As soon as Bodo Ebhardt was appointed to manage
the project, many people voiced their doubts.
Otto Piper, the author of the Burgenkunde (the
first general scientific survey of German castles) and editor of
the newspaper 'Le courrier du Bas-Rhin', did not hold back.
Wilhelm II had consulted him first, but his plan
to safeguard the ruin had not convinced the Kaiser. Arguing that a
restoration might damage the historical value of the site, the man
rejected for the role of managing the project criticized the work
of B. Ebhardt, who he accused of opportunism, time and time
The controversial keep
The controversy was especially heated with regard to the shape
of the keep. Whilst Bodo Ebhardt correctly rebuilt it in the shape
of a square, the opponents of the restoration claimed the keep
would have originally been round. These critics, who included
famous scientists, went as far as to counterfeit evidence that
would prove that they were right!
These attacks were obviously aimed at Haut-Koenigsbourg because
the Kaiser had made it into a political
The Kaiser did not escape criticism. After the castle was
unveiled to the public, a section of the regional and international
media and well-known pro-French activists like the artist
Hansi enthusiastically attacked him. They made fun
of the parade and historical pageant that took place before the
unveiling of the castle. The ceremony was meant to be an impressive
event but took place in heavy rain! The Kaiserwetter (the good
weather that was supposedly associated with the Kaiser) was nowhere
to be seen!