The world’s only literature and theme museum on the Faust myth, before, around and after Goethe’s “Faust”.
The Faust Museum Knittlingen presents a comprehensive and unique exhibition of the Faustian myth, from its historical roots in the Renaissance to its artistic manifestations of the present and future.
In 1980, the Faust Museum was opened in Knittlingen‘s old town hall, a half-timbered building from the 19th century, after a cabinet exhibition had previously been on display in the new town hall. The main initiator of the first Faust exhibitions was the long-time headmaster of the Doktor-Johannes-Faust-Schule Knittlingen, Karl Weisert.
The documentation and exhibition of the Faustian myth begins with its historical origins around 1480 in Knittlingen as the birthplace of the historical Johann Georg Faust. It ranges from oral poetry, folk books and puppet shows to the various literary interpretations of the Faust myth from Goethe to Thomas Mann and Mick Jagger.
In addition to literature, a wide variety of media, such as music, theatre and film, continue to take up the Faust theme to this day. Thus, „Faust“ proves to be infinitely changeable in the chronologically structured exhibition: The Faustian dilemma of the alliance with evil is presented in different contexts. The core of this myth, however, remains true to itself in all its interpretations and adaptations.
Charismatic astrologer, healer, scientist and alchemist
The legend that Faust made a pact with the devil only emerged after his death around 1540. The historical Faust probably died as a result of a failed alchemical experiment that triggered a violent explosion: his corpse was found „gar grawlich zerrissen“ (torn to pieces). For the contemporary, the case was clear: „The devil has taken him!“, the consequence of a redeemed pact with God‘s adversary. Thus the historical Faust was stylised as the devil‘s covenantor.
What connects him with the Faust of legend, Goethe‘s Faust and all the other interpretations is above all the desire and curiosity and the inner urge to transcend boundaries. According to research and as documented by the Faust Museum via sources, he can be attested a thoroughly unusual professional portfolio: Astrologer, healer, scientist and alchemist.