Rheinfels Castle is the ruins of a spur castle on a ridge between the left bank of the Rhine and the Gründelbachtal above St. Goar. It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Upper Middle Rhine Valley.
It is the largest castle overlooking the Rhine and at one point it covered five times the area of the current ruin. It was built in 1245 by Count Diether V von Katzenelnbogen. In 1479, the counts of Katzenelnbogen died out and the ownership of the castle passed to the House of Hesse.
In 1692, Rheinfels Castle was the only fortress on the left bank of the Rhine that was able to defend itself against attacks by French troops sent by Louis XIV.
Rheinfels was handed over to the French Revolutionary Army in 1794. In 1796/97 the exterior walls and the castle were blown up. Parts of the Castle have been restored and contain a museum and hotel.
Added by Michael Kovacevic
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