Katzenstein Castle

Katzenstein, Germany

Katzenstein Castle is one of the oldest remaining Hohenstaufen castles in Germany. The castle is located in a side valley of the river Egua, near the old Roman road Faimingen–Oberdorf bei Bopfingen. In 1099 the Lords von Cassenstein were first mentioned. The family was a Ministerialis or unfree knight family in the service of the Graf (or Count) von Dillingen. In 1262 Edlen von Hürnheim was listed as the owner of the castle von Katzenstein when it was sold by Hermann von Hürnheim-Katzenstein.

Ownership changed again in 1354 when the Graf von Oettingen acquired the castle. He quickly pawned the castle on the Graf von Helfenstein, who gave the castle to Berthold von Westerstetten in 1382. In 1572 the Katzenstein line wiped out the Westerstetten line. The inheritance of the Westerstetten family was sold again to the von Oettingen family.

The castle was burned to the ground by French soldiers in 1648, at the end of the Thirty Years' War. The castle was rebuilt in 1669. Burg Katzenstein went to the Oettingen-Wallenstein line in 1798. Then in 1810 the castle was taken over by the state of Württemberg and placed under the district of Neresheim. Since 1939 the castle has been privately owned.

In 1973 the St Laurentius chapel was opened and cleaning began. Under the dirt and partially completed Baroque paintings and impressive medieval paintings were discovered. The fresco paintings date from 1250 to 1280 and show the transition from Romanesque art to early Gothic art.

The castle is open to visitors and contains a hotel and restaurant.



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Founded: 11th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Germany
Historical period: Salian Dynasty (Germany)


4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Lacie Bader (8 months ago)
Our visit to this castle greatly exceeded my expectations!!! Everything is so perfectly maintained and stepping into all the rooms is like stepping back into the castle's history. It was a self guided tour so you could go at your own pace with information about every significant area on the wall to read in both German and English. There was a nice little restaurant in the courtyard where you could sit and eat outside or inside (where it was also comfortably heated by a wood burning stove!). So happy to have come here...I hope to return someday when they have an event going on. It would really bring you even closer to experiencing how the castle was in the middle ages!
Luc Harmsen (10 months ago)
Our favorite tourist spot to show a true medieval knights fort. It demonstrates the discomfort of a true fort rather than the Netflix depicted glamorous castles. Always a great place to get a traditional meal. Such friendly people to guide you to the right meal. Just make sure you taste the rotkohl. Red cabbage. Stunning.
Valerian Samborski (14 months ago)
It's fine if you are into medival castles.
Ben Makepeace (4 years ago)
We had a wonderful time here exploring the castle, taking photos, eating lovely food and drink at the Christmas market. Such amazing history, and provenance, contained in the building connect you to the history of the site. Would be happy to be back here again.
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