The castle has probably existed since the beginning of the 11th century. In the year 1102 is the first documented mention of a lord of Rötteln, one Dietrich von Rötteln, the bailiff of St. Albans near Basel. This year is also considered the date of the founding of the city of Lörrach. In 1204 Dietrich III of Rötteln died, having amassed a large holding in the Wiese valley. His sons held high offices; Walter I was the Kapitular (a priest who is authorized to say the mass in a cathedral and perform other duties of a bishop) of Konstanz and Basel, Luithold I was the bishop of Basel, Konrad I was the founder of the city of Schopfheim, which was important to the later formation of theMarkgräflerland. The first documented mention of the castle itself is from the year 1259.
Luithold II von Rötteln, the last male of his line, gave the lordship of Rötteln to the Margrave Rudolf I of Hachberg-Sausenberg and his heiress Agnes von Rötteln in the year 1311. As a result, the Margrave of Hachberg-Sausenberg, based in Emmendingen at Hochburg Castle, also became lord of the former domain of Rötteln. The Margrave then moved from Sausenburg to Rötteln Castle to more easily administer his new domain and appointed a bailiff to oversee Sausenburg
Luithold II von Rötteln died on May 19, 1316, and the passing of Rötteln to Hachberg-Sausenburg was an important step in the eventual formation of the Markgräflerland. In 1332 the castle was besieged by the people of Basel because the Margrave Rudolf II stabbed the mayor of Basel during an argument. The conflict was resolved at the last moment through an agreement to settle the argument.Arrowheads, crossbow bolts, and other finds near the castle attest to this siege.
The Basel earthquake of 1356 destroyed large portions of the city, and the castle suffered severe damage.
In 1444 the domain of Badenweiler passed from the last Count Johann von Freiburg to the son of Margrave Wilhelm, Rudolf IV von Hachberg-Sausenberg. The combination of the three dominions, Rötteln, Sausenburg, and Badenweiler formed the foundation of the Markgräflerland.
In 1503 the castle came into the possession of the Margrave of Baden. In 1525 revolting farmers briefly took possession of the castle.
From 1618 to 1648 during the Thirty Years War the castle was occupied by both Swedish and Imperial forces.
During the Franco-Dutch War, on June 29, 1678, the castles of Rötteln, Sausenburg, and Badenweiler were destroyed by the army of the French Marshall Crecque. Due to the extreme poverty after the war, the castle ruins were thereafter used as a source of building stone.
The Black Forest Society of Baden(Schwarzwaldverein) began to survey the ruins in 1884 in order to preserve it. Since 1925 this has been the concern of the Röttelnbund e.V. club based in Lörrach-Haagen. Today the ruins have been restored to approximately their condition after their destruction in 1678.
Spring weather. Three generations. Really old ruins. Perfect day!
They've still got it. Whatever it is!
Big castle = lively history lesson.
And to answer many a question as to why the Black Forest is called just that. It has a black look, it's a forest. Look closely, and notice the Swiss Alps in the background.