Basel RegionSwitzerland

Wartenberg Ruins

Not just one, but three medieval ruins await you! The towers of the middle and front Wartenberg are now observation towers that offer wide, fantastic views of the Alsace region.

The front Wartenberg was the largest and most important of the three fortresses. As suggested by Werner Meyer, a Burgundian Royal Castle may have stood here once upon a time. In any case, site findings have been dated all the way back to the late Carolingian period. The walls still visible today were built in the mid-12th century, and the castle was continuously expanded in the following century. The Count of Neu-Homberg lived in either the front or middle castle in the 13th century, and in 1301, Count Werner of Neu-Homberg gave both castles as second fief to Hugo and Kuno zer Sunnen, both citizens of Basel. Although the rights to the Wartenberg castles were sold to the Habsburgs by the Count of Neu-Homberg in 1306, the zer Sunnen were allowed to remain there. It is believed that the castle was damaged by a large earthquake in 1356 and then rebuilt. In 1371, the Münchs of Münchenstein (relatives of the zer Sunnen) took over the fief and, in 1515, sold the front and middle Wartenberg to the city of Basel. Both were no longer inhabited and on the verge of collapse at the time. The middle Wartenberg most likely only consisted of a residential and defensive tower built by the Lords of Homberg in the 12th century. Archaeological finds uncovered here could be traced back to between the 13th and 15th centuries, and the tower was abandoned sometime in the 15th century.

Other characteristics: picnic area