" Discover the local history through a visit to the Bucheneck Museum. "
The ten large rooms of Bucheneck Castle (12th century) are devoted to the rich past of the city of Soultz and to the famous families who lived there. Founded in Jerusalem in 1099 as the Order of the Hospital, the Order of the Knights of Malta was associated with Soultz for centuries. The 'commanderie' is mentioned in 1263 and the chapel was dedicated in 1234. Baron Ferdinand von Hompesch (1744-1805) was its last commander before he became the last Grand Master of the Order in Malta. Then the island surrendered to Napoleon I in 1800. A huge three-D model of the town in 1838 is displayed on the ground-floor. The portraits of the Waldners de Freundstein, a family of soldiers, are hung in the beautiful hall on the first floor (14th century. On the second floor, a superb 18th century earthenware stove looks upon the memorabilia which belonged to the de Heeckeren d'Anthès family. Its most famous member was Georges-Charles (1812-1895) who fought a fatal duel with the Russian poet Pushkin in 1837. The adjacent room exhibits the works of Robert Beltz (1900-1981), the well-known Rhenish illustrator. Among other citizens from Soultz who achieved fame, let us quote general Werle, made baron of the Empire by Napoleon I or Auguste Gasser (1863-1925), the co-director of 'Revue d'Alsace'. The Moïse Ginsburger room reminds us of the presence in Soultz of an important Jewish community. On exhibit are several beautiful objects of worship. Two stories of attics have been converted into display rooms for ancient trades and life in the Soultz of yesteryear. It takes over two hours to explore the rich collections of this museum.