The Château de Hohenbourg is a ruined castle in the commune of Wingen, in the Bas-Rhin département of France.

History

The Pullers (descendants of the Fleckensteins) appeared in 1236, calling themselves from 1262 the Pullers of Hohenbourg. According to T. Biller, the earliest castle at Hohenbourg probably dates from the end of the 12th century and remains of this can still be seen: part of the enceinte wall, the lower excavated levels of the northern building, a room carved from the rock with an arched door, and the well. The castle was modernised between 1420 and 1440, by Wirich II the elder. Following the death of the last of the Puller von Hohenburg line, the castle passed by inheritance to the Sickingens. At the start of the 16th century, Franz von Sickingen modernised it and built barbicans. Partially destroyed in 1523, the castle was rebuilt in 1542 by Franz Conrad von Sickingen. The door to the turret bears the date 1578. Abandoned during the Thirty Years' War, the castle was destroyed by Montclar in 1680. During work carried out in 1879 and 1880, numerous sculpted architectural elements were discovered from the gothic and Renaissance periods, many bearing dates and coats of arms of the Sickingens. Practically all were later stolen, but many are visible in old photographs.

Description

The castle was built on the highest summit of the northern Vosges Mountains, on a sandstone ledge, it comprises a rocky outcrop, approximately square with two matching walls (south and east), a high enceinte with and inner courtyard and manor house, a northern courtyard, a U-shaped barbican with casemates in the north-west, a second barbican, a lower courtyard and ditch to the south. Access to the castle from the lists, is through two gates (formerly with drawbridges) on the north and south sides of the casemated barbican. The barbican itself contains cannon firing holes and a door to the northern courtyard. Outside, on the south wall, is the Sickingens' shield. In the north courtyard are traces of buildings and stables. The Renaissance doorway to the inner courtyard has a sculpted doorframe - the Sickingen shield, vines, busts of a couple, heads of a man and a fool. Along the length of the rocky ledge are steps; on the platform there is no trace now of masonry, but cut into the rock is what is thought to be a silo.

The inner courtyard is enclosed by a pentagonal enceinte built with dressed stone. On the north side are remains of a medieval residence with traces of vaulting below the present level. At the foot of the rock is a well dug into the rock with masonry vaulting and traces of a mill. To the south is a cave roomwith an arched doorway. In the corner of the enceinte are the remains of a spiral staircase. Against the southern wall of the enceinte, the ruins of the manor house include a staircase tower whose doorway bears the date 1578 and the Sickingen arms and other rooms

The Château de Hohenbourg has been listed since 1898 as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.

Source
  • French Ministry of Culture database, accessed 1 Jan 2010

Coordinates: 49°3′18″N 7°47′1″E / 49.055°N 7.78361°E / 49.055; 7.78361