Château de Lutzelbourg

Ottrott, France

The château du Lutzelbourg is a château is located on a rocky promontory overlooking the Zorn valley. The history of the castle began with Pierre, the son of Count Frédéric de Montbéliard, who belonged to a noble lineage associated with the powerful House of Savoy. In December 1091, following the death of his grandmother, Marquise Adélaïde of Suse, Pierre became the rightful heir to the Magraviate of Suse in Italy. However, the title was also claimed by Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor. As a result, Pierre was compelled to settle on his ancestral lands situated between Philippsbourg and the Zorn Valley. While there are limited sources that mention the name 'Lutzelbourg' before the 12th century, it is derived from 'lutzel Burg', meaning 'small castle'. The name 'Lutzelbourg' first appeared in 1126 in the founding notice of the Convent of Saint Jean Saverne by Count Pierre de Lutzelbourg. Pierre adopted this name when he took possession of the site.

Around 1100, Pierre negotiated the exchange of the priory of Saint-Quirin with castel de Lutzelbourg at the abbey of Marmoutier in Alsace. Réginald, the only son of the union of Pierre and Ita, died a few days after Christmas 1142 leaving the county without descendants. It was Pierre's cousin Étienne, the Bishop of Metz, who received sovereignty around 1150 and gave custody of it to the first Lords of Lutzelbourg.

Two families had an important role in the history of the castle between the 13th and 14th centuries: the lords of Fénétrange and the Lutzelsteins shared possession of the estate and successively imposed their laws (toll duty in Lutzelbourg for example). They were ousted around 1450 by the Palatine Counts during the conquest of the castle.

In 1523, Louis the Pacific ordered the destruction of the castle of Lutzelbourg to stop the designs of Franz von Sickingen.

In 1840, the ruins of the castle were saved from demolition by Adolf Germain, a notary in Phalsbourg, when the owners wanted to sell the materials from the ruin to the companies that were building the railway line.

After several successive sales, Eugène Koeberlé, a teacher of medicine in Strasbourg, bought the site. Around 1900, he decided to consolidate the ruins, to undertake excavations and to build the neo-Romanesque room. In 1909, he published in Strasbourg his work, Les Ruines du château de Lutzelbourg, where he reported his discoveries and hypotheses.

Today the large square tower, built in the 12th century has a height of 24 meters and its walls are 2.40 meters thick. It was built by Count Pierre de Lutzelbourg and his son Reginald.



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Ottrott, France
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Founded: 12th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in France
Historical period: Birth of Capetian dynasty (France)

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4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Anthony Erhard (2 months ago)
We are lucky to come across the association which is renovating the castle. A group of enthusiasts who explained to us the history and anecdotes of the castle. A big thank you to them.
Carl Nys (8 months ago)
This is one of two castles on this hilltop. Read my other review and find pictures. Here, volunteers are active There is a herb garden and information about the site. The book (only in French) about the castle costs 20€. All benefit goes to the volunteers.
Aaron 1904 (12 months ago)
The castle is currently being restored. The inner wall must be statically strengthened. The facade is being cleaned and repaired. Furthermore, the garden area was upgraded. A nice member of the renovation team explained a lot to us about the castle. Can be viewed from the inside free of charge. Thank you.
Mahlodi Petunia Montlha (2 years ago)
It was so peaceful to be at this castle. It is inside a forest. There is annoption to drive ? up towards were the castle is situated. Another option that is mind blowing ? is to hike up the cliff towards the castle. There is a secure trail available also on Google map. I followed this strail in the forest. Obviously we traveled in a group. The hike was very peaceful and meditative. Wear comfortable clothes and ankle secured shoes. Take a hat and some sunscreen. Take enough water to drink along. I did the entire hike in a dress, that is how easy it was. A hike stick is also helpful. ?
Toby Martin (4 years ago)
Worth the effort to walk there.
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