Rheinstein Castle

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Rheinstein Castle
Burg Rheinstein (Reinstein)
Coordinates 49°59′37.3″N 7°51′30.34″E / 49.993694°N 7.8584278°E / 49.993694; 7.8584278
Type Medieval castle
Site information
Owner Hecher family (privately owned)
Open to
the public
open to public
Site history
Built 1316 – (rebuilt: 1825-1844)
Inner yard
The castle in the last decade of the 19th century

Rheinstein Castle (German: Burg Rheinstein/Reinstein) is a castle near the town of Trechtingshausen in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany.


The castle was constructed in about 1316/1317. Rheinstein Castle was important for its strategic location. By 1344, the castle was in decline. By the time of the Palatine War of Succession, the castle was very dilapidated. During the romantic period in the 19th century, Prince Frederick of Prussia (1794–1863) bought the castle and it was rebuilt.


From the 14th–17th centuries, the castle was granted as a fief by the archbishops of Mainz. Its owners and feudal lords included:

1323 – Matthias, Count of Bucheck, Archbishop of Mainz

1348Kuno II von Falkenstein, Archbishop of Mainz

1409 – John of Nassau enfeoffed the Geheimrat, Johann von Selheim, with Königstein. Sometimes the archbishops of Mainz stayed here in their secular role as electors of the Holy Roman Empire.

1459Diether von Isenburg, Elector and Archbishop of Mainz, enfeoffed the castle and the village of Assmannshausen (which is near the castle on the opposite bank of Rhine) to the cathedral student (Domscholasten) Volpert.

1572 – The castle, together with its associated estate, was transferred to Mainz cathedral's custodian (Domkustos) and chamberlain, Anton Wiltberg. He could not maintain the castle economically, however. It gradually decayed, but remained Wiltberg's residence until his death.

1779 – the ruins were given a new owner: Geheimrat J.von Eys. He alienated the buildings for four Laubtalers to the Regierungsrat Johann Jacob, Lord of Goll.

1823 – On 31 March 1823, Prince Frederick of Prussia bought the castle ruins and the rocks. The prince was a nephew of King Frederick William III of Prussia and Queen Luise.

18251829 – saw its rebuilding under the leadership of the famous castle builder, Claudius Lassaulx, who was succeeded in 1827 by his pupil, Wilhelm Kuhn, who completed the building. Prince Frederick named the castle "Rheinstein" because of its impressive cliffs directly above the river.

1842 – Rheinstein Castle became the favorite residence of Prince Frederick. Many crowned heads of state of that time were guests at the castle, such as Queen Victoria, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna of Russia and many others. Prince Frederick had the Wiesbaden architect, Ph. Hoffmann, draw up a plan for a chapel and crypt. Just two years later, the neo-Gothic chapel and crypt for the royal family was formally opened.

1863 – After the death of the prince his son, Prince George of Prussia, inherited Rheinstein.

1902Prince Henry of Prussia, a brother of Kaiser William II, now inherits the castle.

1929 – the wife of Prince Henry, Irene of Hesse and by Rhine becomes the owner.

1953 – The last owner of the German nobility is the Princess Barbara of Prussia, the Duchess of Mecklenburg.

1975 – the castle is in private possession of the Hecher family

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