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10 Things you probably didn’t know about the castle

With a castle that is over 200 years old, there are bound to be a countless number of things which students can discover in and around the castle grounds during their study abroad stay here. Well, we have combed and sifted through the facts and put together an interesting list of things that maybe even you might not know about.


Louise Sophie Mélanie Renouard de Bussière, Comtesse Edmond de Pourtales, for which the castle is named, had five children. Mélanie is the great grandmother of Stephanie zu Gutenberg, the wife of a famous German politician. The Comtesse de Pourtalès died in 1914 and was buried in the cemetery of St. Robertsau (Strasbourg).


Historically, there used to be a small pond behind the castle. Unfortunately after the nearby Rhine River was dredged, deepened, and canalized, the lake dried up. Plans are currently in place to rebuild it.


Many famous people throughout history have been been guests or visited the castle including King Ludwig II. of Bavaria, Kaiser Wilhelm II., The King and Queen of Belgium, the Prince of Wales, Prince Napoléon, Prince Klemens von Metternich, Franz Liszt, Albert Schweitzer, and Léon Bakst. Even today, the trend continues and it is not uncommon to sit next to an EU Parliament member at breakfast. If only the walls could talk...


When the castle was first purchased in 1972 as a study center, it was in such bad shape and need of repair that a huge tree was growing right in the middle of the Grand Salon. Luckily, the castle has been lovingly taken care of since then and students can enjoy the restored beauty and grandeur of the Grand Salon.


There are many pieces of unique artwork hidden throughout the surrounding Parc de Pourtalès.

Visit the website to find out more.


Some of the descendants of the original gardner who worked for the Pourtalés family in the 18th century still live and work at the castle today, but in different capacities.


Just a few years ago, there was a real tipi camp on the castle grounds. Students and different groups used the camp and BBQ pit for team trainings and events.


The former gate house building used to be used a preschool. Today, is home to a wonderful little restaurant which is open to the public.



A stray black cat has recently become the newest tennant of the castle grounds. We lovingly call him "Blackie".


Yes, it is true. Each and every guest and student room in the castle has a wonderful view of the surrounding park ("Parc du Pourtalès").

Do you have another trivia fact to add to this list? Let us know or post it on our facebook page.

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