Incidents in the history of the castle of Fleckenstein

If, according to the medieval legends of Alsace, the devil was the well digger of the Baron Fleckenstein, other strange stories and legends adorn the rich history of the castle.

An unusual prisoner

On the occasion of the election of the new Bishop of Spire in 1272 the Fleckenstein family supported on the favorite Fréderic de Bolanden… for a consideration.

Fréderic, once safely elected ‘forgot’ his promise to pay his supporters.

It being the time of the « Great Inter regnum » Wolfram de Fleckenstein took advantage of the absence of Imperial authority and captured the Bishop and held him prisoner in the castle.

The newly elected Emperor Rudolph decided to waste no time reestablishing his authority and beseiged the castle.

Seeing the hopelessness of his position Wolfram surrendered and gave up his prisoner.

Two brothers – two countries ?

Collaterall damage from the Thirty Years War. :

Georges Henri de Fleckenstein, a general of the Emperor fought with the Bavarians, whilst his brother, Frederick Wolfgang fought for the French and was even appointed Maréchal de Camp by Louis XIV.

(a curious fact given that the Sun King caused the destruction of the family castle).

The story tells us a lot about the splits that have torn Alsace, right up to the birth of Europe.

Change of name

The ruins of the castle were sold as ‘biens nationaux’ at the time of the French Revolution.

They – and the aristocratic title attached to them ­ attracted the attention of General Olivier Harty, of Irish descent and member of the Grande Armée of Napoleon I.

Harty bought the castle ruins and so became Baron de Pierrebourg (Pierre means Stein in German and Bourg means Flecken) thanks to the Emperor on January 1st 1813

The legend of the well

Historical chronology