We left Kandersteg, Switzerland for Colmar, France, a city in the Alsace region, with a medieval old town. The place was amazing and we had a great time at the marche (market) and strolling along their Petite Venice in the town. Rather amazing to be standing next to a building with “1561” engraved on it as the year of construction. After two days of eating croissants, and taking easy strolls through the town squares, we were headed for Strasbourg.
In my research, I discovered that Colmar is listed as being in the “land of castles”, and that Haupt Koenigsberg, a very famous restored castle is on the way (kind of) to Strasbourg. Getting there required taking a train to Selestat, then taking the shuttle bus for a half hour up out of the valley to the castle. I figured out both schedules and that we got a 2 Euro discount at the castle with our shuttle tickets. I was able to convince John that this would be an adventure.
I tried to keep my expectations for the castle at a minimum because I thought this might be a huge effort, with the bus and train, and carrying our backpacks, only to find a rather disappointing exhibition that was an overpriced tourist trap. We were amazed instead. The castle was built in the 1500s, destroyed in the 1700s during battles, and then restored at the turn of the 20th century by Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany. He wanted the castle to signify the western border of his empire, as the Alsace region had come under his rule. The entire building was magnificent- rooms refurbished, a medieval garden, spiral staircases, and armaments displayed. We had planned to stay only an hour and stayed 2. The cost was less than 20 Euros for bus and castle!
The site is well visited, and was slightly crowded- primarily, because it was a Sunday and a children’s book fair (highlighting books on the castle) was taking place- it was all good!
The photo is from one of the open windows in the guard tower. I think I found my new home!