Laufenburg is a castle located in the municipality of Langerwehe in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The castle was first mentioned in historical records in the 13th century and is believed to have been built in the 12th century. It is a typical example of a medieval hill castle, with a rectangular keep and a surrounding wall with four corner towers.
Throughout its history, Laufenburg has been owned by a number of noble families, including the Lords of Heinsberg and the Dukes of Jülich. In the 20th century it was restored after been damaged in the World War II. Today it has an restaurant.
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.