500 years of wars, plague and dictatorship, but the arrival of capitalism in eastern Germany was simply too much for it. The well-known construction magnate as Schneider liked to harmlessly refer to himself, used his transactions involving the Mädler-Passage and Auerbachs Keller to cheat the banks out of 160 million marks.

 

1996

...the experienced landlord Ulrich Reinhardt reopened the doors of the Keller on 12 April as a down-to-earth, family operation. He originates from a Thuringian farming family, learning how to handle meat and sausage correctly in the course of home-slaughtering. His path to becoming a master chef included periods spent at the Schlosshotel Reinhardsbrunn in Friedrichsroda, Leipzig's five-star Merkur hotel and the Culinary Institute of New York.

2000

...a three-day festival on the Marktplatz in Leipzig commemorates the 475th anniversary of wine being served in Auerbachs Keller. In spectacular fashion the "second barrel ride" results in a new, artistically-worked barrel finding its way back to the Keller. A picture is painted for the Großer Keller for contemporary documentation and the bronze sculptures "Faust with Gretchen" and "Mephisto with Frau Marthe" positioned in the reception area.

2006

...the lease of Ulrich Reinhardt runs out and is not extended. As of 15 April Bernhard and Christine Rothenberger of Münster are the new tenants, running the wine cellar under the name of Auerbachs Keller Rothenberger Betriebs GmbH.