Chateau de Landskorn

A moving in post with pictures is coming.  I promise.  It’s been a long haul so far. We are moved in and almost 95% unpacked. I have made several trips to IKEA and bought thousands of dollars worth of furniture I had to put together myself.  BUT! This post first!

The Shaun is visiting! As we may recall from a previous post, Shaun is the Thelma to my Louise, and being such only fun and chaos can ensue.  Shaun is also a historian and therefore likes old awesome places.  And, as well all know, Europe is old and full of awesome places.  We all gathered around a map and found these old castle ruins. The Ruine de Landskorn.

An illustration of the Chateau de Landskorn from the 1300.
An illustration of the Chateau de Landskorn from the 1300.

It also required us to invade France.  There is a little tiny bit of France that peeks into Switzerland. It’s so tiny the Swiss Tram has a stop in it and it’s still considered “Swiss-esque” so no passport necessary.

Watch out, France! Sassy Americans comin' in!
Watch out, France! Sassy Americans comin’ in!

 

Like many castle ruins in Europe, Landskorn is found in a cow field and you can climb all over it.  I was impressed by the actual safety fencing all around. And the stairs actually looked sturdy.  A miracle. And perhaps a sign we were in France and not Switzerland.

The castle was built in the 1290s, expanded in the 1500s, and used to house the mentally insane and political prisoners in the 1660s until the early 1800s.  Napoleon, being Napoleon, tried to use the castle during the war between the French and the Austrian and Bavarian armies in 1813.  Unsurprisingly, the Austrian and Bavarian fusiliers shot at the castle with canons and blew up the tower will all the gun powder in it leaving a big hole.

Big Boom.
Big Boom.

But it is being kept up and it is being improved.  It is a popular picnicking spot for locals with several campfire areas and it has at least three hiking trails leading from various spots at the foot of the mountain up to the castle grounds.

The light behind the doorway is the big hole the Austrians blasted into it.
The light behind the doorway is the big hole the Austrians blasted into it.
The outside of the keep.
The outside of the keep.
IMG_0188
Looking down from the tower into the keep. It had several levels and was quite ornate. The signs around report that it had “vaulted ceilings.”
Perhaps a hearth in the courtyard?
Perhaps a hearth in the courtyard?
E in the footpath doorway of the castle.
E in the footpath doorway of the castle.
Part of the extension from the keep.
Part of the extension from the keep.

 

The kids were incredibly excited about climbing around the ruins. The walls were 4 meters thick in some areas and 7 meters thick in others (to hold the cannon they fortified the roof with).

The top of one parapet.
The top of one parapet.
A stairway to who knows. I asked the kids where they went they said "nowhere." But H said they saw tigers.
A stairway to who knows. I asked the kids where they went they said “nowhere.” But H said they saw tigers.

The view from the top of the main tower is incredible. You can see Basel over the top of H’s head. You can almost see Germany!

IMG_0190.JPG
Basel, Reinach, Aesch, and my cute little explorer! That is a headlamp he is wearing. He was concerned we’d need light to see in the castle. He was not wrong.

 

IMG_0186.JPG
A gorgeous view! I think we could have seen the Alps if it had been clearer.

 

IMG_0187.JPG
The Alsace countryside. It is lush and green here. Lots of vineyards, wheat, and (I think) chard.
The hike from the castle.  It is quite steep. And it was straight down for us on some slippy-slidey rocks.  Fun for the whole family!
The hike from the castle. It is quite steep. And it was straight down for us on some slippy-slidey rocks. Fun for the whole family!

 

To re-cap: A 2 mile hike up some slopes and through some small towns; climbing around on an old, cool castle; a tasty picnic lunch, a death-defying descent that would have only gone better if we had had skis; and delicious ice cream and frosty beverages in the town below.  All-in-all a fun day!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s