Hohlandsbourg Castle, locally known as Château du Hohlandsbourg, Haut-Landsbourg or Burg Hohlandsberg, lies south of the village of Wintzenheim in the Haut-Rhin department in France. This area is also known as the Southern Alsace or the Vosges.
Situated on a 644 meters high mountaintop, Hohlandsbourg Castle was built in 1279 by Siegfried de Gundolsheim, provost of the town of Colmar, on the impulse of the Austrian royal Habsbourg family. Already in 1281 the castle was besieged by Otto d'Ochsenstein, the bailiff of the Alsace, who had allied with Colmar's townspeople. This resulted in the castle being set on fire and destroyed. After its rebuilding it was gradually reenforced and enlarged by the Count of Lupfen in the 14th and 15th century, and by the Habsbourg's war chief and counsellor; Lazare de Schwendi, in the 16th century.
In the 1633, during the 30-Years war, the people of Colmar, now that they had liberated themselves from the yoke of the Habsbourgs, were worried about this fort that was still at Austria's disposal and occupied by a Swedish garrison. So they took the castle and removed its cannons. Then, on the orders of Richelieu, a little French army was stationed in the castle. But as they learned that a strong Austrian army was coming to take the castle and again garrison it, they rendered the castle unusable by blowing up the keep and setting the castle on fire. After that the castle remained a ruin.
Hohlandsbourg Castle is a standard garrison castle; barracks and industrial buildings around a large courtyard. The large (100 by 70 meters), rectangular, 13th century enclosure was equipped with watchtowers in the 16th century. The principal access, protected by a 16th century, triangular bastion, was equipped by a door with a drawbridge.
This is a nice one to visit, also because of its magnificent panorama of the surrounding lands. It's one of the few castles which require an entrance fee, but there is a little shop and tavern inside although that's pretty much all there is to see within the castle.