Balsthal, Alt-Frankenstein. Foto/photo: TES.

Alt-Falkenstein Castle

Alt-Falkenstein Castle in the municipality of Balsthal (canton Solothurn) was built in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries in the Balsthaler Klus.

The Neu-Frankenstein castle is situated on the other side of the valley.

The castles of Alt-Bechburg and Neu-Bechburg near Oensingen were built in the same period. The Bechburg and Falkenstein dynasties and the Bishop of Basel were the Lords in this region.

Alt-Falkenstein has historical significance because of the tense relationship between the cantons of Bern and Solothurn in the fourteenth century.

Troops of Bern marched through the valley on their way to Mülhouse in 1345 to help this town against the coalition of Freiburg, Habsburg, Kyburg, Burgundian nobility and Emperor Lodwijk the Bavarian (1282-1347, Ludwig der Bayer). The peace of Königsfelden (1345) made an end to this war.

The last lord of the castle, Hans II von Falkenstein (died 1426), sold the castle in 1420 to Solothurn.

The castle houses the Heimatmuseum nowadays.