Alsace, France: Chateau du Haut-Koenigsbourg

Chateau du Haut-Koenigsbourg

My second day in the Alsace region found me zooming up the foothills of the Vosges to explore Haut-Koenigsbourg castle.

The castle dates to the 12th century and stands over 700 meters above sea level. It once guarded medieval trade routes. It changed hands many times throughout the centuries but,  in the 17th century it was abandoned after being taken by Swedish forces in The 30 Years War (much like several castles I visited in the Czech Republic). Starting in 1899, Kaiser Willhelm I ordered the restoration of the castle with the intention of turning it into a museum. He intended the castle to stand as a symbol of the Alsace being restored to German rule. Alsace was returned to France in post-World War I after the Treaty of Versailles. The castle has become one of the most visited places in all of France.

The rebuilt castle does follow the original medieval plans to some extent but the interior decoration shows strong Art Nouveau influences.

I spent a nice few hours wandering this castle and the area around it. And the view from it can't be beat!


Entry to the main building.

Detail of lock on door.

In the north building.

The Kaiser or Banqueting Room.

Detail of ceiling with imperial eagle.

Detail of frescoes in the Banqueting Room. Created by Leo Schung.

More fresco work.

More fresco work.

Is the Mother of Dragons (GoT's Daenerys) in the house?

The Chapel

Fresco squirrel in the hunting trophy room.

Arms room.

Walkway into Grand Bastion.

A view into the Vosges.