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)


4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Ben Makepeace (2 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.
Brittany Bock (3 years ago)
A surprisingly wonderful castle with a tower to climb. We are glad we stopped!
Marcel Bosboom (3 years ago)
Very nice and small, you can climb a tower with very small steps and get a feel for what the soldiers watched so many years ago. the landscape is awesome and full of nuances with hills and slopes. the really thought of the kids to so if you want to meet Balthazar the ghost this is your next trip. ps. Very nice food too which is not overpriced
Erick Kramer (3 years ago)
It is a great place to visit. I went for the middle age interpretation and it was fun to see.
Bill Mertes (3 years ago)
What an amazing experience! My children loved the idea of staying in an actual castle. The people who won/run the castle (Roswitha was her name I believe) was such a warm, happy, helpful person....my children hugged her when we left. I HIGHLY recommend this place for your trip to Germany....once in a lifetime experience.
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