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The great Herrade de Landsberg

The castle | Franz Roth / CC-BY-SA
Castle Herrade de Landsberg Landsberg castle

Noble ladies and brave knights

Several strongholds were raised around Mont Sainte-Odile abbey, a real protective rampart. Among them, the Landsberg!

Today it’s ruined, but it was the fief of one of the most powerful family in Alsace, mentioned for the first time in the 10th c.: lady Cécile de Landsberg attended to a tournament in 948, while in 996, a knight named Eric won a tournament in Brunswick...

But our story really began with Conrad de Landsberg, in the 12th century...hey, the famous lady Herrade’s dad! Do you know her? Let me introduce her...

Herrade: the abbess and her garden

Castle of Landsberg. 1230. Little Herrade played alone in the big lord’s room, cold and desert. From the castle’s windows, the shadow of Hohenbourg abbey (former name of Sainte-Odile) emerged on the horizon.

The kid often looked at it, in silence. She would enter in, one day! To become a cultured and intelligent woman, an artist too. And above all abbess of the great abbey!

Yes: she would succeed the abbess Relinde, in 1267, a lady who taught her all the basic knowledge.

Herrade would be very active for her convent, creating brand new monasteries throughout Alsace…

But she also was a talented artist who wrote and drew a strange book, the first encyclopedia written by a woman! The Hortus deliciarum, ″Garden of Delights″.

The castle

Let’s get back to the point! The current castle was raised in the beginning of the 13th century by Conrad II de Landsberg on the foundations of the primitive keep.

Then, it fell in 1413 to the count palatine Louis, before it fell back to the Landsberg. The family kept it until the 18th century!

In the beginning of the 19th century, the family de Turckheim owned it and restored the place little by little.

The visit of Landsberg

A hiking path climbs toward the castle (free access): the start is located on the place de l'Hôtel-de-Ville, in Barr.

Damaged after the 30 Years war, this pink castle is a long rectangular building, flanks by a keep to the north-west, surrounds by a rampart and deep ditches.

Do you see this little window with a cross shape? Probably a remain of the castle’s chapel. Below, we have the courtyard’s entrance, with the location of the lord’s dwelling house.

About the the author

I'm fond of strolls and History, with juicy and spicy details!