The town, Hohenburg castle and fortifications

The district capital and university town of Homburg can look back on an eventful and interesting 2000-year history. The economic development of the city was facilitated by its location at the crossroads of the main axes of communication and trade routes from Strasbourg to Trier and from Metz to Worms.

Kopie von Wehrgang1

The wall-walk
© City of Homburg

The former castle was first mentioned in 1146 by the Counts of Homburg. They gave their name to Homburg, the district capital and university town which lies at the foot of the castle, and which was granted town status by Emperor Ludwig the Bavarian in 1330.

After the death of the last Count of Homburg in 1449, the castle and town fell to the Counts of Nassau-Saarbrücken.

In the second half of the 16th century, Count Johann IV of Nassau-Saarbrücken refashioned the castle into a Renaissance palace as his seat of residence and made it more secure. In the years from 1680 to 1692, King Louis XIV commissioned his fortress builder, Vauban, to build up the palace and town into a strong fortress.

After the peace treaties of Rijswijk and Baden, the fortress was razed in the years 1697 and 1714. There were two gate systems in the mighty fortress wall. The market square enclosure and the road system also originate from this period.

View from the top of the fortress © The city of Homburg

View from the top of the fortress
© City of Homburg

Since 1981, the impressive ruins of the castle and fortress have been uncovered by extensive excavations and restored. The site is easily accessed along well-signposted walking trails. From the North bastion, the rock plateau is reached by a spiral staircase. There is an impressive view over the upstream plain of the city including Kaiserstrasse, which was named after Napoleon. The caponier takes you to the first ravelin and from there onto the glacis, which today is laid out like a park.


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