Rheinfels Castle Ruins

Sankt Goar, Germany

Rheinfels Castle construction was started in 1245 by Count Diether V of Katzenelnbogen. After expansions, it was the largest fortress in the Middle Rhein Valley between Koblenz and Mainz. It was slighted by French Revolutionary Army troops in 1797.

The main entrance to the castle complex is a tall square clock or gate tower (~1300 AD) opposite the hotel. A connecting path joins the clock tower to the remains of the living quarters of the Earls of Hessen-Darmstadt (the so-called Darmstadt Building). The Darmstadt building was designed in Tudor style with pointed gables. The connecting path was the site of the former moat of the main castle buildings; part of which is now the large cellar or basement. This large cellar was arched over in 1587-89 in two visible phases. It is the largest self-supporting vaulted cellar in Europe and has a length of 24 metres, a width and height of approximately 16 metres and can accommodate up to 400 people.

The walls are up to 4 metres thick. Previously a 200,000 litres wine barrel was constructed for storage. The cellar was renovated in 1997 and restored to its original condition and now serves as a meeting place for concerts, theater performances, and other shows.

The castle museum is located in the former castle chapel which is the only finished room of the original castle. It is accessed through an internal gate and up the path. The museum contains a model reconstruction of the castle before its destruction giving one a sense of how big the castle used to be. The medieval castle courtyard is found beyond the castle museum building (slightly uphill). This was the center of the medieval castle which contained a bakery, pharmacy, garden, brewery, well, and livestock—which would have allowed it to withstand an extended siege. Remnants of the original 13th-century plaster which was painted white can still be found on some walls.

While much of the castle is a ruin, some of the outer buildings are now a hotel and restaurant.



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Founded: 1245
Category: Ruins in Germany
Historical period: Hohenstaufen Dynasty (Germany)


4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Emm Jod (12 months ago)
The two stars are for the friendly staff and the delicious breakfast buffet with a stunning view due to the location on the Rhein. Other than that, we were extremely disappointed with our room ("Double Deluxe"??) in the "Villa," which felt more like a youth hostel with old Spartan furniture, an old plastic tray for glasses, thin walls so no privacy for us nor the neighbours, spider webs on the small balcony, and thus no "Deluxe" feel at all. Double bed had two separate super soft, worn out, and uncomfortable mattresses and room did not have A/C, so it was very hot and stuffy. We did not open the window as it was so loud outside (neighbours on other balconies and also in the corridor) so we hardly slept and just felt groggy the next day. Overall, we really wished we had not spend that much money on a "castle" experience but found something of better quality. We had been looking forward to that romantic getaway and "luxury" weekend for a long time, and in the end we were just frustrated. It wasn't worth it. Preis-Leistungs-Verhältnis very poor.
Stacey Altamirano (12 months ago)
We loved our stay at the Romantik Hotel Schloss Rheinfels. The customer service was excellent! We stayed in the villa, which at first I was a little disappointed, but our room was so beautiful and the view of the river was excellent. My disappointment was replaced with joy! The breakfast was also supreme, with a variety of sausages, spreads, cheeses, breads, coffee, tea, musli, fresh fruits, fresh juices...all simply excellent. We also enjoyed our time in the wellness center. Sadly because of COVID-19, not all of it is accessible, but the pool, sauna, and relaxation center were top! The stay is worth it!!
Red Sky (12 months ago)
Very nice Hotel with good food and an amazing view.
Mark Hutchins (16 months ago)
Renovations were taking place which unfortunately ruined the ambiance of what should have been a special weekend. It would have been appropriate to reduce the bill by 50%.
Valentin Paul (2 years ago)
Great Hotel with an awesome location and view. The Spa is a bit too small and not every staff member meets the requirements for good service. But all in all recommended though.
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