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The Ochsenstein Castle

The Baerenbächel Valley runs into the Zorn Valley in Stambach. Going upstreams into this little valley, we pass by the forester house of the Baerenbach, which is still a rallying point for walkers and the departure point of several trips in the Vosges mountains.


Going upstreams again, we arrive at the forester house of the Haberacker. Formerly, the small valley in which it is built was cultivated by the forester and his family. Today, there are only meadow around the buildings.


The Haberacker is located at the foot of the summit where the Ochsenstein Castle has been built. It's again a castle built on a rock bar used as support and rendered impregnable with fortifications. The castle belonged to the Counts of Ochsenstein, who were related to the most famous families of Alsace. The Ochsenstein family is also mentioned as far back as 1165, at the Zürich tournament.

Only some ruins remain from the castle, vestiges of towers and walls. In fact, there were three castles, built upon the three rocks that spring up the mountain. They were linked by intermediate constructions and advanced fortifications. The cracks and splits in the rocks showed a smooth façade, due to the stoneworks from which some traces remain. The castle was definitely ruined by a fire in 1559, just after some important restoration work. It was never raised up again.

The Ochsenstein

© Thierry Heitmann - 1998-99