The moment you step over the threshold of the great door at
Haut-Koenigsbourg Castle, you find yourself in a whole new world:
the Middle Ages. Cross the lower
Courtyard with its inn, forge and mill then climb the spiral
stairways leading to the Lord's furnished apartments. Plunge into
an environment of architecture and furnishings steeped in history.
The omni-present drawbridges, armoury, keep and cannons are a
constant reminder of the purpose of this mountain fortress, which
has been besieged, destroyed and pillaged numerous times since its
This prestigious fortress was abandoned after 1633, and then
given to Kaiser Wilhelm II von Hohenzollern in 1899 by the town of
Sélestat. He commissioned the architect Bodo Ebhardt, a specialist
in medieval fortifications, to restore the castle. Its renovation
satisfied his passion for the Middle Ages, whilst he dreamed of a
return to the old German Empire.
The political ambition of this huge renovation project, undertaken
at the beginning of the 20th century, was to legitimize
the newly forged Hohenzollern imperial dynasty, and create a symbol
for the world of the power held by this new empire. Today, the
restoration is admired more for its educational potential: although
it is not altogether perfect, the result is undeniably authentic.
Much to the delight of fortress enthusiasts, this restoration of
the Haut-Koenigsbourg offers a remarkable insight into
15th century mountain fortresses in the Alsace
Visit the artillery platform, also referred to as the Grand
Bastion: an exceptional monument with a characteristic structure.
Take the time to enjoy the breathtaking panoramic view over the
Alsace plain, the Vosges Mountains, the Black Forest and even, on a
clear day, the Alps…
The Haut-Koenigsbourg castle is one of the symbols of Alsatian
heritage and a witness to the course of European history. Visitors
from all horizons have the ideal environment to become more
familiar with castle architecture, the Middle Ages and the early
20th century restoration through a wide choice of tours,
activities and events.
When you visit the Haut-Koenigsbourg you visit so much more than
just a monument…