Two magnificent ruins dominate the Plain of Alsace above the village of Ottrott. Two medieval castles, separated by some ten metres, as if confronting each other: Rathsamhausen and Lutzelbourg.
The construction of the newer castle, known in the middle of the 16th century as Rathsamhausen, was begun by the beginning of the 13th under Otto of Burgundy who had decided to take back control of the region.
'Old Lutzelbourg' was destroyed between 1470 and 1570, probably in 1525 during the War of the Boorish, whereas Rathsamhausen was successively enfeoffed in 1424 to Henri de Hohenstein and then to his son-in-law, Daniel de Mullenheim.
Important Renaissance style renovation works were begun by the Mullenheims between 1520 and 1530. Conrad de Rathsamhausen finally bought back the castle by 1557 from Caspar de Mullenheim. The castle was plundered and ruined during the Thirty Years' War.
Rathsamhausen has a keep that is unique in Alsace and its significant remains give visitors a good understanding of how its inhabitants used to live.References:
First record of Kastelholma (or Kastelholm) castle is from the year 1388 in the contract of Queen Margaret I of Denmark, where a large portion of the inheritance of Bo Jonsson Grip was given to the queen. The heyday of the castle was in the 15th and 16th centuries when it was administrated by Danish and Swedish kings and stewards of the realms. Kastelhoma was expanded and enhanced several times.
In the end of 16th century castle was owned by the previous queen Catherine Jagellon (Stenbock), an enemy of the King of Sweden Eric XIV. King Eric conquered Kastelholma in 1599 and all defending officers were taken to Turku and executed. The castle was damaged under the siege and it took 30 years to renovate it.
In 1634 Åland was joined with the County of Åbo and Björneborg and Kastelholma lost its administrative status.