In the shadow of the castle. The history of the town is closely linked to Rheinfels Castle. For well over 500 years this mighty fortress was one of the largest and best fortified castles on the Rhine. It was only destroyed at the end of the 18th century - much later than its neighbours along the river – and is still an impressive
sight to behold, even as a ruin.
Who knows - maybe it was a sign from above – but the fact is that an Aquitanian monk by the name of Goar settled here in around 530 AD, living as a hermit in a cave. He carried out missionary work among the rural population, feeding the poor, the sick and the travellers passing through. The impact of his ministry
was far-reaching and led to the establishment of the settlement of St. Goar, which became a famous place of pilgrimage after the monk’s death. On the Via Sancti Goaris, today’s visitors can still retrace the steps of the town’s founder St. Goar, and in the depths of the old Stiftskirche they will find his former burial place and one of the finest crypts between Cologne and Speyer.
Back in the daylight again after the murky vaults, one’s gaze wanders through the busy lanes of the old town and up to Rheinfels Castle. It stands there like an open book carved in stone, reflecting the history of the fortress – a success story that began as the medieval residence of the powerful Counts of Katzenelnbogen and was later to become the impregnable Renaissance
fortification which could withstand a siege by a French force of 28 000. Discover
Rheinfels Castle on one of the exciting daytime or evening tours which take you through a maze of passageways and tunnels. The mighty ruined walls offer protection to a wide variety of plants and animals, some of them rare, which nature lovers can find out more about on the Rheinfelspfad trail. On some occasions, however, kestrels and sedum have to share their habitat with travelling entertainers, knights and wine-lovers. Middle Rhine wine presentations and medieval tournaments are just as much part of St. Goar as the popular Rhenish saint and Rheinfels Castle.
- Stiftskirche St. Goar
- Catholic parish church
- Rheinfels Castle
- Historical town centre
- Puppen- und Bärenmuseum
- Wahrschauer- und Lotsenmuseum
- Historical mill in the Gründelbach Valley
- Themed tours of the castle
- Themed walks
- Nordic walking
- Open air swimming pool
- Yacht marina
- Miniature golf
- Horse riding
- Rhein in Flammen (3rd Saturday in September)
- Markmen's festival (3rd weekend in July)
- Medieval castle- and Hanse festival (1st weekend in August)