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Château de Ramstein (Baerenthal)

Château de Ramstein (Baerenthal)

Château de Ramstein is a ruined medieval castle in Lorraine province of France. It was used to control strategic hill overlooking Zinselbach Valley below. Parts of the castle is cut in the rock cliff. Parts of the castle that stood above ground is largely destroyed. Nevertheless Château de Ramstein offers a great view of the hills around the citadel. To get to the upper platform you would need to climb several staircases and make your way through rooms and halls cut into natural rock.




Location: 46 Rue du Ramstein, Baerenthal, Moselle department, Lorraine   Map




History of Château de Ramstein

Château de Ramstein was constructed in the late 13th century (1292- 93) by the lords of Falkenstein by the orders of the bishop of Strasbourg. It stood on the border between the bishopric of Metz and Strasbourg and protected borders of Strasbourg.



During the 14th century owners of Ramstein Castle became looters knights. Wernher Nettew Ramstein who came into possession of the citadel in 1317 became particularly famous with his brutal and aggressive actions. He turned his citadel into a base for bandits and thieves that spread fear and havoc among the locals. Lord of Lichtenberg summoned Lord of Ramstein to answer for his misdeeds, but he didn't show up. Troops of the bishop of Strasbourg and their allies from Berne launched a surprise punitive attack against these bandits. They besieged and captured Château de Ramstein in 1355. Castle was abandoned and left in disrepair. In the 15th century castle ruins were divided between Count Louis V of Lichtenberg and Lords of Bootsheim.



Between World Wars French government extended Maginot Line defenses to the region of the fortress. French military engineers dug two underground passages underneath its ruins in 1936. Château de Ramstein itself was acclaimed as a protected site in 1938 by the French Ministry of Culture. Local population used these tunnels during military hostilities in the early 40's and again in winter 1944- 45. Today these historic structures are closed as a means of protection of local colonies of bats. Ramstein Castle itself is owned by a commune of Baerenthal (since March 4, 2008) that signed a lease for a term of 18 years.