Falkenstein castle was originally built by the Bishop Tuto of Regensburg before 1074. The medieval stone castle was built in the early 13th century. It was expanded and rebuilt several times before the castle was burned down by the Swedes in 1634 (during Thirty Years' War). The decayed Falkenstein castle was restored in the 20th century. Today the castle is a museum, festival venue and 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.