Château de Haut-Barr

Château de Hohbarr


Location: Saverne, Bas-Rhin département   Map

Constructed: 1170


History of Château de Hohbarr

Château de Hohbarr is a medieval castle located in Saverne in the department of Bas-Rhin in France. The castle of Hohbarr was constructed in 1170. The place for its construction was chosen perfectly. Situated in the sandstone rock 460 meters high it offers a great strategic location over the valley of Zorn in the plain of Alsace. During good weather it is said that you can see a Strasbourg Cathedral from the top of the castle tower. It gave the castle its second name of "the eye of Alsace". Château de Hohbarr was commonly used by the bishops of Strasbourg who also increased its military fortifications' strength and size. One of the largest reconstructions of the castle came in 1538 upon orders of Bishop Johann von Blanck- Manderscheidt. The Castle also added a church of Saint Nicholas. In 1648 upon the end of the bloody Thirty Years' War the Peace of Westphalia mandated several castles to be destroyed. Château de Hohbarr was among these fortresses destined for destruction. However the order was largely ignored and in the break out of another great European conflict known as the War of the Spanish Succession in 1701 it was back in use. By the end of the 18th century it completely lost its strategic importance and was abandoned by the army. Local peasant inhabited this location for few more decades. Hohbarr Castle was listed as monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture since 1874 making it one of the oldest such structures.



Hohbarr castle is built on an imposing sandstone bar made up of three rocks; it has the characteristics of a castle bar.

Its position allows control over the Northern Vosges.



Built in 1170, it was transformed and restored in the 14th century. The first part of the castle was built at the beginning of the 12th century, in sandstone, at an altitude of 458 meters.

It was erected to watch over the Zorn valley and the Alsace plain by the bishops of Strasbourg. This is how it is nicknamed "the eye of Alsace" by the people of Strasbourg.

The Prince-Elector of Westphalia orders the destruction of several castles of which he is part, but during the War of the Spanish Succession, the soldiers decide to return to the fortress.

Haut-Barr castle was abandoned around 1770, but it continued to be occupied until the French Revolution.