The Castle of Fleckenstein is a 12th-century fortress in the commune of Lembach, France. It takes its name after the Fleckenstein family who resided in the castle for 600 years. As the family increased its wealth, the castle was also extended and improved. The most notable reconstruction took place between 1541 and 1570.
The name of the Fleckenstein family was first mentioned in 1174, and they were initially ministerials of the Hohenstaufen dynasty. Later, the family became independent and was no longer officials of the Empire after the last emperor of the Hauenstaufen dynasty died in the 13th century. The family retained ownership of the castle until 1720 when there was no male heir left.
The French troops took control of the castle without any resistance in 1674, during the Franco-Dutch War. In 1680, Comte de Mélac completely destroyed the castle on the orders of General Joseph de Monclar by using black gunpowder in order to prevent the imperial army from advancing. As a result, the castle was abandoned. During the French Revolution, the castle ruins were sold as bien national and were left to deteriorate until 1890. It was finally declared a monument and protected in 1898.
The construction of the semi-troglodyte Fleckenstein Castle took place on a 90 m long, 30 m high, and 10 m wide sandstone rock. The shape of the rock makes the castle look like a ship sailing through a vast forest. The castle consists of several rooms, stairs, and passageways to explore.