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1297 → 1606
The earliest references to the occupation of the rocky promontory on which the Bitche citadel now stands date from the 12th century. The Dukes of Lorraine had a hunting lodge there.
As early as 1297, the Count of Deux-Ponts (Zweibrücken) Eberhardt II, who had just inherited the lordship and the castle in fief, decided to reinforce the fortifications of this strategic location in order to establish the seat of his power.
In 1572, the Duke of Lorraine Charles III, pursuing a policy of enlarging his states, used the extinction of the Deux-Ponts family as an excuse to take over the lordship and the castle.
After the dispute between the Dukes of Lorraine and the Counts of Hanau-Lichtenberg was settled in 1606, the castle became one of the best defended in the duchy.