Located on a rocky peak of glacial origin, access to the castle, built in the 14th century, is through a 20-metre long tunnel dug right into the rock. It was transformed in the 16th century. Two round towers, ramparts and remains of the stable.
In 1312, the Count of Ferrette, avowed (protector) of Murbach Abbey, was authorized to build on "Mount Wildenstein" - a huge granitic rocky islet in the middle of the upper Thur Valley and to cede it in fief to the lords of Bollwiller.
In 1324, when the Ferrette family died out, their heirs, the Habsburgs, no longer found much interest in this valley.
In 1377, it was a castle already in ruins that the Bollwiller family, who still owned it in fief, committed (ceded for a certain sum, with the possibility of taking possession of it and refunding the price paid) to the Waldners because of the dependencies and rights that were still attached to the castle.
Wildenstein is still described in ruins in 1531. But when Murbach Abbey acquired the rights to the castle in 1536, it had it rebuilt between 1552 and 1570 to protect its possessions.
During the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648), the castle was taken by Lorraine troops, then, in 1634, by French troops but the Lorraine inhabitants reoccupied it the following year.
After pushing back a siege in 1639, they went in 1646 to the Baron d'Erlach who served France.
The castle was dismantled shortly afterwards and, like many other sites, served as a stone quarry.
Since 2006, it has been the subject of archaeological excavations and restoration work carried out by the Syndicat Mixte du Barrage de Kruth-Wildenstein, which manages and runs the site, with the support of the Patrimoine et Emploi association based in Husseren-Wesserling.
Pictures taken by me in May 2017