The oldest part of the Kommern Castle is the residential tower on the slope of the valley. It probably dates back to the 13th century. From the 13th century Kommern Castle was the property of the Arenberg family, who were elevated to dukes in the 17th century. The castle was never used as country seat, but was merely an administration building, as the Arenbergs' wealth was founded on mining. During the 18th century the castle's owner changed after the French invaded. They leased it to the Abels family, who acquired it in 1807. Since 1927 the castle has been privately owned, extensively restored and leased to an extended family.
The interlocking complex of buildings is concealed behind a lavish symmetrical wooden facade and the entire estate is surrounded by a magnificent park with rare trees.References:
The Château du Haut-Koenigsbourg is situated in a strategic area on a rocky spur overlooking the Upper Rhine Plain, it was used by successive powers from the Middle Ages until the Thirty Years' War when it was abandoned. From 1900 to 1908 it was rebuilt at the behest of the German kaiser Wilhelm II. Today it is a major tourist site, attracting more than 500,000 visitors a year.
The first records of a castle built by the Hohenstaufens date back to 1147. The fortress changed its name to Koenigsburg (royal castle) around 1157. The castle was handed over to the Tiersteins by the Habsburgs following its destruction in 1462. They rebuilt and enlarged it, installing a defensive system designed to withstand artillery fire.
The fortification work accomplished over the 15th century did not suffice to keep the Swedish artillery at bay during the Thirty Years War, and the defences were overrun.