Katzenstein Castle

Katzenstein Castle


Location: Dischingen, Baden-Württemberg   Map

Constructed: 1099

Open: 10am- 6pm Tue- Sun

Guided tours: 11am, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm

Closed: Mondays


Description of Katzenstein Castle

Katzenstein Castle is located in Dischingen, Baden-Württemberg region in Germany. Katzenstein Castle was constructed in 1099 in the valley of the river Egua. The fortress occupied a strategic location over old Roman road located below. Katzenstein Castle was badly damaged toward the end of the Thirty Years' War in 1648 then French troops captured and burned Katzenstein Castle to the ground. In 1669 Katzenstein Castle was reconstructed with massive improvements. In 1810 abandoned ruins of the military fortifications were nationalized by the state of Württemberg. One of the most interesting sites in the Katzenstein Castle is a Saint Laurentius chapel. In 1970's it underwent a massive reconstruction revealing medieval frescoes paintings that date back to 1250- 80. Currently Katzenstein Castle is privately owned and it is open to the public. The grounds of Katzenstein Citadel contains a restaurant and several hotel rooms.



In 1099 the "Lords of Cazzenstein" were first mentioned. They were feudal people of the Counts of Dillingen. In 1262 the nobles of Hürnheim called themselves the owners of the castle "von Katzenstein"; Hermann von Hürnheim-Katzenstein sold the castle and its accessories.

Ownership changed to the Counts of Oettingen in 1354. They pledged the castle to the Counts of Helfenstein, who enfeoffed Berthold von Westerstetten with Katzenstein in 1382. In 1572 the Katzenstein line of the Westerstetten went out. Thereupon the heirs of the last Westerstetter sold Katzenstein to their feudal lord, the Count of Oettingen.

In 1648 the French set the castle on fire. Count Notger Wilhelm von Oettingen-Baldern had it renewed from 1669 and expanded it into his residence.

After the death of the last Count of Oettingen-Baldern in 1798, Katzenstein passed to the princely line of Oettingen-Wallerstein and in 1810 was incorporated into the Württemberg Oberamt Neresheim.

The castle has been privately owned since 1939, but is open to the public. It has been an outstanding sight on the Staufer road since 1997.

Since October 2007, Katzenstein Castle has been one of 26 information points of the UNESCO Geopark Swabian Alb.

A Romanesque keep, the chapel of St. Lawrence built around the year 1000 - with unique frescoes from the transition period from the late Romanesque to the early Gothic - as well as the hall have been preserved in the state of the 17th century.