St Goar - Loreley

St. Goar is located below the dangerous rapids on the left bank of the middle Rhine in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany.

Anyone who drives from the Hunsrück via Simmern to St. Goar sees first the Cat and the Mouse Castle, before taking the road down to the Rhine. Both castles are part of the sister town St.Goarshausen. The construction of Maus Castle (Mouse Castle), under the original name of St. Peterseck, was started by the Archbishop Bohemond II of Trier in 1356 and lasted 30 years. It served to enforce the Rhine toll rights and to defend the borders of the territory of Trier against the Counts of Katzenelenbogen. In the late 14th Century it served temporarily residence of the Electors. Maus Castle is now privately owned, but guided tours are offered during the summer months.

Maus Castle St. Goar - Germany
Maus Castle @copyright myVideoMedia

The Katz Castle (Cat Castle), originally named Castle Neukatzenelnbogen after the builder, the Count of Katzenelenbogen, who built the castle in 1371 as a toll castle for the ships sailing downstream. Today Katz Castle is owned by Japanese proprietors and was place of action for the second of the Yoko Tsuno comic series - The organ of the devil.

Katz Castle St. Goar Germany
Katz Castle @copyright myVideoMedia

In 1245, after St. Goar had received city rights, Count Diether V of Katzenelenbogen erected on the left bank Rheinfels Castle as toll Castle for ships sailing upstream. In the 17th Century the castle has been expanded to the largest fortification in the Middle Rhine Valley. 1794, the castle was surrendered without a fight to the French revolutionary troops and shortly thereafter blown up. Rheinfels Castle is the biggest castle complex at the Rhine and sits enthroned as landmark above the city of St. Goar. Today, Rheinfels Castle is an attractive tourist destination and houses the Romantic Hotel Rheinfels Castle.

Rheinfels Castle St Goar - Germany
Rheinfels Castle @copyright myVideoMedia

St Goar - Middle Rhine - Germany
The settlement in this area started in Roman times. The foundation of the city dates back to the Holy Goar who settled here in 511 AD to Christianize the rural population. At that time, he built a hermitage, hospice and a chapel from which the monastery Sankt Goar emerged.

Loreley - Lorelei - St Goar - Germany
Just a few kilometers from St.Goarshausen lies the famous Lorelei rock. Here is the narrowest part of the Rhine between Switzerland and the North Sea. According to the saga a beautiful mermaid sat on the rock and combed her golden hair. Her singing dragged the boatman into her spell. The boatmen did not pay attention to the dangerous currents and the ships were wrecked on the rocks.

The entire section belongs to the UNESCO World Heritage Upper Middle Rhine Valley.

View of Rhine and St Goar seen from Loreley
View of Rhine and St Goar seen from Loreley 

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