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Chateau d'Andlau visitor guide

Photo of Chateau d'Andlau

Visit Chateau d'Andlau, France

The Chateau d'Andlau is an important castle to the south of Strasbourg and north of the Chateau du Haut-Koenigsbourg.

History of Chateau Andlau

The castle at Andlau was built in the middle of the 13th century, between 1246 and 1264. It is a sturdy castle on a rocky spine covered in woodlands, and it was this granite that was used for its construction. The location was chosen due to its impressive defensive position over the valleys below.

The presence of two towers (rather than a tower and a donjon) is very unusual in castles in this region. The Chateau d'Andlau is also quite unusual in being built from hard granite: many castles here are built from much softer sandstone.

Many of the window openings were added in the 16th century when the military purpose of the castle had diminished and comfort of the inhabitants was more important.

The decline in the castle's fortunes began when it was defeated in 1678 during the reintegration of Alsace into French territory. Then, in the years before the the French revolution, the castle fell into ruin - a process which was significantly helped along its way in the first decade of the 19th century by a private owner who took to selling off parts of the building for use as building materials elsewhere.

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Renovation and visiting Château d'Andlau

The castle has now been taken over and partially restored: initial restoration works too place in the middle of the 19th century, with further strengthening and maintenance over the last couple of decades. The ongoing maintenance of the castle and the grounds around Chateau Andlau is carried out by a committed team of volunteers who ensure the safety of the site for visitors.

The main body of the castle consists of exterior walls that are largely intact, connecting the round towers that stand at either end. The interior walls and the roof of the castle are no longer present, but during a visit to Chateau Andlau you can see the interior of the castle, now essentially a large open courtyard.

It is, as so often with castles, the location that also helps provide the attraction, and there are lovely views across the surrounding forested valleys of the rivers Kirneck and Andlau from the castle.

In recent years the castle has also become a centre for art shows, sound and light displays and other events.

See the Chateau d'Andlau website for information.

Attractions nearby

The most important castle in this region, and the most visited, is at Chateau du Haut-Koenigsbourg.

Close to the picturesque villages of Mittelbergheim and Barr in the Bas-Rhin department of Alsace, Andlau is also on the Alsace Wine Route, the popular tourist route through the wine villages of the region.

See more castles in France. You can find more travel ideas in the Bas-Rhin guide and the Alsace guide.

See also: 

Map of Chateau d'Andlau and places nearby

 
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The French version of this page is at Chateau d'Andlau (Francais)

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