The fortification work accomplished over the 15th
century did not suffice to keep the Swedish artillery at bay during
the Thirty Years War, and the Hohkoenigsbourg defences were
overrun. Besieged, pillaged then finally burnt to the ground in
1633, the castle was left abandoned for two hundred years.
Its ruins were classified as a historical monument in 1862.
Three years later, the castle ruins were purchased by the nearby
town of Sélestat. A restoration project was decided on, starting
with the consolidation of part of the ruins. In 1882, the architect
Winkler drew up an ambitious reconstruction plan which would never
be carried out, as the town did not have the means to fund
The Alsace region was annexed to Germany in 1871, and Sélestat
offered the still majestic ruins of the castle to Kaiser Wilhelm II