The Grand History of Rheinfels Castle in St. Goar
Rheinfels Castle, perched high on the hills of St. Goar in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, majestically overlooks the picturesque Rhine Valley. Not only is it an impressive example of medieval military architecture, but it is also a significant testament to the region's history. This article takes a look at the rich and vibrant history of Rheinfels Castle.
Beginnings of Rheinfels Castle
Rheinfels Castle was built in 1245 by Count Diether V of Katzenelnbogen as a toll castle. Unlike many other castles of this time, Rheinfels Castle was steadily expanded and strengthened, which helped it withstand many sieges. Its robust construction allowed it to survive as one of the few fortresses in the Rhine Valley the destruction in the War of the Palatine Succession in the late 17th century.
The heyday of Rheinfels Castle
The castle experienced its heyday in the 14th and 15th centuries under the Counts of Katzenelnbogen and later the Landgraves of Hesse. It became one of the most powerful and impregnable castles on the Middle Rhine. During this time, large parts of the castle complex were added, including the extensive underground passages and casemates.
Rheinfels Castle in the Thirty Years' War
During the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648), the castle maintained its strength, despite repeated sieges. It was held by the troops of the Hessian Landgrave and successfully resisted attacks by Spanish and Imperial troops.
Decline and Revival
After the Thirty Years' War, the castle gradually began to decay and was blown up by French Revolutionary troops in 1797. After the Congress of Vienna in 1815, the ruins fell to Prussia and remained unused for several decades.
In the late 19th century, the Prussian Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm IV acquired the ruin and had it converted into a romantic place. Since 1925 it has been owned by the city of St. Goar.
Today, the castle houses a museum where visitors can discover the fascinating history of the castle and the region. It is also a popular wedding location and offers hotel accommodation.
Rheinfels Castle is a living monument to history, telling a story of power, defense, and survival. A visit is a journey into the past and a must for anyone visiting the beautiful Rhine Valley.
When was Rheinfels Castle built?
Where is Rheinfels Castle located?
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.
What happened to the Rheinfels Castle during the Thirty Years' War?
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.