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November 25, 2018

France: Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg

Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg

The Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg is a medieval castle located in the Vosges Mountains overlooking the vineyards of France’s Alsace Region. The château is situated on a rocky spur. The strategically located castle was used by successive powers from the Middle Ages until 1633 when it was besieged and eventually burned and looted by Protestant Swedish forces during Thirty Years’ War. Left in ruins the castle was abandoned for centuries.

After the Franco-Prussian War, the Alsace became part of German territory as a consequence of the Treaty of Frankfurt. German Kaiser Wilhelm II, the new owner, set about rebuilding Haut-Kœnigsbourg from 1900 to 1908. The intent was to return the structure to how it was, as near as possible, on the eve of the Thirty Years’ War.

After the Kaiser’s restoration war again intervened. This time Germany lost. The Alsace and the castle were returned to France in 1919 as a condition of the Treaty of Versailles, the agreement that officially ended World War I.

Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg as viewed from the Alsatian vineyards.

The view to the east from Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg

Today the château is a French “monument historique”. It is a popular destination managed by the Bas-Rhin département. The castle’s careful turn of the 20th Century restoration and the view over the vineyards from its walls have made it one of the most noted tourist attractions in the region. It attracts more than 500,000 visitors a year.


Our visit to Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg occurred in October of 2017.

Ramparts of the castle

In the absence of a drone, there’s always the model to see the overall layout of the castle.

The locals are concerned as Becky exits through the gift shop.


  1. […] and parts of the Lorraine to Germany. After the agreement was signed the Germans set about to improve the annexed territory with the goal in integrating it into greater […]

    Pingback by France: Riquewihr | Another Header — November 28, 2018 @ 5:28 am

  2. Haha! I love the last photo!

    Such a beautiful place! I would love to visit some day!

    Comment by TheAmateurStoryTeller — February 2, 2019 @ 10:48 pm

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