Château de Frœnsbourg is a ruined French castle near the German border. The castle was indirectly mentioned in 1235. It is attested in 1269, in an account of the brothers 'of Frundsperg'. Until the 1340s, the castle would have belonged exclusively to the Frönsbourgs, who had the same armorial bearings as the Fleckensteins (of which family they were probably a branch).
A little before the middle of the 14th century, the castle was divided between the lords of Froensbourg (who kept half of it), Loewenstein and Sickingen. It was besieged and ruined, in 1349, because of the banditry of Reinhard von Sickingen, but was certainly restored after 1358, the date when the castle was offered as a stronghold to the Palatine Count. The dwelling tower on the southern rock, known as the small castle, was owned towards the end of the 15th century by Fleckenstein, who had it restored. Its main door is dated 1481.
The big castle occupied the whole of the northern rock. At the higher level, on the side of a likely attack, is a keep with living quarters towards the south. On the middle and lower floors were located the common buildings and dependences made of wood - traces of anchorings remain in the rocks - and troglodytic rooms. The lower courtyard stood in the west and there was a ditch to the north. There are several staircases cut into the rock. The castle was destroyed by the French in 1677 but was probably already abandoned at that time.
The castle stands on an isolated sandstone spur oriented north-south, separated from the mountain by a large ditch. The spur, split in two, comprises a longer and higher northern rock, connected at mid-level by a modern footbridge to the southern rock. At the base of the northern rock, on the north-western side, a low room is cut into the rock and joined by a narrow bay (of unspecified date) to a tiny cylindrical room leading to the middle level. This could correspond to an old well-cistern. Above the door is evidence of the anchoring for a drawbridge. Further south, a western projection with access door is located, a winding staircase cut in the sandstone, traces of buildings with a stable, a well in a corner and vestiges of staircases in the rock. At the middle level, to the east (reached via a modern staircase and a largely original door) are two rooms cut in the rock; to the north is the upper part of the old well-cistern. Towards the south, a square cistern close to the modern footbridge gives access to the small southern rock. This is entirely occupied by the remains of the dwelling tower whose Gothic arch doorway remains, dated 1481.
The remains of the northern keep and the lodgings towards the south, located on the higher terrace of the northern rock, are inaccessible.References:
Glimmingehus is the best preserved medieval stronghold in Scandinavia. It was built 1499-1506, during an era when Scania formed a vital part of Denmark, and contains many defensive arrangements of the era, such as parapets, false doors and dead-end corridors, 'murder-holes' for pouring boiling pitch over the attackers, moats, drawbridges and various other forms of death traps to surprise trespassers and protect the nobles against peasant uprisings. The lower part of the castle's stone walls are 2.4 meters (94 inches) thick and the upper part 1.8 meters (71 inches).
Construction was started in 1499 by the Danish knight Jens Holgersen Ulfstand and stone-cutter-mason and architect Adam van Düren, a North German master who also worked on Lund Cathedral. Construction was completed in 1506.
Ulfstand was a councillor, nobleman and admiral serving under John I of Denmark and many objects have been uncovered during archeological excavations that demonstrate the extravagant lifestyle of the knight's family at Glimmingehus up until Ulfstand's death in 1523. Some of the most expensive objects for sale in Europe during this period, such as Venetian glass, painted glass from the Rhine district and Spanish ceramics have been found here. Evidence of the family's wealth can also be seen inside the stone fortress, where everyday comforts for the knight's family included hot air channels in the walls and bench seats in the window recesses. Although considered comfortable for its period, it has also been argued that Glimmingehus was an expression of "Knighthood nostalgia" and not considered opulent or progressive enough even to the knight's contemporaries and especially not to later generations of the Scanian nobility. Glimmingehus is thought to have served as a residential castle for only a few generations before being transformed into a storage facility for grain.
An order from Charles XI to the administrators of the Swedish dominion of Scania in 1676 to demolish the castle, in order to ensure that it would not fall into the hands of the Danish king during the Scanian War, could not be executed. A first attempt, in which 20 Scanian farmers were ordered to assist, proved unsuccessful. An additional force of 130 men were sent to Glimmingehus to execute the order in a second attempt. However, before they could carry out the order, a Danish-Dutch naval division arrived in Ystad, and the Swedes had to abandon the demolition attempts. Throughout the 18th century the castle was used as deposit for agricultural produce and in 1924 it was donated to the Swedish state. Today it is administered by the Swedish National Heritage Board.
On site there is a museum, medieval kitchen, shop and restaurant and coffee house. During summer time there are several guided tours daily. In local folklore, the castle is described as haunted by multiple ghosts and the tradition of storytelling inspired by the castle is continued in the summer events at the castle called "Strange stories and terrifying tales".