The Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg (German: Hohkönigsburg) is a medieval castle located at Orschwiller, Alsace, France, in the Vosges mountains just west of Sélestat. It is situated in a strategic location on a rocky spur overlooking the Upper Rhine Plain; as a result it was used by successive powers from the Middle Ages until the Thirty Years' War when it was abandoned. From 1900 to 1908 it was rebuilt at the behest of the German emperor Wilhelm II. Today it is a major tourist site, attracting more than 500,000 visitors a year.
It is unknown when the first castle was built; a Burg Staufen is documented in 1147, when the monks complained to King Louis VII of France about the illegal erection by the Hohenstaufen duke Frederick II of Swabia. As Frederick's younger brother Conrad III had been elected King of the Romans in 1138, succeeded by Frederick' son Frederick Barbarossa in 1152, the castle was called Kinzburg (Königsburg, "King's Castle") in 1192.
In the early thirteenth century the fortification passed from the Hohenstaufen family to the dukes of Lorraine, who entrusted it to the local Rathsamhausen knightly family and the Lords of Hohenstein, who held the castle until the fifteenth century. As the Hohensteins allowed some robber barons to use the castle as a hideout, and their behaviour began to exasperate the neighbouring powers: it was occupied by Elector Palatine Frederick I in 1454 and set ablaze by the unified forces of the cities of Colmar, Strasbourg and Basel in 1462.
In 1479 the Habsburg emperor Frederick III granted the ruins in fief to the Counts of Thierstein who rebuilt them with a defensive system suited to the new artillery of the time. When in 1517 the Thiersteins became extinct, the castle as a reverted fief again came into the possession of the Habsburg emperor Maximilian I. In 1633, during the Thirty Years' War which opposed Catholics to Protestants, the Imperial castle was besieged by Protestant Swedish forces. After a 52-day siege the castle was burned and looted by the Swedish troops. For several hundred years it was left unused and the ruins became overgrown by the forest. Various romantic poets and artists were inspired by the castle during this time.
After World War I, the French state confiscated the castle according to the 1919 Treaty of Versailles; since 2007 the premises are held by the Bas-Rhin departement. In 1993, the restored castle was officially designated as a national historic site by the French Ministry of Culture. Today, it is one of the most famous tourist attractions of the region.