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The legends which interweave with the most beautiful Rheinstein Castle are a bit confusing – similar to the famous saying “ask 5 people and you get 7 opinions”. But on the other hand, legends have literally been “handed” over from generation to generation and it is most logical that small deviations happen. However, the storyline is similar in this case. But let’s start with the historically proven background:
Originally it was built as a watch castle to control the neighbouring robber knights at Reichenstein Castle in 13th century. These days it was called Bonifatiusberg (St. Bonifaz was the patron saint of neighbouring Mainz Archbishopric) and it changed names quite often. End of 13th century, King Rudolf von Habsburg came to Rheinstein Castle to plan his action against the neighbouring gang of robber knights on Sooneck and Reichenstein Castle (see Reichenstein Castle, later on this page). Over the following years and centuries, the castle fell into disrepair but was bought and restored by Friedrich Ludwig of Hohenzollern early 19th century as a summer residence. It was only then when it was renamed Rheinstein, following the “Rhein romaticism” trend of these days (Clemens von Brentano, Achim von Arnim, Lord Byron, etc). The neogothic chapel outside of the castle walls is burying ground for Friedrich Ludwig and his family. The castle remained in the hands of Hohenzollern family until 1975, when it was bought by opera singer Hermann Hecher. He and his family, with the help of state Rheinland-Palatinate and countless friends, have managed to repair and renovate the castle to his todays’ beauty.
There is of course a beautiful legend woven into the castle: Diethelm, once a knight who lived at Rheinstein Castle, had a beautiful daughter, Gerda, who eventually fell in love with Kuno of Reichenstein, nephew of the neighbour’s Reichenstein Castle knight. These days it was not appropriate to visit the future father-in-law and tell him that he will marry his daugther, but a higher ranked and older relative had to do this. So it was Guenzelin of Reichenstein, whom Kuno asked to perform this task. Old Guenzelin agreed but had another agenda in his mind, which was to tout for him. And as he had enough money (while Kuno didn’t), Diethelm was more than happy to give his daughter to the old man. Of course, both Gerda and Kuno were desperate but nothing helped to convince Diethelm to rethink his decision. But at the day when Guenzelin came to pick up Gerda for the ceremony down in the little church at the river, suddenly a swarm of bees were surrounding Gerda’s horse which started to run off. Guenzelin raced after her…. but his horse stumbled, he fell and broke his neck. And it was Kuno who rescued her and of course was allowed to finally marry her.
It has never been solved why or where the bees came from but the legends say that the water fairies often appear as bees and so Father Rhein and his folk did manage some justice in this family betrayal.
Burg Rheinstein can be visited of course. From March 15 to November 15 it is open daily (9:30 – 18:30) and during November 16 to March 14 only on weekends. Entrance fee is 4 € (and lower fees for kids and groups). It is included in the 10 castle ticket (10 castles along the Rhein for 19 €, which would cost 30 € in total if visited without this pass).
The castle offers many special attractions for visitors, such as a night tour or special tours for kids. And it has a nice garden and café for relaxation.
I like this castle very much. For me it is one of the most beautiful ones along the Rhein and the owners do take care of it with love and affection.
Oh and on the recent trip with my colleague from Brazil I have learnt that this castle and neighbour Reichenstein Castle can easily be confused due to the similarity of names:
Rheinstein = Rhein (river) and -stein = rock
Reichenstein = Reich/en (rich) and -stein = rock.
Update, December 2010:
Since May 2010, Marco Hecher, son of the owners, has reopened the little restaurant on the castle ground. I saw a TV documentation and yes, it seems to be better than ever. The restaurant is called Kleiner Weinprinz and has its own website.
Summer: Wednesdays to Sundays, 12:00 – 18:00,
Winter: Fridays to Sundays, 12:00 – 17:00.
Burg Rheinstein on Google Maps
© Ingrid D., July 2008, update May 2011: website exchange.
continue with next review
Updated Apr 19, 2012
Address: Trechtingshausen, 5 km west of Bingen
Phone: # 0049-6721-6348
Now we have to look in the centre of the River, as this is where Pfalzgrafenstein Castle is!
I have seen it so many times on TV and Travel show's, and now I am seeing it for myself, and yes, it really does look like a Boat! I love it, it is different!
This Castle isn't quite as old as some of the others as it dates to 1326/27. It actually was built because of a dispute over the Rhine toll between the Pope and King Ludwig of Bavaria. Wow! Two very powerful people!
The King, had made some dangerous enemies by raising the toll in Kaub. Pope John XXII wanted to excommunicate King Ludwig and take action against the Kaub toll, but was ignored!
