The unique atmosphere of the château du Haut-Koenigsbourg has
been an inspiration for many artists, especially for those in the
glamorous world of film-making.
At the end of the 1930s, Jean Renoir chose this Alsacian
fortress to be a backdrop for his film "La Grande Illusion", now
recognized as being a masterpiece of French, and indeed world
cinema. A witness to France and Germany's sometimes turbulent past
relationship, the château du Haut-Koenigsbourg is a perfect setting
for this film, which promoted a humanist and pacifist message and
was made shortly before the start of the Second World War.
During the summer of 1956, Jacques Becker filmed "Les aventures
d'Arsène Lupin" at the château. Robert Lamoureux played the title
Several decades later, John Howe, the famous illustrator of
Heroic Fantasy publications, fell in love with the château's
mysterious atmosphere on his first visit here during the
1980s. He used it as the inspiration for the design of the
'Citadel of Minas Tirith' after he was appointed to the post of
Conceptual Designer for Peter Jackson's 'The Lord of the Rings'
On a very different note, the fortress also inspired the famous
Japanese film director Hayao Myasaki, a master in the art of
animated film-making. He visited the château du Haut-Koenigsbourg
during a film location-spotting trip to the region and its
influence can be seen in his animated film 'Howl's Moving
The château is also instantly recognizable as the location for
French rock group Dionysos' music video, 'Miss Acacia' (2006).
The very special ambience and setting of the château du
Haut-Koenigsbourg continues to be a source of fascination for
creative artists and a source of inspiration behind many artistic