Castle Andlau (also sometimes called Haut-Andlau) is located on the town of the same name, in the Bas-Rhin, 40 km south-west of Strasbourg.
The building was built between 1246 and 1264 and is one of about 450 castles built between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries on the Alsatian foothills of the Vosges mountains.
Castle Andlau was erected on the orders of Eberhard of Andlau on a granite ridge at 451 m altitude, overlooking and surveying the valleys of Kirneck and Andlau.
Its architectural specificity is to have two circular towers framing a long but narrow main building of three levels, the lowest being pierced by archers and the two upper floors of windows.
Plundered in 1678 after the annexation of Alsace to France, it was sold as national property in 1796 and dismantled by a merchant who sold a portion of the stones constituting the castle.
The Count of Andlau saves the jewel in ruins in 1818 by redeeming it. His heirs will continue his work. A first restoration campaign was initiated in 1859. Listed as a Historic Monument in 1926, the building was consolidated once again in the following years.
Following the fall of a part of the enclosure in 1998, the count of Andlau created an association of the friends of the castle in 2000 to relaunch security work and then renovation. These are far from complete, but the site is experiencing a new life. Animations are organized during the summer (exhibitions and seminars dedicated to contemporary art, especially "land art", concerts, conferences) and guided tours are offered by volunteers in their presence or via audio guides.
The castle itself, with its imposing granite facade that seems to emerge from the green surrounding forest, can be hiked from the Hungerplatz Forest House.
Beautiful panoramas on the town of Barr and the plain of Alsace await hikers. For a guided tour (free) of the remains and information, contact the association of friends of the castle at +33 6 88 41 03 20.