The castles of Ottrott were built on the plateau of Elsberg about 500 metres in height. Two ruins, separated hardly from about fifty metres, raise themselves nowadays in this place: the "Rathsamhausen" on the West of the site and the "Lutzelbourg" in the East.
Recent searches allowed to unearth the bases of a primitive castle situated between the current ruins of both castles. This primitive castle, named Old Lutzelbourg, was built very certainly by 1076 on the initiative of the counts of Eguisheim solicitors of Hohenbourg's monastery (Sainte-Odile) located some kilometres from there.
This first mansion was destroyed by the Hohenstaufen at the beginning of the 12th century but was immediately raised again by them to be finally enfeoffed to Conrad de Lutzelbourg in 1196. In 1198, it was destroyed by arson by the party of the Eguisheim-Dabo.
The construction of the new castle, which was called in the middle of the 16th century "Rathsamhausen", begins by the beginning of the 13th under Otto of Burgundy firmly decided to take back the hand on the region.
The works had to end after 1220, the Lutzelbourg being always present on the scene because in 1230 Elisabeth de Lutzelbourg is appointed abbess of the monastery of Hohenbourg. By the middle of the 13th century the castle presently called "Lutzelbourg" is built just under the nose of" Rathsamhausen" .
During the visit of the site, we notice that the defences of "Lutzelbourg" are turned towards its neighbour, always in the hands of the Hohenstaufen. The historians suppose that it was built on the initiative of the bishop of Strasbourg, Henri de Stahleck, to gain control on the imperial possessions.
During the works, the defenders of "Rathsamhausen" do not stay crossed arms and build an impressive keep turned too towards its neighbour. We guess the atmosphere, far from being cordial, who had to prevail on the construction site!