The Most Beautiful Castles In And Around Strasbourg

Château de Haut-Koeningsbourg
Château de Haut-Koeningsbourg

Alsace has some of the most picturesque scenery in France, with its fairytale villages, charming markets, fascinating architecture and sprawling vineyards, belying the complex struggles of power that thundered through the region. Dotted around the countryside surrounding the majestic capital of Strasbourg, you’ll find impressive fortified castles and stately palaces, silent witnesses to the tumultuous history of this now placid and beautiful land.

1. Palais Rohan

Historical Landmark, Archaeological site, Architectural Landmark

The stately Palais Rohan
©Frédéric Chateaux via Flickr
The palace itself is one of the main landmarks within the city of Strasbourg, protected as a historical monument since 1920. It was build between 1732 and 1741 under the then Prince-Bishop of Strasbourg. The homes and shops located between the cathedral and the banks of the river were razed to build this sprawling palace, designed in the classic style fashionable at the time. Today, Palais Rohan houses three of the museums of the City of Strasbourg: the Archaeological Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Museum of Decorative Arts. A must during any visit to Strasbourg.

2. Château du Haut-Koenigsbourg

Forest

Château du Haut-Koenigsbourg
©Tourisme Alsace
Heading south from Strasbourg towards Colmar you can’t miss this spectacular castle. Commanding the surrounding land from its perch on an 800-metre-high outcrop, this castle offers stunning panoramic views of the Alsace countryside – on a clear day, you can see all the way to the Black Forest and the Alps. Built in the 12th century, the castle changed hands under a succession of notable owners, including the Habsburgs and German Emperor Wilhelm II, who restored the chateau at the turn of the century, after it had been damaged during the destructive Thirty Years’ War.

3. Château de Kintzheim

Historical Landmark, Archaeological site

Kingsheim Chateau
©Ji-Elle / WikiCommmons
Situated not far from Haut-Koenigsbourg, Kintzheim Castle was first mentioned in 1270. The castle’s ruins are beautifully looked after. People can visit the keep, living quarters, cellars and the chapel, and get a fantastic view of the vineyards on the hillside. The castle is home to the Volerie des Aigles (Flight of the Eagles) experience – a demonstration of skilled handling where the world’s largest birds of prey fly completely free just a few centimetres from the audience. The sanctuary offers guests the rare opportunity to observe the amazing wildlife up close, in the hope to raise awareness of how important biodiversity and the conservation of these birds is for the future of our planet.

4. Château des Rohan

Archaeological site, Historical Landmark

Châtea des Rohan
©Spiterman / Flickr
The majestic Château des Rohan, in the heart of Saverne, lies within an easy 30-minute drive west of Strasbourg. With its immense neoclassical façade, the building testifies to the importance of Saverne as the seat of the Bishopric for several centuries. The construction began in 1779, but was interrupted by the French Revolution and the nationalisation of religious property. In the early 19th century, the castle was threatened with demolition but Emperor Napoleon III had it restored to set up a home for the widows of military officers. After the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, the castle was transformed into barracks, and today it houses a museum and cultural centre.

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