Two castles from the 13th and 14th centuries. The first one, above the Nideck waterfall, still has its square keep. The second castle is the oldest and features a moat and a shield wall on its front side. They both are located a few kilometers from the town's exit, towards Wangenbourg. Parking space available at the Maison Forestière du Nideck (Nideck Hunting Lodge).
The legend of the Nideck
The legend of the Nideck is a story within a story. In 1808, a forester told the legend of the giants to Charlotte Engelhardt (1781-1864). The young woman happened to be the daughter of famous Strasbourg Hellenist Mr. Schweighaeuser, who in turn shared the story with Jacques Grimm who was visiting family in 1814. In 1816, the tale was featured in a Brothers Grimm's book about legends. It is this text which inspired poet Adalbert von Chamisso, the author of "Das Riesenfräulein" (The Giant's Daughter).
The giants' plaything: The first French translation of this poem seemed to have been done in 1863 by J.J. Laurent. The legend goes thusly: "Once upon a time, in this castle, lived a family of giants. The lord of the manor had a daughter who was often quite bored and liked to wander around. One day, she found what she mistook for a marvelous toy, that is to say a farmer plowing his field with his two oxen. She immediately picked up her new-found doll and placed it in her apron before rushing back to the castle. Once there, she took her treasure from its hiding place and put it on the table. But, instead of the compliment she was hoping to hear, the little girl got scolded by her father. Her giant of a dad explained to his daughter that she had just grabbed a brave farmer and that it was thanks to this tiny being that giants such as themselves were able to get food." At its core, it was a nice cautionary tale about how important the work of the little people can be to the great and mighty ! The giant ordered his daughter to put her "toy" back where she had found it and to learn from her mistake.