Westerwald - Ganz nach deiner Natur! Verified partner Explorers Choice
Katzenstein v.untenPhoto: Tatjana Steindorf, CC BY-SA, Tatjana Steindorf
A forest path, best started from Burgmannenplatz in the old town, leads visitors to the Katzenstein, which can also be seen from the town in winter when the foliage is missing. Later, the path leads along basalt rock formations via cane and roots - please keep your distance from the edge.
Viewpoint and memorial of displaced persons
Like a balcony, the viewing platform of the Katzenstein hovers over the eastern part of the small town. Here is a large cross and the memorial of the expellees from the Second World War. And the view can wander far.
Water for the castle!
The old water house in the forest reminds of very old times. Because at Westerburg Castle, which is more than 800 years old, there were neither springs nor deep wells leading to water. Very early it was therefore supplied by its own water pipe.
The water source is located high up in the forest on the way from the Katzenstein to the campsite "Zum Katzenstein". From here the water was led downhill in pipes to the castle courtyard, where it flowed into a stone trough. It never froze over in the wooden pipes. The connecting pieces were made of iron, which had to be checked by the locksmith again and again.
Horst Jung has compiled an anecdote about this and other detailed information, as can be read in the Wäller Journal.
The desert Petermännchen
Were sacrifices made on the Katzenstein in former times? This story is told again and again. Or was the rock formation only used as a boundary marker? In any case, the Petermännchen must have haunted this place...
The old knight Peter, builder of Westerburg Castle, had made a pact with the devil.
Petermännchen led a godless, wild, desolate life. He walled up his treasures in his castle, but the devil did not allow him to entrust the place to his son. This torments him to this day. Often Petermann has to "return", he appears in various guises, often in the castle, more often still on the Katzenstein, where he used to call the devil and dedicate his soul.
Sometimes he remains mute and shadowy, sometimes he addresses those who meet him, asks them to "search under the seventh dog". He is not allowed to say more about the treasure and the place.
The artist Franz Hötterges, who lived in Gemünden for many years, immortalized the figure of the Petermännchen. The bronze stands at the Burgmannenhaus.
(The text has been translated from DeepL)
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