Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Château du Haut-Koenigsbourg

Last but not least on our Alsatian weekend (I always feel weird referring to things as "Alsatian", by the way), we called in to the Château du Haut-Koenigsbourg, as recommended by one of Jules's colleagues. We had both taken a quick look at the website, but it failed to really sell what, for us, was the most spectacular part of the château: the amazing, incredible, superlative view.

The clues were there: we noticed an unusually zig-zaggy road leading to the château when we looked at the route, and it has "haut" right there in the name, but I don't remember seeing any photos of the view online. The road snakes up through woodlands to an elevation of 757 metres, where you are treated with probably the best view I've ever seen from a château, looking across the Alsatian plains to the Black Forest and the Vosges mountains. If you ever get the chance, even if you don't go inside the castle, trust me that you should drive up and look at the view, especially if you're lucky enough to have perfect weather as we did.

The castle itself was old, but fell into ruins and was restored under Kaiser Wilhelm II when Alsace was occupied by the Germans. I'm not a big fan of heavily-restored sites and was mostly interested in getting up to the top of the castle in the hope of more spectacular views. So I maybe rushed us through a little too quick (I was thinking we would go down the same way we came up, but we didn't really). Still, definitely worth the visit.

Kinda gaudy, but impressive

The imperial eagle on the ceiling

Jules (actually genuinely smiling) and the dragon

Me and that view

View from the turrets






Panoramic view from the castle

Back on the ground for some more vineyard shots on the drive home


So, we really had a lovely weekend. I think we used our time wisely between Colmar and the surrounding region. I wouldn't have thought of visiting anywhere outside Colmar, but I'm so glad we did because we got to see the most amazing landscapes and had a really great, chilled-out time. As you may know, the word "lucky" irritates me at times, but this weekend I definitely was feeling like one very lucky girl.

10 comments:

  1. Gorgeous, fantastic views xx

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  2. Looks great! I'd settle even just for those blue skies at the moment ...

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    1. Not much sunshine in Paris at the moment? Fingers crossed for this weekend!

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  3. The view from those turrets... wow!

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  4. What a fantastic view! And now I'm wondering if my friend took me there years ago... we were right in that area. We just visited the grounds of whatever place we went to, not the inside. Hmm...

    -Shannon

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    1. You obviously get a bit more of a view going inside the castle, but not necessarily better than from the outside, so you may not have missed too much.

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  5. I also try to avoid saying the word Alsatian because I associate this word with the Alsatian dog.

    I went to Alsace in 2008, but I regretfully never made it to the castle. Maybe next time...

    I loved Alsace, though. I liked the mix of German and French cultures and food, the landscape was so beautiful and the wine was delicious (but I stay away from their red).

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    1. Exactly! Jules didn't get it, as apparently they're not called Alsatians here?

      I am itching to go back again to Mulhouse now, and maybe a bit more of a slow progress through a few vineyards. The wine is not really for me, but I could just stick to tasting a few crémants :p Even just looking around the landscape, with castles and churches dotted around, there seemed to be much more to see than we got to in just an overnight trip.

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