In 1161 Emperor Frederick I (“Barbarossa”) settles a dispute between the archbishop of Trier and the Rhenish Count Palatine over the possession of the castle. This gives rise to the first mention of the Ehrenburg in contemporary documents.
In 1331 the houses of Waldeck, Schöneck, Eltz and Ehrenberg form an alliance against Archbishop Balduin of Trier in the Eltz Feud. Four years later the rebels commit themselves to peace in the Eltz Atonement; Frederick I’s letter of fiefdom is renewed.
In 1397 the last member of the house of Ehrenberg destroys over 200 houses in the city of Koblenz as the result of a dispute with its citizens. One year later the Ehrenburg is inherited by John of Schönberg. In 1426 the castle falls to Cuno III of Pyrmont, in 1526 to Philipp of Eltz, in 1561 to the Lords Quadt of Landskron and in 1621 to the house of Hoensbroich. During the Thirty Years’ War the Spanish occupy the castle from 1640 to 1651. In 1668 the Ehrenburg comes into possession of the barons of Clodt.
On November 1, 1688, French soldiers under the command of Louis XIV seize the Ehrenburg during the War of the Palatine Succession and blow up much of the castle on April 30, 1689. Only the chapel remains unscathed and is not abandoned until a century later.
In 1798 the castle passes to the baron of Stein. After the house of Stein dies out, in 1831 the Ehrenburg falls to its heirs the counts of Kielmansegg, in 1867 to the counts of Gröben and in 1924 to the counts of Kanitz. In 1991 it comes under private ownership.
Since 1992 the Ehrenburg has been preserved, restored and rebuilt from private funds by the charitable Friends of the Ehrenburg organisation.