Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg

Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg The Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg is a medieval castle located in the commune of Orschwiller in the Bas-Rhin département of France, in the Vosges mountains just west of Sélestat.

It is situated in a strategic location on a rocky spur overlooking the Upper Rhine Plain; as a result it was used by successive powers from the Middle Ages until the Thirty Years' War when it was abandoned. From 1900 to 1908 it was rebuilt at the behest of the German emperor Wilhelm II. Today it is a major tourist site, attracting more than 500,000 visitors a year.HistoryThe Buntsandstein rock was first mentioned as Stophanberch (Staufenberg) in a 774 deed issued by the Frankish king Charlemagne. Again certified in 854, it was then a possession of the French Basilica of St Denis and the site of a monastery.Middle AgesIt is not known when a first castle was built. However, a Burg Staufen (Castrum Estufin) is documented in 1147, when the monks complained to King Louis VII of France about its unlawful construction by the Hohenstaufen Duke Frederick II of Swabia. Frederick's younger brother Conrad III had been elected King of the Romans in 1138, to be succeeded by Frederick's son Frederick Barbarossa in 1152, and by 1192 the castle was called Kinzburg (Königsburg, "King's Castle").

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