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What is a Castle ?

What is a Castle ?

Dating back to the Roman Empire after the conquest of Alsace by Caesar, the castle was part of intelligence measures to ward off Germanic incursions.
During the 12th century and onwards, Osthoffen became a fortified castle. Due to a siege lead by the Bishop of Strasbourg in 1410, fire raged through the building, depriving it of its 3rd floor.
An ancestor, the architect von Seebach, rebuilt the castle as a Rennaissance estate and a private dwelling, its military mission finally coming to a close after the Thirty Years War (1648).
 More changes came about with the 18th century : courtyard walls were removed and new wide windows enlightened both the façade and the interior. The castle lost its towers during the French Revolution by order of the new authorities, one of the first works undertaken by the new owner was to rebuilt them.

C’est seulement au 18 ème siècle que le château d’Osthoffen fut définitivement transformé en maison d’habitation. Les façades aveugles furent percées de magnifiques fenêtres à la française, les pignons furent ouvragés et décorés, les courtines abattues.

La Révolution Française le détruisit en grande partie : démolition du donjon et de la tour d’accès, démolition des tours, ruines des pièces d’habitation.

En 1817 il fut acheté par le Général François Grouvel, vicomte et gouverneur militaire de la place de Strasbourg qui avait épousé la fille de Monsieur Nebel maire de Haguenau.

Il fut entièrement reconstruit (pont, tours, salons,toit, perron) par les généraux Grouvel, dont les héritiers l’habitent encore à ce jour. Ces travaux durèrent toute la première moitié du 19 ème siècle.

Yet more destruction took place during World War II with many treasures stolen or burnt.

During the fifties and sixties Osthoffen turned resolutely towards Europe, hosting receptions held by the city of Strasbourg to promote this new ideal, an ideal dearly held by the present owner and his family.

During the fifties and the sixties, Osthoffen castle was used by the city of Strasbourg for the promotion of the European Institutions in Strasbourg. Many concerts and official receptions took place in Osthoffen.

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