Location: On the right bank of the Rhine in St. Goarshausen, ca 30 km from Rüdesheim
Approach: You park in St. Goarshausen. Behind the level crossing be- tween two houses is a nice narrow lane; at its end the path to the castle starts
That path is steep, stony, hard to climb and simply fun. Overgrown preci- pice on one side, decayed walls on the other, on top of that the view across the Rhine at Festung Rheinfels. Enjoy these 12 minutes it´s the only thing on this castle trip worthwhile.
Then you stand on tiptoes in front of the gate and try in vain to catch a glimpse of the castle, turn around and start the descent.
You get the most out of Burg Katz if you admire it from down at St. Goars- hausen. The castle belongs to a Japanese, that´s all that´s known in the village.
When asking for directions I met an old man who compensated for this dissapointing experience by showing me his private "native museum" which he set up in a small house in the middle of town. Quite interesting and one of the countless times I experienced the residents at the Rhine to be open, friendly and ready to help.
Résumé: A trip to this castle is a waste. (Pity you can´t read that one in German. We have a saying "das ist für die Katz´" (=that´s for the cat) which means that something is useless and a waste of time. So I thought it rather funny to say in German: "A trip to Burg Katz is, well, how should I put this, hm, für die Katz´." But anyway...).
If you like scrambling, plan to stop in St. Goarhausen in one of the old wine-taverns and want to stretch you legs beforehand you may walk there and back.
If you want to see something of the castle stay below.
History: Burg Katz was built in the middle of the 14th century by the counts of Katzenelnbogen. It protected the town of St. Goarshausen, which belonged to Katzenelnbogen against the Electorate of Trier while at the same time serving as an outpost to the adjoining Festung Rheinfels on the other side of the Rhine.
In the Palatine War of Succession it was partly owing to Burg Katz that Festung Rheinfels could withstand the French. In 1806 it was blown up by order of Napoleon.
At the end of the 19th century the ruin was bought by a private person who had it rebuilt, though without too much regards for the medieval remnants.