The furnishings of the Castle rooms are from various periods starting in the 1470 period and running into the 19C. We found there porcelain heating stoves of the 17C housed in many of the rooms. The only time we have ever seen such large appliances before was one from the same period standing in the main central area on the first floor near the da...more
There are various interior decorations to see. There are large rooms at the end of each floor. On the second floor is the Banqueting Hall and next to it is a hunting room. The Knights' Hall is the long room on the first floor. Each room contains 15-17C furnishings and 20C simulations of older frescos no longer extant.more
The castle occupies the flat top of a broad plateau where in the mid 15C it was essentially destroyed. In 1479 it was rebuilt. From then on it added artillery structure by the Counts of Theirstein and others until 1633 when the invading Swedes destroyed it again. The castle continued to deteriorate even after it was transferred to Germany in 1871...more
It is difficult to keep track of the many lives of this amazing castle that still dominates the landscape of the Alsatian plain.Its origins date from the 12th Century; occupied by members of the Hapsburg regime during the 15th C. in1479 it was rebuilt in order to match its defences to the warfare of the time.It was again reconstructed in the early...more
Whenever I visit ancient castles, palaces and mansions I wonder - How on earth did people keep warm in those days!Well if you were one of the lucky ones that could stay close to one of the beautiful ceramic tiled stoves, found in so many rooms of the castle - you would have been OK.Notice the beautiful decoration surrounding the stoves on walls and...more
The Haut-Kœnigsbourg is seen from far away in the Alsace plain, then, no wonder that the sight is wide!The first photo is the northeastwards view. It shows Sélestat in the middle and Ebersheim on the left. Only a tiny part of Kintzheim shows out of the mountain on the far left.The second photo is the eastwards view. Sélestat and Ebersheim are on...more
We soon saw among the trees the silhouette of a ruin (first photo).When we were closer (second photo), the ruin looked more imposing though roofless.The third photo shows that the rocks that were standing on top of the spur have been left and used to strengthen the walls.I found later that this castle was named either Petit-Koenigsbourg (small...more
When we left the Haut-Koenigsbourg, we found that besides the path that went down to where we had parked the car, there was another path that we had not noticed and that climbed gently. A sign said that there was another castle at 5 minutes. We had enough time to have a look and went on the upper path.more
The main bastion stands south to the entrance and protects the castle from any attack from the other end of the rocky spur.The first photo shows the main wall.The second photo shows the corner of the main wall, topped by a turret.The third photo shows the full south side of the castle with its two strong towers.more
At first, I felt that this was a perfect example of “oeil-de-boeuf” (bull’s eye) as it actually looks much alike a bull’s eye but soon realized that it could not be named that way : a bull’s eye is a round window. This should be then a machicolation of a special shape. There are several example of the same in Haut-Kœnigsbourg but I had never seen...more
The first photo shows the tower that makes the entrance into the inner castle and the Thierstein home.The second photo shows the mill that allowed to ground wheat and make bread. The wings of the mill can be seen on top.The third photo shows better the mill itself, a small wooden structure on top the roof.more
On the left, a low wooden door is strengthened with imposing iron bars. Two tiny holes secured with strong grids allow to check who was coming. That must have been a servant’s back door but nevertheless, it is not really welcoming and unfriendly visitors, if ever they had reached this point, were very unlikely to be admitted inside.On top, a laying...more
The lower yard (or main yard) is framed with the inn, the forge and the entrance into the inner castle and the Thierstein home. It is topped again with the coat of arm of the Thierstein family. I am unable to say what is the animal: horse, ship or else! We were not granted the right to visit the inner part of the castle as we had our dog with us...more
The first photo shows the entrance into the second wall of the castle. It is framed with a dozen machicolations that protect the entranceThe second photo shows the coats of arm of the Hohenzollern family (family of Wilhelm II) and of the Habsbourg family (family of Charles V), a symbol that shows the continuity between these two families.more
To reach the main entrance, you must walk along the foot of the castle’s wall, standing on the left (first photo). No enemy could reach the entrance unnoticed (unharmed!)! Moreover, the entrance is flanked on its right by a powerful tower that would finish the job of getting rid of any assailant (second photo). Even more, if you look closely t the...more
When getting closer to the castle, it begins to appear between the trees and the sight is impressive as it stands high over the path which in the end, follows closely its walls.There was already a castle on this site in the 12th century. The oldest walls date back from 1147. It became the home of robber knights and destroyed in 1462. In the 15th,...more
The access to the Haut Kœnigsbourg castle is by a wide mountain road departing from Kintzheim. We visited on a Sunday in February while school children were on vacation (Winter vacation). At the beginning of the afternoon, we found that cars were parked on both sides of the road, beginning almost 1 km away from the castle. The road is wide enough...more
The castle was abandoned after the Thirty Years' War because it had been burned and pillaged by Swedish troops after a 52 day siege. For a few hundred years the castle was left unused and became overgrown by the forest. Various romantic poets and artists were inspired by the castle during this time. Bodo Ebhart's aim was to rebuild as it was on the...more
The Castle of Haut-Kœnigsbourg is located in the Vosges mountains just west of Sélestat city. The castle is nestled at a strategic location on a high hill overlooking the Alsatian plain; as a result it was used by successive powers from the Middle Ages until the Thirty Years' War when it was abandoned. In 1900 it was restored under the direction of...more
The journey takes around 20 minutes from Riquewihr. It's a mountain road, with a lot of bends, but very beautiful. If you travel from Strasbourg you must exit from the highway at Sélesnat.
El viaje desde Riquewihr toma unos 20 minutos. Es una carretera de montaña, con muchas curvas, pero es muy bonita. Si viajas desde Estrasburgo debes tomar la salida de Sélesnat.
Domaine Raymond Engel is a vinery.
What to buy: After tasting we bought:
6x 1991 Pinot Blanc at 23 FF per bottle
6x 1992 Tokay Pinot Gris (Coteau du Haut Koenigsbourg) at 29 FF per bottle
2x 1990 Gewurztraminer, Medaille d'Or at 32 FF per bottle
2x Cremant d'Alsace, Medaille d'Or Colmar (sparkling wine) at 38 FF per bottle
2x Gewurtztraminer 1989, Vendange Tardives (late harvest) at 115 FF per bottle
What to pay: Total of 682 FF for 18 bottles of Alsace wine (in 2007 that would amount to € 104).
This carved stone stands by the side of one of the path that lead to the castle. What is it?At first, I felt that might be a tombstone but that was not the place for a tomb and no name was carved.Was it a road sign or better a path sign saying that there was a view on the valley. I don’t think so.Anybody has an idea?more
I think Orschwiller itself is "off the beaten path" because everyone goes directly to visit the castle and they don't consider in visiting the small town, or it happended to us, because e went with the idea of seeing Haut Koenigsbourg. At least we went through the village and took some photographs. It is a place I would have liked to spend a little...more