Greifenstein Castle

Greifenstein Castle, locally known as Château de Greifenstein, lies on a wooded rocky ridge west of the town of Saverne, in the Bas-Rhin department in France. This area is also known as the Northern Alsace or the Middle Vosges.

Greifenstein Castle is actually a so-called 'castle group' of 2 castles. The oldest castle, also called Grand- or Vorder-Greifenstein, is the one on the westside. It dates back to the first half of the 12th century when it probably was built by the knight Meribodo de Greifenstein. The Lords of Ochsenstein who owned this castle in 1217 were probably related to this Meribodo.

The youngest castle, also called Petit- or Hinter-Greifenstein, was built east of the earlier one probably at the end of the 13th or beginning of the 14th century. The 2 castles are only separated from each other by a rock cut ditch which is defended by a flanking tower.

At the beginning of the 16th century the entire castle-group was owned by the Bishop of Strasbourg. The castle probably was already ruined at the beginning of the Thirty Years' War in 1618 as it served as a quarry for the construction of the episcopal palace in Saverne. Shortly after the war its destruction was ordered by Henri de La Tour d'Auvergne, the Viscount of Turenne.

At present Greifenstein Castle is freely accessible. It will take a ca. 25 min hike over a signposted path from the nearest road to reach it. This is a friendly small ruin, it's nice that you can climb the restored flanking tower, from which you can easily see the castles of Haut-Barr and Grand-Geroldseck on the other side of the Zorn valley.


Gallery

Greifenstein Castle

Greifenstein Castle, locally known as Château de Greifenstein, lies on a wooded rocky ridge west of the town of Saverne, in the Bas-Rhin department in France. This area is also known as the Northern Alsace or the Middle Vosges.

Greifenstein Castle is actually a so-called 'castle group' of 2 castles. The oldest castle, also called Grand- or Vorder-Greifenstein, is the one on the westside. It dates back to the first half of the 12th century when it probably was built by the knight Meribodo de Greifenstein. The Lords of Ochsenstein who owned this castle in 1217 were probably related to this Meribodo.

The youngest castle, also called Petit- or Hinter-Greifenstein, was built east of the earlier one probably at the end of the 13th or beginning of the 14th century. The 2 castles are only separated from each other by a rock cut ditch which is defended by a flanking tower.

At the beginning of the 16th century the entire castle-group was owned by the Bishop of Strasbourg. The castle probably was already ruined at the beginning of the Thirty Years' War in 1618 as it served as a quarry for the construction of the episcopal palace in Saverne. Shortly after the war its destruction was ordered by Henri de La Tour d'Auvergne, the Viscount of Turenne.

At present Greifenstein Castle is freely accessible. It will take a ca. 25 min hike over a signposted path from the nearest road to reach it. This is a friendly small ruin, it's nice that you can climb the restored flanking tower, from which you can easily see the castles of Haut-Barr and Grand-Geroldseck on the other side of the Zorn valley.


Gallery