Instead, King Ludwig ordered that a tower be built on the rocky island of Falkenau in the middle of the Rhine to control the waterway on the right side of the river. Between approximately 1338 and 1342, a defensive wall was built around the tower.
Shaped like a boat, in 1607 it was renovated. A long, hexagonal defensive wall now encloses the pentagonal tower, a portcullis was added and in the 1970's, the baroque colour scheme of red and white was restored.
IT IS OPEN.....
April 1 until September 30: 9 - 1PM & 2-6PM
October 1 until March 31...Closes at 5pm. Last admission 30 min. before closing time.
In December and on 1st working day of each week - Closed.
How to get there:
Car park between the B42 and the railway; the pier for the passenger ferry to the island (and the car ferry to get to the B9) is around 1½ km outside of town. The ferry to Pfalzgrafenstein runs approx. every half hour.
From the railway station: Go towards the town centre, then to the riverbank of the Rhine, from there it’s around 5 min. to the ferry
Updated Jan 9, 2012
Camp Bornhofen is the Town situated alongside the River near the "Hostile Brother's Castle." This is a timber rafting and shipping community, but is also known for the famous pilgrimage church and monastery dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
Boat processions carrying pilgrims to see the miraculous image of the Virgin Mary, have been taking place since the middle ages and cannot be found anywhere else in Germany.
Our next stop is Boppard, and this is where we alight from the Boat, and return to Bingen by Train. It was a marvellous Cruise, one my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed. There was so much to see, the weather was good, and it was relaxing, we couldn't ask for more!
Thankyou for coming virtually with me on this part of the River Rhine Cruise.
Updated Jan 7, 2012
Still more Castle's to see, and the next are located on the right side, and are quite close to each other. They are Castle's Sterrenberg and Liebenstein, otherwise known as "The Hostile Brother's' because of a story.
Now, the story goes like this....
"Two hostile brothers supposedly fought against one another from their neighbouring castles. While the defensive wall between the two castles could be one piece of evidence for this myth, in reality it simply constitutes the second curtain wall of Sterrenberg Castle. In fact, there never seems to have been an armed conflict between the castles."
Sterrenberg Castle, first mentioned in 1034, is the oldest Rhine castle still preserved today. Built on top of a rock, a more recent building resembling a great hall with a circular stair tower is now the so-called women’s building, enlarged and turned into residences in 1970. Since 1972, the Rhine side has housed a castle pub designed in the Gothic style.
Liebenstein Castle, first mentioned in 1294/95, only 150 metres further south, was built in the 13th century.
Several residential towers were integrated into the ring wall, the oldest of which is still preserved. At the ditch, it is possible to see the remains of the castle gate, including the drawbridge.
Since 1592, the castle has been declared uninhabitable.
Updated Jan 7, 2012
We didn't do this, but on watching the Boat's following the firework's along the River Rhine, I thought what a good idea this was!
The Firework's begin at 10.20pm, but the Boat's depart a lot earlier.
By going by Boat, you get to see all the seven Firework Station's, which are Trechtingshausen, Assmannshausen, the ferry near Rheinstein Castle, opposite the ruins Ehrenfe ls, castle Klopp and Rudesheim ferry between Bingen and Rudesheim.
This is another great way to see the Firework's!
When I checked the website, I see most of them include Dinner. What a romantic way to spend an evening!
Details of price's and booking is located on the website below.
Updated Jan 7, 2012
Since 1977, these fireworks " night of magic fire " have been held on the Rhine between Trechtingshausen and Bingen in July.
On a fine and clear night, Ingrid [Trekki] took us through Bingen, which was already busy with people and traffic, to the Rheinstein Castle.
Parking was quite easy here, so after locking the Car, it was time to climb the track to the Castle.
Ingrid had thought this out really well, as from the top of the Castle, the view was magnificent!
We not only saw the view in daytime, but when night fell, and the firework's began, it was spectacular!
Not only were we viewing the firework's, but we were looking down upon a flotilla of 50 Tourist Boat's, all lit up with coloured light's, it was such a beautiful sight!
After the firework's had finished here, we went back to the Car, and then to Bingen where we viewed the Finale!
This was by far the best way to view the firework's, and we also had time to have a look at the Castle.
The entrance fee was 5euro for special event's.
I would recommend to anybody who wants to see the firework's, to do this, it gives a view that you wouldn't find else where in the World!
2012 is on July 7th.
If you miss this one, then there are more you can view along the Rhine.
Other date's for along the Rhine firework's are...
