Around the castles of Waldeck and Falkenstein

Around the castles of Waldeck and Falkenstein

Embed this item to access it offline
This circuit is one of the must-see places in the Bitche region, with its ruins of castles, remarkable rocks, ponds... Cross the exceptional natural reserve of rocks and peat bogs of the Pays de Bitche and enjoy the exceptional panoramas from the top of the castles.


A beautiful forest walk to discover the natural and historical riches around the Hanau and Lieschbach ponds, passing through the charming little hamlet of Waldeck.
  • Departure : Parking at the Hanau Pond in Philippsburg
  • Arrival : Parking at the Hanau Pond in Philippsburg
  • Towns crossed : Éguelshardt and Philippsbourg

10 points of interest

  • Geology

    Rocher du Pilsfels

    Rock Pilsfels
  • Castle-church-abbey

    Rothenburg Chateau

    The castle dates back to the 9th century. It was part of the County of Bitche in 1353 before becoming a den for knight-robbers, which earned him to be ravaged by the Strasbourg militia. It is in ruins since the 16th century. In 1938, he was integrated into the passive defense system of the Maginot Line and was occupied by the troops until 1940, but did not know the fight.
  • Geology

    Rocher de l'Abrahamfels

    Rock of the Abrahamfels
  • Mountain pass

    Grand Dunkelthal Pass

    Located in the north-east of the Moselle, it is the lowest pass of the forest roads with 291 m of altitude.
  • Geology

    Rocher de Landersberg

  • Small patrimony

    17th century boundary stone

    A 17th century boundary marker marking the historical boundary between the ancient county of Hanau and the Duchy of Lorraine. Other similar posts are aligned along the forest road of Hanau or Bornes.
  • Geology

    Erbsenfelsen rocks

    It is a sandstone wall with a strongly eroded base 25 to 30 meters high and almost 450 meters long, located on the Erbsenberg. Characterized by a large arch of 12 m wide and 8m high, it is a privileged site for the nesting of peregrine falcons and ravens.

    WARNING: This site is protected! From February to early July, avoid approaching the rock to preserve the nesting peregrine falcon. Please respect the access restrictions if mentioned locally.

  • Flora

    Garden for the Peace of Bitche

    This garden, created in 2003, wants to be the commitment of a commitment of the future. Over 500m, a succession of different open gardens, each with its own history and ambition, revolves around a belvedere promenade, thus forming a floral universe combining glass, crystal, rustic plants, wrought iron ... It is part of the extension of the Jardins en Troc festival.
  • Castle-church-abbey

    Citadel of Bitche

    The Citadel at Bitche


    A true military master piece, the Citadel is the most important historical site in Pays de Bitche.

     In the past, Pays de Bitche was the setting for many wars and invasions and of which the castle on the site of Bitche Citadel was a centrepiece. Neither the Swedish, the region of Lorraine, the French nor the Germans were able overthrow this stronghold.

     In 1680, the castle was replaced by the Citadel designed by Vauban. It was dismantled in 1697, but rebuilt in 1740 by the architect Cormontaigne.

     The most glorious feat was conducted by Commander Teyssier and his garrison during the 1870 Franco-Prussian war. While the rest of France was capitulated, they resisted for 230 days.


    The visit

     Equipped with headphones, the visit around the Citadel takes you through the underground passages allowing you to relive the resistance against the Germans (1870-1871).


    On the platform of the Citadel, the historical museum “The Men during the 1870 War” has records and photos, and a collection of arms and uniforms worn by the men on the battlefield. The recently restored Vauban Chapel exposes an original relief map of Bitche dating to 1794 which is now classified as a Historical Monument.


    The Citadel is one the “Great attractions in Moselle”. The sublime Garden for Peace is at the foot of its ramparts


     NOTE: the tariff for the citadel no longer includes the entry fee into the gardens. With the entrée ticket you now receive a reduced rate into the gardens (2euros/pers).


    Adresse :

    Rue Bombelles par Rue des Tilleuls

    57230 BITCHE


    At the bend of the hills that encircle Bitche, the Citadel reveals its silhouette, monumental, even haunting. Redoubtable stone sentinel or mysterious ship arisen from a sea of ​​mists, it seems in perpetual staging. Vauban and Cormontaigne were the most famous designers of this fortification work whose origins date back to the 12th century. If it has all the characteristics of 17th and 18th century military architecture, the Citadel can be proud of its peculiarities. Her story, she shares with the city that over the centuries has grown in the reassuring shadow of its powerful curtains. Perched on its rock of former strategic interest, the Citadel evokes a historical past, punctuated by both glorious and tragic episodes. His bowels contain the memory of those men who, under the uniform of their respective countries, have bravely defended them.

    Contact :
    03 87 96 18 82
    Rue Bombelles by Rue des Tilleuls
    03 87 96 95 03

    E-mail :

    Website :


  • Flora


    This peat bog is part of the Natural Reserve of Rocks and Peatlands of Bitche. Peat bogs, which are original in Western Europe, are very fragile wetlands with remarkable flora such as sundew, small carnivorous plants or Sphagnum mosses that can absorb a large amount of water like a sponge. There are also many dragonflies and amphibians.


Altimetric profile

Sensitive areas

Along your trek, you will go through sensitive areas related to the presence of a specific species or environment. In these areas, an appropriate behaviour allows to contribute to their preservation. For detailed information, specific forms are accessible for each area.
Impacted practices:
Aerial, , Land, Vertical
Sensitivity periods:
Email : Tél. : 03 88 01 49 59


The Erbsenfelsen rock is home to the peregrine falcon and the great raven. They are very sensitive to noise during the nesting period (February to August). Please keep a low profile so as not to disturb them.

Information desks

Tourist Office of the Pays de Bitche

2 avenue du Général De Gaulle, 57230 Bitche (0)3 87 06 16 16

Access and parking

From Bitche, follow the D662 in the direction of Strasbourg. At the restaurant "La petite Suisse", take the D162F on the left and follow the direction of the Hanau pond.

From Niederbronn-les-Bains, follow the D662 in the direction of Bitche. About 3.5 km after the village of Philippsbourg, turn right onto the D162F to reach the Hanau pond.

Parking :

Parking at the Hanau Pond in Philippsburg

Report a problem or an error

If you have found an error on this page or if you have noticed any problems during your hike, please report them to us here: