where’s the dragon?

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„Why wander far away when the good is so close at hand…”


It’s hot in Germany: we experience the longest sunny summer period since… (I don’t know, but compared to last years’ summers we’ve got a real hot-hot summer!)

Nevertheless we decided to take a chance for a trip to Drachenfels. Local temperatures are about 30-35°C (about 100° F), the sky is blue, the sun is unforgivable, but we thought that on top of Drachenfels (about 300 m above sea level) it might be a little less hot, some fresh breeze perhaps…



When talking about Drachenfels we think of:

  • the mountain (part of the Siebengebirge in North Rhine-Westfalia along the Rhine)
  • the ruin (the castle Burg Drachenfels)
  • the palace (the manor house Schloss Drachenburg).

So: where’s the dragon?

Drache (in German) means dragon (in English): so it’s the dragon mountain, the dragon castle & the dragon palace.

Popular myths say that once – long, long ago – a dragon resided on top of the mountain (no comment). Sometimes this dragon story is related to the myth of Siegfried the dragon slayer & the treasure of the Nibelungen epic and so on… (however, there seems to be no evidence…).

Today it’s a popular tourist attraction & dragons are everywhere!



How to approach Drachenfels?
Of course you enter the Drachenfelsbahn, a cogwheel railway working since 1883. It takes you to the top of Drachenfels where there are breathtaking views of the Rhine.


For the record:
Of course you may also walk resp. hike. It’s about 220 m straight up the mountain – no option when it’s a hot-hot summer!



The Rhine shows eminent marks of the summer’s heat: all over the riverbanks appear large sand banks. (Normally these areas are flooded w/ water!)



On top is the ruin Burg Drachenfels (see photo #2 above) as well as a restaurant w/ beer garden where we enjoyed some fresh & cold Alster (a mix of beer & lemonade) after having made the last hike to the ruin. Revitalized we made our way top down to the manor house Schloss Drachenburg (see photo #1 above).


For the record:
Burg Drachenfels was completed in 1183 & became the seat of the burgraves of Drachenfels displaying a dragon in their coat of arms. The castle was demolished during the Thirty Years’ War & never rebuilt.



So now we’re approaching Schloss Drachenburg, the manor house, completed 1882 during the romantic epoch when the Rhine & its castles & manor houses became topics of poetry & literature – of course the dragon epic was a main attraction then.

Schloss Drachenburg was a modern building for its time: there were gas lighting & central heating, pre-assembled elements were used to finish the building in only 2 years. The owner, however, never lived in his new home – her preferred to stay in Paris.



We roamed the manor house now under control of the state & renovated (1995-2010).



We roamed the garden…



However, it was hot & temperatures didn’t stop rising…



So we entered the Drachenfelsbahn once again to take us down to Rhine level.



Many thanks to my better half for all the photos!


Personal note:
Sometimes more historic facts & artifacts & ruins wait on your doorstep to be discovered than you imagine!


…& at the end:
Isn’t there – at least a little bit – Neuschwanstein feeling?



(I made this shot from a photo!)


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