Schœneck Castle

Schœneck Castle, locally known as Château du Schœneck, lies in the woods north-east of the village of Dambach, in the Bas-Rhin department in France. This area is also known as the Northern Alsace or the Northern Vosges.

Exactly when Schœneck Castle was built is unknown. It could have been founded in the mid-12th century as a wooden fortification. The castle was first mentioned in 1287 as a property of the Bishop of Strasbourg, Conrad III of Lichtenberg. The oldest parts of the castle date back to the mid-13th century, making it one of the oldest castles in the Northern Vosges. It served to control a road leading south to the town of Haguenau.

The castle was property of the Lichtenberg family until 1480. Then it went, through inheritance, to the Counts of Zweibrücken-Bitsch. In 1488 it was taken by Philip the Upright, Elector Palatine of the Rhine. In the first half of the 16th century the castle was held as a fief by the Lords of Dürckheim. When they recieved the castle it was in a dilapidated state. They restored it and made it a powerful fortress adapted to the use of firearms.

In 1570 Schœneck Castle was inherited by the Counts of Hanau-Lichtenberg. It was used as a place of refuge for inhabitants of the surrounding villages during the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648), after that the castle lost its importance and was garrisoned by only 4 men. In 1663 it was heavily damaged during a forest fire.

During the Franco-Dutch War, in the late 17th century, Schœneck Castle again became strategically important and it was garrisoned with soldiers. The strong castle then withstood several sieges by French troops and was again used as a refuge by the neighboring villagers. In 1680 it finally fell after a siege by French troops under cavalry general Joseph de Montclar and general Ezéchiel du Mas, Comte de Mélac, after which they slighted the castle.

During the French Revolution the castle ruins were confiscated and decrlared National Property. It was sold in 1820 to a commoner. At present the castle is still privately owned.

Schœneck Castle was built upon and around 2 narrow sandstone, spurs between 10 and 15 m high. Most of what we can see today, dates back to the 16th century. It is freely accessible. A very nice castle.


Gallery

Schœneck Castle

Schœneck Castle, locally known as Château du Schœneck, lies in the woods north-east of the village of Dambach, in the Bas-Rhin department in France. This area is also known as the Northern Alsace or the Northern Vosges.

Exactly when Schœneck Castle was built is unknown. It could have been founded in the mid-12th century as a wooden fortification. The castle was first mentioned in 1287 as a property of the Bishop of Strasbourg, Conrad III of Lichtenberg. The oldest parts of the castle date back to the mid-13th century, making it one of the oldest castles in the Northern Vosges. It served to control a road leading south to the town of Haguenau.

The castle was property of the Lichtenberg family until 1480. Then it went, through inheritance, to the Counts of Zweibrücken-Bitsch. In 1488 it was taken by Philip the Upright, Elector Palatine of the Rhine. In the first half of the 16th century the castle was held as a fief by the Lords of Dürckheim. When they recieved the castle it was in a dilapidated state. They restored it and made it a powerful fortress adapted to the use of firearms.

In 1570 Schœneck Castle was inherited by the Counts of Hanau-Lichtenberg. It was used as a place of refuge for inhabitants of the surrounding villages during the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648), after that the castle lost its importance and was garrisoned by only 4 men. In 1663 it was heavily damaged during a forest fire.

During the Franco-Dutch War, in the late 17th century, Schœneck Castle again became strategically important and it was garrisoned with soldiers. The strong castle then withstood several sieges by French troops and was again used as a refuge by the neighboring villagers. In 1680 it finally fell after a siege by French troops under cavalry general Joseph de Montclar and general Ezéchiel du Mas, Comte de Mélac, after which they slighted the castle.

During the French Revolution the castle ruins were confiscated and decrlared National Property. It was sold in 1820 to a commoner. At present the castle is still privately owned.

Schœneck Castle was built upon and around 2 narrow sandstone, spurs between 10 and 15 m high. Most of what we can see today, dates back to the 16th century. It is freely accessible. A very nice castle.


Gallery