Kaysesberg (German for The Emperor’s Mountain) is an essential village in this region, plus an incredibly charming one. With its ruined castle overlooking the city, Kaysesberg is also famous for its magnificent christmas market and holds the title of THE FRENCH’S FAVORITE TOWN since 2017.
Kaysesberg has been occupied since Roman times due to its strategic position allowing the control of Lorraine and Haute Alsace via the Bonhomme pass.
A fortress was built there in 1218 and the town prospered through privileges such as a weekly market, a fair and its exceptional wine production which was exported within the entire Empire.
In 1247 the bishop of Strasbourg, Henri Stahleck, left his forces to seize the city but in vain, it was finally taken by Mathieu de Lorraine.
Kaysesberg by its strategic importance will benefit from the same rights and privileges as Colmar in 1293 by Adolphe IER of Nassau and becomes at the same time city of the Empire, which protects it against any claim of right by a third party.
Kaysesberg is part of the mutual alliance of 10 cities but during 30 Years’ War in the 17th century and thus the various passages of the armies it experienced important ruin.
The German peasants in 1525 revolted and seized Kaysesberg to fight the troops of the Duke of Antoine at Scherwiller but were rapidly massacred there by Lorraine troops who took the town back.
In the 19th century, many textile industries established themselves there.
World War II partially destroyed Kaysesberg, especially on 16 December 1944 . The infantry of the 36th division, accompanied by a regiment of carbineers, occupied the heights well above the castle. Under the pressure and reinforcement of a commando on 18 December 1944 the German command post surrendered.