The ruins of the Engelbourg's castle
The Engelbourg's castle, stunning views, a walk through history and nature, and an archaeological site that is still revealing new secrets !
Standing on a rocky outcrop presenting magnificent views over the border between Alsace and Lorraine, the Engelbourg's Castle provides a stunning panorama over the old town of Thann, its rooftops and the towers of its ancient ramparts, as well as the surrounding mountains.
The Castle was built in 1224 by Count Frederic II of Ferrette to guard and charge for passage through the Thur Valley. The castle was ideally located for this purpose and well defended.
The castle changed hands seven times between 1633 and 1639 before becoming the property of Cardinal Mazarin in 1658.
In February 1673, Louis XIV ordered the miners of Giromagny (Belfort) to destroy the castle: it had lost its strategic value when the border was pushed back from Vosges-sur-le-Rhin.
The main tower broke into several sections during the demolition, one of which stopped in its current position: as it resembles an eye that seems to watch the town, it is knows as the Witch's Eye.
A dozen information panels in the town centre and on site inform you about the history of the castle from the 13th century onwards.
Engelbourg is protected by an environmental management plan that preserves the biodiversity of the site and respects the natural rhythms of nature.
A medieval garden situated at the foot of this site is home to wild flora and plants that were formerly cultivated here.