Katzenstein Castle

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High Middle Ages
Art Movement
Gothic art, Romanesque art
89561 - Dischingen
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+49 7362 919656
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Geo coordinates
48.723748, 10.392121
The Katzenstein Castle Ex-perience Historical Hohenstaufen castle Historical 12th Century Hohenstaufen castle Castle Katzenstein, a genuine jewel The castle on the top of the Rock is one of the oldest Ro-manesque castle complexes in southern Germany. Despite the alterations, it has retained the character and appearance of a knight's castle from the Staufer Era. The almost com-plete collection of buildings – the towering keep, the manor house, the living quarters, the stables and the artisan's quar-ters - depicts today what life was like back in the days of Medieval Times.
The legend of the Katzenstein treasure In May 1737 a Capuchin monk went to Katzenstein with two notaries in order to dig up a treasure supposedly buried at the castle. The somewhat nervous notaries remained in the bailey, leaving the monk to rummage through the vaults alone. The evil castle ghost felt himself disturbed in his role as a guard and attacked the treasure hunters. Thanks only to the good castle ghost of Westerstetten, who also happened to be present, the monk was saved from even more dire circumstances. Horrified by what had happened and utterly distraught, the monk fled from the castle, wildly gesticulating as he went. The summit of the rock to the north-east of Heidenheim - precursor of today's castle – was probably occupied as far back as the Hall-statt era, approximately 800 B.C. In Roman times, a watch tower stood here - erected against Ger-manic tribes - near the trading route.
In 777, the Bavarian Duke Tassilo had fortifications built on top of the remains of the of the watch tower Foundation in order to protect the monastery which he had founded in nearby Neresheim in the same year. The castle's unusual name can be attributed to the owners of the castle – von Cazzenstein – on whose coat of arms a cat is embla-zoned right next to a stylised lily. Around the keep, the defence tower, is entwined the legend of a hoard of gold, which is guarded by a castle ghost, who stands for no nonsense with regard to the treasure. And that is why the Katzenstein treasure still lies buried in the safe hiding place of the defence tower. Knights and Lords of the Castle 1095 first documentary evidence of the von Cazzenstein nobility (medieval barons) at the castle 1257 lords of the castle are the "ministeriales of Dillingen" (unfree knights) 1262 a branch of the Lords von Hürnheim called themselves von Katzenstein 1354 the castle passes into the possession of the Oettingen family 1380 Berthold von Westerstetten is invested with the castle (as a fief) 1505 Emperor Maximilian I grants the von Westerstettens power to judge according to the Carolina law (a procedure for the judgement of capital crimes) 1520 Lorenz von Westerstetten received Katzenstein 1572 the last member of the Westerstetten line, Wolf Dietrich von Westerstetten, dies 1632 the fief reverts to the Oettingen family once again 1648 the castle is besieged and severely damaged by Swedish and French troops during the 30 Years' War 1669 Count Notger Wilhelm of Oettingen-Baldern has the castle renovated and converted into a residence for himself 1798 Castle Katzenstein falls to the Oettingen-Wallerstein line 1810 Katzenstein is integrated into the Württemberg district authority of Neresheim 1939 the banker Herbert Wolfgang Stuber acquires the ruin and starts renovating the castle (upon adoption in 1942, takes on the title von Caboga-Locatelli) 1945 the lord and his family are imprisoned by the SS. They man-age to escape 1949 the castle is sold to the painter Elly Edler 1965 the castle ruins are sold to the Holl family. Substantial build-ing and restoration work is carried out in the 1970s 1988 the castle is sold to Mr Alwin Peter.
Small flats are built 1995 during Mehrl's leasehold, the knights' hall burned down 2006 the Walter family leases and renovates the castle.
After 20 years, Katzenstein opens its gates once more to the public. 2008 extensive renovation work is carried out on the keep. On September 14th it is opened to visitors for the first time 2009 the castle becomes the property of Michael-Nikolaus Nomidis-Walter
The old castle lies in a picturesque location in a cheeky position on a rock which rises high above the village. Katzenstein possesses all the simple and original hallmarks of a medieval castle: a complex comprising a high, very strong castle wall, from one side of which the stone house with its protective keep rises. Incidentally, the wall was left partially free and elsewhere narrow outbuildings were built up against it, thus allowing room for a seemly spacious courtyard in the middle. Portrait of Castle Katzenstein, dating back to the 18th century

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Oberer Weiler 1-3
89561 Dischingen

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