Rheinfels Castle
Burg Rheinfels am Rhein bei St. Goar

History of Rheinfels Castle

In  1245, Count Diether V. von Katzenelnbogen had the castle built to protect the St. Goar customs and quickly expanded it into one of the strongest castle complexes in the Middle Rhine area. Just 10 years after the start of construction, “Rheinfels” was successfully defended for over a year in 1255 against an impressive army from the Rhenish League of Towns.

In the following century, the original customs castle became the increasingly important administrative center of the Counts of Katzenelnbogen, who rose to become one of the leading families on the Middle Rhine thanks to clever financial and marriage policies.

The construction of Neukatzenelnbogen Castle (today called “Katz” for short) on the other side of the Rhine in the 14th century increased the importance of Rheinfels Castle even further, as the counts were now able to effectively dam the Rhine.

Under the Hessian landgraves, "Rheinfels" was converted into a magnificent Renaissance castle and expanded with the outdoor facilities to become one of the strongest fortresses in Germany.

In 1692, "Rheinfels" was the only fortress on the left bank of the Rhine that could be successfully defended against the attacking troops of Louis XIV. But when   the fortress was handed over to the French revolutionary army without a fight  in 1794 , the end of this proud castle had come. In 1796/97  the outworks and the castle were blown up.

 “Rheinfels” was auctioned off in  1812 and served as a quarry for the reconstruction of the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress in Koblenz from 1818  until the ruins were purchased in  1843  by Prince Wilhelm of Prussia, later Kaiser Wilhelm I.

The visitor who visits "Rheinfels" today is surprised by the extent of these ruins, by the tangle of military and underground mine passages, some of which are still accessible today. A picture of the importance of the castle in the military and cultural fields is only complete when the visitor looks at the old plans and historical views of the once proud fortress in the museum in the former chapel room.

The Rheinfels castle is open to the public and can be visited

32 / 5.000 Übersetzungsergebnisse Übersetzung Who owns Rheinfels Castle today?

Prince Wilhelm of Prussia, later Kaiser Wilhelm I, acquired the Rheinfels castle ruins in 1843. Rheinfels Castle was donated to the city of St. Goar in 1924 with the condition that it never be sold. Rheinfels Castle still belongs to the city of St. Goar today.

Who built Rheinfels Castle in St. Goar?

Rheinfels Castle in St. Goar was built by the Counts of Katzenelnbogen in the 13th century.

How big was Rheinfels Castle?

Rheinfels Castle was one of the largest Rhine castles, covering an area of around 4 hectares. It had several towers, residential buildings and defensive walls. In the local history museum of Rheinfels Castle there is a model that shows the castle in its former size.