Les trois Chateaux d’Eguisheim

The Chateau du Dagsbourg, Chateau du Wahlenbourg and Tour du Weckmund in Eguisheim make up the Les trois Chateaux d’Eguisheim located in the Haut-Rhin department of france.

The three towers which are drawn up above Eguisheim and Husseren-les-chateaux are perched on a small of 591 meters in the east of Husseren-les-chateaux and the west of Eguisheim. One can visit the three towers of the castles from the village of Eguisheim by joining the “Route des cinq chateaux” (Road of the five castles) which is well signposted. For this place it is necessary to go to the top that takes you about 10 minutes. One can also join the three castles by leaving Husseren-les-chateaux. While skirting the way behind the church, a forest road makes it possible to join the chateaux in 30 minutes. The path is very steep. It is thus not advised to those with medical conditions. The three castles are called in the old titles, Dagsbourg, Wahlenbourg and Weckmund. The last was set up to the XIIIth century and was probably built by the duke Ulric de Vaudemont, grandson of Gerard d’Alsace.

Actually they are indicated under the name of Trois-Chateaux, die drei Exemer Schloesser. Wahlenburg, oldest is known since 1006. It would have been the subject of an attack in 1026 by the duke of Souabe, Ernest de Souabe. Le Dagsbourg was that which was most imposing of the three and the least old. The counts d’ Eguisheim are the most former lords of the area. Descendants of Etichon, they have in their line several sovereign houses of Europe.

This castle, castrum Hegensheim, mentioned for the first time in the Bulle de la Rose d’or (1049) owes her origin according to the chronicle of Ebersmunster, with the count Eberhard, the founder of the abbey of Marbach. One allots the foundation of it to the count Hugues who according to Berler, had established his residence there, with the countess Heilwige. Between 1049 and 1054, Brunon d’Eguisheim the future pope Leon IX would have devoted a vault castrale which was located in the castle enclosure dedicated to saint Pancrace. Dagsbourg and Wahlenbourg were surrounded by a particular ditch. Weckmund, placed at the outpost was used as a watchtower and rampart for both others to which it was connected by a drawbridge.

Beside Weckmund a round tower, called Nellenbourg, it is thought of as the prison of the fortress. In the common enclosure of the three castles, it would had there a vault dedicated to Saint Pancrace and devoted by the pope Leon IX. All these constructions, except the vault, were ruined in 1466, at the time of the war which the miller Hermann Klee caused against the town of Mulhouse.

If one believes an old legend of it, the Three-Castles would be one a source of fire, the other a source of water, and the third a gold mine. Elsewhere it was affirmed that the three towers were used as a sundial to the workers of the plain. At eleven hours, the shade of the castle covered the frontage of Dagsbourg completely, at midday that of Wahlenbourg, at one hour that of Weckmund. At three hours the Three-Castles projected their shade in front of them on the mountain. The three castles were several times devastated and repaired. The first of the three buildings is destroyed first once in 1026 during an attack of the duke Ernest de Souabe. It will be the subject of a new attack in 1144 and one third time in 1198. In 1298, the village of Eguisheim attends the impotent seat of the emperor Adolphe de Nassau, but resists nevertheless. In front of so much of valiancy the troops of Adolphe de Nassau raised the seat.

It is following these attacks that the village was surrounded by a wall, octagonal like that of the castle under Rodolphe de Habsbourg. The castle and the village are again plundered between 1370 and 1380 by the English, then in 1444 by the Armagnacs led by the dauphin de France, the future Louis XI. In 1466 at the time of the war of the Six Deniers, Wahhienbourg and Weckmund are destroyed by the militia of Turckheim and Kaysersberg. A miller at that time had claimed its had at the town of Mulhouse. He complained to Pierre de Reguisheim.

This last alerted the Alsatian nobility and imprisoned nationals of Mulhouse. As a sign of reprisal, the middle-class men of this city, helped of people of Kaysersberg and Turckheim came to put the seat at the castles which they set fire to. The castle was then occupied by Pierre de Reguisheim. Dagsbourg is finally abandoned two centuries later.


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