Carl Faust: the founder

The founder of the Marimurtra Botanical Garden, Carl Faust, was born in Hadamar, a small town near Frankfurt am Main, in 1874. His birthplace is still preserved on a street that bears his name. Although from an early age he showed a clear inclination for the natural sciences, his family pushed him towards the commercial activity that would take him to Barcelona, ​​where he would found with a partner the still existing company Faust & Kaufmann, S. A.

The naturalist hobby, never forgotten, led him to find the ideal location for the creation of a botanical garden. He chose Blanes and, on turning 50 in 1924, left his managerial duties at the company and devoted himself fully to consolidating the Marimurtra Botanical Garden.

Faust was a humanist influenced by the thinking of his compatriot Johann W. von Goethe and wanted to do something useful for humanity. In addition, he felt a push towards the Mediterranean lands, towards the classical world, and dreamed of creating an “epicurean republic of young biologists” where sages and students could work in the midst of “an interesting garden, an ideal climate and a Hellenic landscape.” . He began the organization of the Garden and the acclimatization of exotic plants advised by leading European and Catalan botanists: Josias Braun-Blanquet, Eric Sventenius, Pius Font i Quer, Carlos Pau, Josep Cuatrecasas, etc.

From a very early age he was concerned with helping young scientists who would work in the Garden and its laboratory, such as Ramon Margalef, who later became the world’s leading figure in marine ecology. Rare grandfather of the scientific world in Catalonia, his performance as a patron was also manifested in his outstanding participation in the organization of the SIGMA excursion (Station Internationale de Géobotanique Méditerranéenne et Alpine) in 1934, the beginning of phytosociology in Catalonia. No less remarkable is his altruism, which manifested itself especially during the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) and World War II (1939-45).

Faust died on April 24, 1952 in Blanes, in the house of Marimurtra. He is buried in the cemetery of this town, in whose promenade a bronze statue pays homage to him.