Dieser Beitrag enthält Werbung – advertising.
„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!
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!)