March 12: Koenigsbourg

Chateau du Haut-Koenigsbourg

The main entrance into the castle

On the other side of the entrance

Awesome Castle!   Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg, Bas-Rin, France. Situated on a small mountain, it has an impressive view of the surrounding valley below. The first entrance into the castle takes you into a huge court-yard which contains the old mill and various other industries necessary to running a small city. The detailed stonework is amazing and appealing.

Koenigsbourg has served as both a fortified residence for noblemen and as a strategic defense location. Koenigsbourg is now a French national monument and historic site that is open for public tours. It houses collections of 15th and 17th century weapons and furniture.

Castle ramparts and defenses

The view from the top

One of the small draw-bridges

Dress warm or risk being chilled to the bone on a cool windy day

Strategic location!   Portions of Koenigsbourg date from the 12th century. Dominating the Alsacian plain below, Koenigsbourg was home to the Hohenstaufen family in the the 12th century and the Hapsburgs in the 15th century. The castle was rebuilt after 1479 to provide defences suitable for artillery. Demolished during the Thirty Years War, it was reconstructed at the beginning of the 20th century by Willem II of Hohenzollern.

Dress warm!   I'll say this "castles are cold and drafty." Les and I visited Kœnigsbourg on a overcast, rainy day and the cold wind blew through the halls and rooms with no restriction. We noticed that the lords and ladies rooms contained large ceramic stoves. But we never figured out how the servants kept warm. Maybe that's where the phrase "the huddled masses" came from?