In poor condition, this Haut-Rhin castle has been renovated and transformed into an exciting eco-museum

In poor condition, this Haut-Rhin castle has been renovated and transformed into an exciting eco-museum
In poor condition, this Haut-Rhin castle has been renovated and transformed into an exciting eco-museum

After several decades of closure to the public, the castle of Wesserling (Haut-Rhin) reopened its doors on Sunday April 28, 2024. It took five years of work for the public to be able to pass through the doors of the former royal printing factory textile, reports France 3 Grand Est . The historic monument had been in poor condition for 40 years.

An ongoing donation campaign

This renovation will have cost 2.8 million euros. The work was partly financed by the Heritage mission led by television host Stéphane Bern. “A first phase of emergency work, on the roof and facades, was able to be financed”noted the Heritage Foundation . But it is not finished. “The advanced state of degradation of the castle requires comprehensive rehabilitation and upgrading work”. A donation campaign aims to obtain €50,000. The amount is almost reached.

This is a big step that has just been taken. Because each year, 90,000 visitors were welcomed within the 42 hectare park but it was impossible to enter the castle. “We renovated it to make it the start of our ecomuseum circuit, which will tell the story of 250 years of industrial history of Haut-Rhin”underlines François Tacquard, the president of the Wesserling Park France 3. The public is invited to see scenes in the weaving, drawing and dyeing workshops reenacted by real actors through different sketches.

A site founded in 1762

Beyond the castle, the entire Wesserling park is worth the detour, both for the beauty of its gardens and the industrial history of the place. This former world-famous textile city occupied nearly 70 hectares of land, including 24 hectares of industrial zone, indicates the Wesserling park website . The Wesserling Textile Printing Manufactory was founded in 1762 in a hunting lodge.

The site grew in size in the 19the century, employing up to 5,479 employees. “At its peak, in the 1960s, more than 1,200 employees were employed at the Manufacture and 24,000,000 meters of printed fabrics were produced per year,” can we read on the site. But the 1980s began the decline and the Wesserling Textile Printing Manufacture closed its doors in 2003. Purchased by the Haut-Rhin General Council and managed by the Wesserling Park Management and Animation Association ( AGAPTW), the park offers visitors 60,000m² of factory space, a castle, villas, a textile eco-museum as well as five gardens labeled “Remarkable Gardens”.

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