If you ask a resident of Niederbronn-les-Bains what are the must-see sites to visit in the area, he will most certainly answer you: “The WASENBOURG” |
This was emphatically expressed by Professor Adolphe MALYE — president of the Club Vosgien for many years — when he wrote in 1937*: “The Wasenbourg offers various originalities. From a purely aesthetic and decorative point of view, it enhances, it completes the landscape that serves as a framework for our Vasgovian seaside resort. She puts that romantically medieval note that even the most prosaic of tourists appreciates and is moved by. Arrived in Niederbronn on a bright sunny day, who would not be delighted to see the familiar silhouette of a burg appear in an indentation of the wooded ridges which, towards the west, seem to bar the verdant bottom of the valley? When you take care to stand in the middle of the avenue perpendicular to the station buildings and which deserves well — let it be said to the address of our city councilors — the name of “avenue de Wasenbourg”, the glance makes better than pleasing. He delights”. And further: “The historic monument of Niederbronn is the Wasenbourg”.
In his book “Manteaux de sable et Dentelles de sapin”, Bernard ROBIN goes even further: “Leaving Niederbronn without having greeted the WASENBOURG would be a serious indelicacy“!
Indeed dominating the city and clearly visible from its vital center, the ruin of the old castle is part of the landscape and has long been one of its main tourist attractions. Many are the tourists, curists, hikers and walkers who, daily, make it a goal of visit or stop there. We will discover in the following pages that this reputation is not usurped as the site has many attractions. First by its location in height in the middle of the forest. Far from the noises of civilization, with an unobstructed view of the plain – as far as Strasbourg on a clear day – one feels a soothing impression of tranquility there. During his stay in Alsace in 1770-1771, the poet GOETHE liked to come and meditate there.
Historically, the site calls for curiosity. Concrete testimonies still attest today to the human presence for more than two millennia. You can see Roman remains there, but above all this jewel of the medieval period, the Château de la Wasenbourg. The ruin, one of the best preserved in all of Northern Alsace, offers many remarkable architectural treasures, to be discovered in the following pages.
Finally, as a corollary to the visit of the places, one can enrich his outing by browsing the surroundings, very pleasant and also rich in interesting curiosities.
* Bulletin July/September 1937 of the Club Vosgien de Niederbronn-Reichshoffen.