Castle of Bernstein


castle of bernstein

The castle at Bernstein is one of the oldest in Alsace. It was first mentioned in the 11th century, although some parts of the castle may be even older.
The castle originally belonged to the counts of Dabo; however, in 1227 it was taken by the bishop of Strasbourg and became an episcopal seat until 1580. The castle was inhabited until the end of the 16th century, then abandoned; as a result, the buildings fell into ruin.
Various parts of the castle were added throughout the centuries. The keep (which is still visible today) and the manor house probably date from the 12th century; in the 13th century a ditch was built to separate the manor house from the keep (this was transformed into an underground cistern in the 15th century). Finally, a new tower (called the St. Marguerite tower) was built towards the end of the 15th century in the rear courtyard.
The keep, the underground cistern and parts of the curtain wall are still visible today.

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Dambach-la-Ville, Bas-Rhin department, France
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13th century

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