Perched high above the Rhine River sits Drachenfels  which, according to legend, was home to a fire-breathing dragon that terrorised residents in the surrounding villages.

Located on the banks of the Rhine River, near Bonn, Drachenfels, or Dragon’s Rock, overshadows the resort town of Koenigswinter. Drachenfels is the most visited mountains in the region and is part of the Siebengebirge range.

Drachenfels

Several legends surround the Drachenfels, but my favourite and the most famous is that Siegfried – the hero of the Nibelungenlied – killed the dragon Fafnir, who lived in a cave on the hill, then bathed in its blood to become invincible. Hence, the hill is named the “Dragon’s Rock”.

I had seen pictures of the Schloss Drachenburg and had to visit, while I was in the area. the easiest way to get to the castle is to use the Drachenfels Bahn, a small railway that runs most of the way up the side of the mountain. Feeling energetic and because the railway was closed, I chose to walk up. If you want to walk to the top, be aware, it is steep and can be tough going if you’re carrying a lot of camera gear.

Drachenfels

The views on the way up to the plateau are spectacular, with glimpses of the Rhine and Bonn in the distance. Once you get above the Schloss Drachenburg, there are great views looking back towards it and the river in the distance.

At the top is a plateau, with a restaurant and terrace which offers some of the most commanding views of the Rhine River valley you’ll see. The summit, reaches nearly 1,000 feet in height.

Drachenfels

Schloss Drachenburg has its own fascinating history. Plans to turn it into an amusement park around 1910 failed. During World War II, the Nazis used it as a school for the elite for a time. The damaged castle was then occupied by the Americans; later, refugees were housed there. A lengthy restoration project was completed in 2010.

Part way up the mountain, you’ll find a bar / restaurant which may be a convenient place to stop and take a rest. You’ll also find a reptile museum about half way up the mountain which I didn’t get to visit as it was closed.

Visit my gallery to see more pictures from Drachenfels