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.References:
The Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere is one of the oldest churches of Rome. The basic floor plan and wall structure of the church date back to the 340s, and much of the structure to 1140-43. The first sanctuary was built in 221 and 227 by Pope Callixtus I and later completed by Pope Julius I.
The inscription on the episcopal throne states that this is the first church in Rome dedicated to Mary, mother of Jesus, although some claim that privilege belongs to the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. A Christian house-church was founded here about 220 by Pope Saint Callixtus I (217-222) on the site of the Taberna meritoria, a refuge for retired soldiers. The area was made available for Christian use by Emperor Alexander Severus when he settled a dispute between the Christians and tavern-keepers.
The church underwent two restorations in the fifth and eighth centuries and in 1140-43 it was re-erected on its old foundations under Pope Innocent II.