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Rheinfels Fortress

The Fortress of Rheinfels. Source: LAD

Today, Rheinfels is one of the largest ruins on the River Rhine. In 1245, Count Diether von Katzenelnbogen gave orders for the hilltop castle near St. Goar to be built. Its lively court life made the toll castle a cultural centre on the Middle Rhine in the 14th and 15th centuries. In 1479, it passed into the possession of the Hessian landgraves.

It is still possible to visit parts of the impressive and extensive mine gallery. In addition, the tunnels on the Rhine side and two forts have also survived. These few remains suffice to outline the original dimensions of the biggest Renaissance fortress on the Rhine.

In 1843, the Prussian Crown Prince Wilhelm, who was to become Emperor Wilhelm I, bought the ruins but made no attempts to rebuild them. In the last century, some of the buildings were restored, and the former Fort Scharfeneck was turned into a hotel between 1970 and 1973.


The Fortress of Rheinfels. Source: LAD

Information in brief

D-56329 St. Goar



St. Goar Municipality


Opening times:

Easter until 1st Sunday in November: daily 9.00-18.00.

Weather permitting, 1st Sunday in November until Sunday before Easter: Saturdays and Sundays 11.00-16.00.



Open mid-March until the 1st Sunday in November, 9:30-12:00 and 13:00-17:00.

Closed: November until mid-March.


Hotel and Restaurant Schlosshotel and Villa Rheinfels, St. Goar

Phone: +49 (0)6741 8020

Fax: +49 (0)6741 802802


Philharmonic odeon and castle theatre (small performances)

mid-March until 1st Sunday in November from 11.00.

Closed on Mondays.

Phone: +49 (0)6741 7879


How to get there:

From the B9 road, turn off towards Bingen and pass the town centre and the ferry pier. Before you reach the end of town, you turn off left towards Pfalzfeld/Biebelnheim. After approx. 600 metres (right behind the second underpass), there is a car park to your right (parking charges).

Distance: Approx. 900 metres from the St. Goar railway station; about 1 km from the ferry pier.



During the tourist season, the ‘Burgexpress’ runs from the market square of St. Goar to the castle every 15 min. between 10:00 and 18:00.


More photos

Holger Klaes