Location and History of the Castle
The castle "Burg Rheinstein" is located approx. 5 kilometers (approx. 3 miles) westward of Bingen, down the river Rhine, at the south entrance of the UNESCO Cultural Heritage of the Upper Middle-Rhine Valley ("Oberes Mittelrheintal"), face to face with the village of Assmannshausen. The castle was the symbol of the castle-reconstruction period in the 19th century, the so-called Romanticism, because of its impressive location, and also its eventful history had many highlights.
The roots of the castle are dated back to the late 13th century. The archbishop of Mainz built it as a customs castle. Also it was used to secure the territory of Mainz in the fight against the robber knights of the other castles down the river Rhine. Its zenith was from the 13th to 16th century. Afterwards the castle fall into ruin around the 17th century. In 1823 Prince Friedrich Wilhelm of Prussia acquired the well-preserved stock of ruins and let it rebuild by the architects and builders J. C. von Lassauxl, Friedrich Schinkel and Wilhelm Kuhn in the style of the Romanticism. Therewith the 1st romantic castle garden arose at a castle on the Middle-Rhine. Due to constant succession the castle remained in property of the Hohenzollern famliy upt to 1975. On November 7th, 1975, the opera singer Hermann Hecher bought the castle "Burg Rheinstein" to protect that extraordinary cultural heritage against the takeover by the Hare-Krishnar sect. With assistance of the federal state of Rheinland-Pfalz, the charming Friends' Association of the castle as well as the so many interested visitors the Hecher family was able to retrieve the "Schlösschen Rheinstein" back from its „Sleeping Beauty“-status and to etablish it as a living cultural monument upon the Middle Rhine.
Essential Part of UNESCO Cultural Heritage Upper Middle-Rhine Valley
In June, 2002, the "Upper Middle-Rhine Valley" between Bingen and Rüdesheim, and Koblenz was erected as a UNESCO World Heritage cultural area by the World Heritage Committee. So an exceptional river-landscape can be preserved as a heritage of mankind.
The Middle-Rhine valley is characterized by the river, the transport rail between North and South, by a winegrowing culture back to the Romans, by formerly flourishing trade towns, which are attractive tourist places today, as well as by a unmatchable number of castles, what is proofed by 21 castles 65 kilometers (40 miles) along the river Rhine, and further 19 castles on the mountain tops aside the river and in different side valleys.
The castle "Burg Rheinstein" is part of that World Heritage and is a key player of that cultural landscape. It is a symbol of the castle resurrection during the Romanticism in the 19th century.