Ehrenfels Castle was (re-)built about 1212 at the behest of the Archbishop of Mainz as a defensive work against the constant attacks by Elector Palatine Henry V, who, as Imperial vicar of Franconia, strived to cut down the archbishop's reach. Mainz staffed the castle with Burgmannen and erected a customs post controlling the shipping on the Rhine, supplemented by the Mouse Tower below at the river. Heavily damaged in the course of the Thirty Years' War, the castle was finally devastated by French troops under the command of Lieutenant General Nicolas Chalon du Bléduring the 1689 Siege of Mainz.

The ruin can be reached from Rüdesheim via a hiking trail through the vineyards. The interior however can only be visited in guided tours by prior appointment.



Your name

Website (optional)


Founded: 1212
Category: Ruins in Germany
Historical period: Hohenstaufen Dynasty (Germany)


4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Chris Wyatt (2 years ago)
Very cool place, they have a cable car
Shane Vandecar (2 years ago)
It's a bit of a hike to reach these old castle ruins near a bend in the Rhine river, but totally worth it. I've visited three times and never seen anyone else here! Quite, secluded, and beautiful. Different from most of the other Rhine valley castles and palaces I've seen. I recommend parking in Rudesheim and biking through the vinyards to reach it.
Simon Traberg-Larsen (2 years ago)
I can truly recommend the wonderful trip/hike/bike tour from Rüdesheim am Rhein to this ancient castle. The view across the Rhein is marvelous and riding between the thousands of wine stocks, where locals work on the fields really adds to the experience.
Mike Branum (2 years ago)
So, it appears someone is actively restoring this castle. You can drive right up to it and there are some great photo opportunities, but do NOT expect to get within the walls of the ruins as the entrance is behind a locked (fairly newly-installed) gate.
Jens Thomas (3 years ago)
Great views of the ruins from the river. This is such a wonderful area. Even if one doesn't want to hike in the hills, one can see it all from the comfort of a ship.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Aarhus Old Town

The Old Town in Aarhus, Denmark (Den Gamle By), is an open-air town museum consisting of 75 historical buildings collected from 20 townships in all parts of the country. In 1914 the museum opened as the world's first open-air museum of its kind, concentrating on town culture rather than village culture, and to this day it remains one of just a few top rated Danish museums outside Copenhagen.

The museum buildings are organized into a small town of chiefly half-timbered structures originally erected between 1550 and the late 19th century in various parts of the country and later moved to Aarhus during the 20th century. In all there are some 27 rooms, chambers or kitchens, 34 workshops, 10 groceries or shops, 5 historical gardens, a post office, a customs office, a school and a theatre.

The town itself is the main attraction but most buildings are open for visitors; rooms are either decorated in the original historical style or organized into larger exhibits of which there are 5 regular with varying themes. There are several groceries, diners and workshops spread throughout the town with museum staff working in the roles of town figures i.e. merchant, blacksmith etc. adding to the illusion of a 'living' town.