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The Great- and the Little-
Geroldseck Castles

As shown on the postcard hereunder, the two Geroldseck Castles are very close to the Haut-Barr Castle. One can walk from one to the other in not more than half an hour. The card shows, from left to right, the Great-Geroldseck from which you can clearly see the ruins of the great donjon, the Haut-Barr in the background upon its rock bar, and last the Little-Geroldseck almost entirely masked by the forests, at the top of the height in the lower right corner. In the background you can see the plain of Alsace and the city of Saverne on the right.

Overall picture with the three castles

The Great- and the Little-Geroldseck belonged to the same noble family, the Geroldseck des Vosges, who were the former attorneys of the abbey of Marmoutier. The origins of the Great-Geroldseck go back in the 11th or 12th century. It was entirely ruined and destroyed in 1486 and has never again been lived in. The ruined donjon is exposed to the elements for more than 500 years.

The donjon

Among the ruins which still remain, there is what is called the Knight's Room, which you can see hereunder during a digging campain at the beginning of the 20th century. In fact, it is the castle's cellar which was built under the residence building. This cellar was vaulted. It is 22 meters long and 11 meters wide. The vaults of the cellar, partly excavated into the rock, are built on ten massive pillars.

The Knight's Room

There are even less ruins that remain from the Little-Geroldseck Castle. Located on the height which faces the great castle, we know not much about the epoch at which it was built and about the reasons of its erection. We suppose that the family enlarged in such a manner that they had no room left in the old castle. To accomodate a part of the family, they built the new castle in the middle of the 13th century.

As I do not have any postcard showing the Little-Geroldseck, I invite you to cross the Zorn Valley, and go on the neighboring height where we will visit the Greifenstein Castle (Griffon) and the St-Vitus Cave.

© Thierry Heitmann - 1998-99