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Route of Four Castles

6,5 KM   I   305 HÖHENMETER  I  2:30 STD. DAUER  I  MITTEL

SHORT DESCRIPTION

This walking loop takes in the impressive ruins of four Medieval rock castles (Fleckenstein, Loewenstein, Hohenbourg and Wegelnburg), offering fascinating insights into their history and spectacular views of one of the most beautiful regions the Northern Vosges have to offer.

STARTING POINT AND HOW TO GET THERE

  • Starting/finishing point: Gimbelhof car park
  • How to get there: D3 from Lembach and then the D925 towards Schönau. Turn right down to the entrance to Gimbelhof when you reach the campsite called “camping du Fleckenstein”
  • Public transport: Bus Line 317 “Navette touristique du Fleckenstein” (Wissembourg–col du Pfaffenschlick–ouvrage du Four à Chaux–Lembach–Obersteinbach–Fleckenstein)–from Easter to All Saints’ Day – www.vialsace.eu
 

THINGS TO SEE

  • Burgruine Fleckenstein (Ruins of Fleckenstein Castle), Ruinen Loewenstein (Ruins of Loewenstein Castle), Hohenburg Castle and Wegelnburg Castle, Buntsandsteinfelsen (Red Sandstone Rock Formations). There are signs and information boards along the way.
 

 

PLACES TO STOP

  • Hôtel-Restaurant Gimbelhof, Café des 4 Châteaux (Fleckenstein)

TOUR DESCRIPTION

Starting at Gimbelhof, follow the red disc symbol along the meadow. Turn left just after the playground and head uphill via the “col du Schlossberg” (473 m). When you get there, follow the red/white/red bar symbol to the Ruine Loewenstein (Loewenstein Ruins), which are also known as the Château de Lœwenstein. The castle, which was built in the 13th century, was an imperial fiefdom until 1283, before being occupied by marauding knights until it was destroyed in 1386.

Keep following those red/white/red bar symbols until you reach Hohenburg Castle in around ten minutes. Don’t forget to marvel at the amazing view from this point. This castle was built in the 13th century and renovated at the start of the 16th century so it could be turned into a residence. A lovely Renaissance gate from this period still stands.

Next, walk down the hill the castle stands on and take a look at the small Maidenbrunnen Spring. When you are ready to get going again, head in the direction of the German/French border. Just before you reach the border, the path merges onto a flat and level piece of land called “Stöckelgarten” and briefly crosses the border at the landmark called the “Wilhelmstein”. You will then walk past the Kroetenstuhl Rock and arrive at the Ruine Wegelnburg (Wegelnburg Ruins) a few minutes later. Standing at an altitude of 572 metres, these are the highest castle ruins in the Palatinate.

You will now need to go back a little way on the same path. Turn right at the Maidenbrunnen Spring (symbol: red bar) and walk to Fleckenstein via the “col du Schlossberg”. After you have visited the Burgruine Fleckenstein (Fleckenstein Castle Ruins), walk on the Köhlerpfad (Coal Merchant Path) (symbol: yellow circle) and head back to Gimbelhof (symbol: red/white/red bar).

Alternative route: You can head back to the starting point in Fleckenstein from the “col du Schlossberg” via the incredible Felsenpfad (Rock Path) (follow the red triangle). Please note: We do not recommend taking this path if you have small children with you or if the weather is wet.

 

CONTACT

HOTEL-RESTAURANT GIMBELHOF
Lieu-dit Gimbelhof – F-67510 LEMBACH
Tél. +33 (0)3 88 94 43 58
info (at) gimbelhof.com  
www.gimbelhof.com

 

OFFICE DE TOURISME SAUER-PECHELBRONN
2 route de Bitche – F-67510 LEMBACH
Tél. +33 (0)3 88 86 71 45
info (at) tourisme-nordalsace.fr  
www.tourisme-nordalsace.fr

 

CHÂTEAU FORT DE FLECKENSTEIN
Lieu-dit Fleckenstein – 67510 LEMBACH
Tél. +33 (0)3 88 94 28 52
info@fl eckenstein.fr 
www.fleckenstein.fr

Copyright photo on this page: © ADEAN/ M. Anglada

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