Spay - Koblenz 11th Aug. 2012
Oberwesel 8th Sept. 2012
St. Goar 15th Sep. September 2012
Updated Jan 7, 2012
I guess most people do this if they have time, in saying that, I THINK IT IS A MUST DO~
Ingrid [Trekki] made the suggestion to go by Boat to Boppard, as this is the most interesting part of the Rhine, and then return by Train.
We took this suggestion up, and caught the 11.40am KD line Boat To Boppard and came back by Train.
On arrival at the Dock at Bingen, we went to the Office and bought our ticket's, then sat and waited for the Boat. It wasn't long before it arrived and we boarded, heading to the top deck.
In JULY, there was plenty of seating.
As it was a nice day, we had wonderful views along the River, we saw so many Castle's, small Town's, Trains and just River Traffic, it really was an enjoyable time, and a good way to have a rest!
We knew what we were seeing as a good commentary was given along the way.
I think "KD Lines" ran a good and efficient Cruise, and I wouldn't hesitate to travel with them again!
Take something warm incase the a storm quickly brew's or a wind comes up!
Please check the website for prices and timetable's.....
And then join me sightseeing along the River Rhine
Updated Jan 7, 2012
Also at St. Goar, is the ruin's of Rheinfels Castle, founded by the Count's of Katzenelnbogen in 1245.
As the only military complex on the left bank of the Rhine river, it withstood the troops of Louis XIV in 1692.
Then in 1794, Rheinfels fell without a fight to the French revolutionary army, they blew it up!
The remains served later as a stone quarry for the reconstruction of Ehrenbreitstein, before Prince Wilhelm of Prussia acquired the medieval part of the ruin in 1834.
Since 1925 Rheinfels Fortress is a property of the city of St. Goar.
The fortress is open, and there should be a good view of the Rhine Valley. Don't miss a walk through the gigantic vault cellar and the labyrinth of the subterranean mine galleries and casemates.
OPEN....Mid-March - beginning of November DAILY 9-6pm
Saturdays + Sundays 11-5pm
Written Jan 7, 2012
St. Goar was the Town located across the River from St. Goarhausen.
The town was named after Saint Goar who settled here in 550 and founded a Christian hostel for travellers and for the poor. He led a solitary life and although many legends have sprung up around the saint, he was most famous for his hospitality.
The collegiate church is still standing on the site where he lived and built a chapel.
Also in St. Goar is a Romanesque crypt from the 11th century, the Collegiate church has vaults from the 15th century as well as several Gothic wall paintings.
There is a small parish church with a Goar epitaph from the 14th century. The Coblence Gate served as the bell tower and has the oldest depiction of Saint Goar carved into the capstone of its cross vault.
The greatest tourist attraction is Rheinfels Fortress, the largest castle ruin on the Rhine.
If you come to explore after the Cruise, the Tourist Information centre will store your luggage their for FREE.
LOCATED AT...Heerstrasse 86
OPEN.............MAY - SEPT....Mon-Fri 9am-12.30pm and 1.30pm - 6pm
Sat 10am-12am Sat 10am-12am
April + October ......Mon-Fri 9am-12.30 pm and 1.30pm-5 pm
October-March Mon-Thu 9am-12.30 and 1.30pm-5 pm ...Fri 9am-2 pm Sat 9am-2 pm
For the Ferry timetable, check this website...http://www.st-goar.de/64-1-info--service.html
Written Jan 7, 2012
I love this! We have just seen Cat Castle, now I am looking at Mouse Castle!
Maus Castle is just a little further on from Kat Castle[Cat], lying above the village of Wellmich which is a part of St. Goarhausen.
Beginning in 1356 to enforce Trier's recently acquired Rhine River toll rights and to secure Trier's borders against the Counts of Katzenelnbogen (who had built Burg Katz and Burg Rheinfels), this Castle took 30 years to build.
Unlike its two neighbouring castles, Burg Maus was never destroyed, but was restored between 1900 and 1906.
The castle suffered further damage from shelling during World War II which has since been repaired.
Today Burg Maus has an aviary that is home to falcons, owls and eagles, and flight demonstrations are staged for visitors from late March to early October.
THE STORY BEHIND THE TWO CASTLE'S [KAT & MAUS]
Local folklore attributes the name to the Counts of Katzenelnbogen's mocking of the Electors of Trier during the 30 years of construction, who reportedly said that the castle was the "mouse" that would be eaten by the "cat" of Burg Katz.
Written Jan 7, 2012
1 Review and 39 Opinions The exterior doesn't look bad at all. In fact it looks perfectly fine, as the exterior of hotels go....