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Château de Kintzheim

 

Location: Kintzheim, Bas- Rhin department Map

Constructed: 12th century

 

The 12th century Kintzheim castle is located in Kintzheim, Bas-Rhin, at the place called Schlossberg in France. It has been classified as a historical monument since December 1965.

 

History of Château de Kintzheim

The origins
Kintzheim was known in the sixth century under the name of Regis Villa. The Merovingian kings had made it the center of a vast domain encompassing the Lièpvre valley and the forests of Haut-Koenigsbourg.

In 774, Emperor Charlemagne donated part of its forests at Gunigesheim (former name of Kintzheim) to the Priory of Lièpvre.

In 775, Charlemagne, crowned king of the Lombards, spent the Christmas holidays in the Palatium selestatis probably located in Kintzheim.

In 843, Emperor Lothaire, Charlemagne's grandson, gave Kintzheim to Erchangar, count of Nordgau and father of Richarde, future abbess of Andlau.

The ruins of the castle dominate the village of Kintzheim.

From the 12th to the 16th century
Construction of the castle began around 1250 by order of Emperor Frederick II of Hohenstaufen. The keep and the protective rampart which forms part of it were completed at the end of the 13th century. The main buildings were built in the 14th and 15th centuries.

In 1341, Emperor Louis IV, known as "the Bavarian", gave the village of "Kinsen" to the city of Sélestat.

In 1492, on the orders of Emperor Frederick III, the landvogt of Alsace, Gaspard de Morimont, sold the castle to the city of Sélestat.

17th and 18th centuries
In 1633, the castle was partly destroyed by the Swedes during the 30 Years War. In 1649, the city of Sélestat sold the castle for 3,000 guilders to JG de Gollen, former burgomaster of the city who had become minister plenipotentiary of Emperor Ferdinand III of Habsburg at the Congress of Westphalia in 1648 (end of the Thirty Years' War) .

Between 1650 and 1670, J. G. de Gollen restored the main building and the chapel, but did not establish his residence in the castle. Between 1760 and 1780, the last inhabitant of the castle was a hermit who maintained the chapel dedicated to the cult of Saint Jacques.

18th and 19th centuries
Maintained during the eighteenth century by JG de Gollen, then by the Marquis de Broc, his heir, the castle was abandoned after the Revolution of 1789. The roofs disappeared around 1830. In 1801, the Marquis de Broc put the castle for sale. The city of Sélestat is trying to regain possession. In 1807, a decree of Napoleon I granted ownership of the castle to Mathieu de Faviers, but he had to compensate the town of Sélestat by paying him 2,000 silver marks.

 

Nineteenth and twentieth centuries
In 1802, the future baron Gaetan Mathieu de Faviers bought the castle below which he built a manor in the Directoire style. The two buildings are connected by an English garden.

In 1876 the general consolidation of the ruins of Kintzheim castle was undertaken.

In 1945 during the Alsace campaign, the castle was used as an observatory and the keep was hit by shells.

In 1965, the ruins of the castle were classified as a “historical monument”.

In 1968 the eagle flight was established in this unique site, and became a major center of attraction in Alsace, with nearly 150,000 visitors per year.

21st century
Since 1968, the eagle flight has been installed there, which breeds and presents endangered birds of prey to the public. Eagles, hawks, vultures and other superb specimens evolve in this privileged setting and take part in the flight demonstrations organized daily.

Park of the ruins of Kintzheim castle
The English garden created from 1803 to 1807 is classified as a “Remarkable Garden”.

More than 120 remarkable trees have been inventoried. This park is not accessible directly from the castle ruin.