Chateau de Bilstein

The ruins of the chateau are located on the road of Aubure, to the east of Ribeauville in the Haut-Rhin, and are in the south of the valley of Strengbach. They are on the rock peak called Schlossberg. Situated at 420 metres, the chateau, like the village of Wettolsheim, was pledged to Burkhard of Hagueneck, a vassal of the Bishop of Strasbourg. After numerous conflicts, the castle was beseiged and burned down, but it was rebuilt shortly afterwards.

This castle is mentioned for the first time in 1217 in the chronicle of Richer, monk and abbot of Senones. It belonged then to the duke of Lorraine who yielded the stronghold to the family of Horbourg. To distinguish it from another castle bearing the same name but located at the valley of City close to Urbeis, It once had the name of chateau de Bilstein d’Aubure. They preserved it until 1324 then it was sold to their uncle the count Ulrich III de Wurtemberg. The keep probably dates from the late XIIth towards the beginning of XIIIth century and the high doorway which was remade in the XIVth century. This castle was restored on several occasions in the XVth, XVIth and XVIIth centuries. In 1388, the souabes cities and Alsatian gathered to declared war with the duke of Bavaria and his allies of which the count Eberhard de Wurtemberg. It was asked of them to save the castle of Bilstein.

In 1424, Ferry, bastard child of Charles II of Lorraine, obtained the pleasure of it. The inhabitants of Beblenheim paid in 1472 a royalty so that the lord of the manor supervises their forests.

The Chateau de Bilstein was also used a as prison on various occasions until 1489. In 1547, the emperor was at war against Wurtemberg and made the seat at the castle. During the Thirty Year war, on January 13 1636, it was occupied and was ruined by the imperial troops of the count de Schlick. A fire which has occurred in 1640 ruined it completely. The last bailiff of the castle took possession of the ruins in 1655. but it was never restored.


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