Sankt Goar castles! - Two Months of Rhine - CycleBlaze

July 2, 2022

Sankt Goar castles!

why are they always a hike up?

The entire reason to come to St Goar was for the castles that are here. There is the Rheinfels, the Katz and the Maus (I kid you not). This is the gorge area of the middle Rhine, and each side rises dramatically above the river.

The Katz and Maus ("Cat" and "Mouse") castles were built in the late 1300's to enforce tolls on the Rhine river. The Katz is actually privately owned today and is occupied - visitors not welcome. The Rheinfels was built starting in 1245 and was the largest castle on the Rhine. Today it is open to visitors, and a large adjoining hotel and restaurant is available, but we did not partake.

We began by taking a ferry to the other side of the river, with the intention of hiking to the Maus castle. The path begins through a cemetery.

starting our hike, temps were heating up
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And fairly quickly the views of St Goar (we had taken the ferry across to this side) were pretty spectacular. When we biked here, we were on the other side coming towards this direction. Lots of boats plying the water here.

good views back along the Rhine
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David SwordWow, that is quite the valley the river carved. Great view, great picture!
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1 year ago

Looking the other way you see the path tomorrow towards Koblenz.

our bike direction tomorrow, and the Maus castle peeking on the right
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Looking across, we could see the Rheinfels castle above the town. We were much higher at this point.

view of the Rheinfels castle across the way
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The views were great, but shortly after this point the path ran out, and we could not see our way around. It was already 28 degrees, we were getting hungry, and didn't wish to back track and try a different route. So....lunch won out and we turned to go back down.

stone to the right, grapes to the left, Maus straight ahead
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On the ferry back to the St Goar side (this side with the Katz and Maus castles is called St Goarshausen), there were wonderful views of the Katz castle. Hard to imagine what it would cost to buy, maintain, clean etc this huge castle. Who even would you buy it from? What title company would give you clear title?

the Katz looks really something
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Walking back in St Goar, we came across several gelato places, but this one had a flavour I had never seen before - Riesling!

gelato flavours include Riesling!
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So now its time to climb to the Rheinfels castle.

making our way to Rheinfels
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At least this path is a bit more obvious that the Maus climb. Steep, but we knew where to go - mostly.

steep stairs
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Huge castle once we got up there. And it was 5x the size of the current castle in its prime. 

window cut into castle wall
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When I see these old buildings, I can't help but wonder how long our house will last. Certainly not 1,000 years!

1,000 yr old masonwork. they knew their stuff
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David SwordRobbie Lawson (a stone mason cousin of Marjory) would be proud.
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1 year ago
Patrick Parnothat's the truth!
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1 year ago

After a fairly short visit, time to go down. That is our day with the castles above St Goar.

drawbridge to assail the castle
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Tomorrow we have a fairly short ride (37 km) to Koblenz for one night. Then its on the train to Metz, to ride down the Mosel river! No more sauerkraut and brat for us!

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David SwordYou should be writing for the Globe and Mail! Great journals.
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1 year ago
Patrick Parnoglad to have you along!
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1 year ago