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Château du Frankenbourg

 Château du Frankenbourg

Château du Frankenbourg is a medieval fortress on the outskirts of Neubois in the Bas- Rhin Department of Alsace, France. Despite year of neglect Frankenbourg Castle is still a magnificent example of medieval architects and military engineers.




Location: Neubois, Bas- Rhin Department  Map


Constructed: 12th century




Château du Frankenbourg

First evidence of a military fortifications date back to an unknown Roman Fortress that was erected here by Roman legionnaires. Although we don't know the exact time period and its layout, archeological digs in the area did uncover several clues. Archeologists discovered several artifacts including coins of Constantine the Great (early 4th century), beautiful statues and a battle ax. They chose this strategic hill for its natural defenses. It rises to a height of 703 meters and dominates the local countryside. From here you can see the Ville Valley, Liepvrette Valley, parts of St. Marie-aux- Mines Valley and Chalmont mountain. Any movement of local tribes could be monitored and controlled.


Château du Frankenbourg or Castle Frankenbourg is a German name that can be translated as "Fortress of the Franks". The name was given to a simple fortress that was built here in the 5th century under orders of Clovis of the Merovingian dynasty. Clovis I just conquered these lands and he decided that the best location for his new castle would be abandoned and ruined Roman Castle. Legend claims that it was here in Frankenbourg Castle did Clovis made a promise to his wife Clotilde that if he will defeat Alemannic Germanic tribes in the upcoming Battle of Tolbiac that he will accept Christian God and baptize his people. Oral tradition claims that Clotilde spent several night praying to her Christian God to grant her husband victory.


Clovis did win that battle and many more to come. He became one of the most important rulers in a future France that managed to gather various Frankish, Gaelic, Germanic tribes after the fall of the Ancient Roman Empire. He also kept his promise and became the first Christian ruler of France bringing new religion to his people. According to local legends Clovis favored Château du Frankenbourg and spend many days here hunting and drinking with this friends.


Current citadel of Château du Frankenbourg was constructed on the same location in the 12th century. Fortress kept is traditional name, but its walls were bigger and more sophisticated than previous castle. It was badly damaged during fire in 1582. There was no need for the stationary military citadel like this medieval castle, so Château du Frankenbourg was largely abandoned. Its ruins serves as a quarry for local population for several centuries. Only in the late 19th century archeologists and historians began to explore ruins of the castle along with the surrounding lands. In 1898 Château du Frankenbourg was added to the list of historical monuments by the French Ministry of Culture.