Drachenburg castle sits upon a steep hill which is relatively easy to hike up to. You could choose to take the adorable green tram up to the castle but, it’s not really necessary even if you’re only moderately fit like me. I suggest you hike up with a friend and admire the woods along with the views. Along the trail to Schloss Drachenburg, you get to see the eastern part of the Rhine River. It is worth taking the time and making the effort to hike up to see the Rhine from the trail. Hiking up with my friend Maria took much longer than it should as we kept taking photos along the way, too many selfies and photos of the natural beauty which surrounds the castle. I went on a beautiful, sun-kissed day and managed to get a light tan. I suggest you take along a bottle of water, wear good shoes, sunblock and skip hiking when it’s raining. The trail is sandy and would definitely turn to slippery mud during raining weather. Schloss Drachenburg is loosely translated into Dragon Castle and you will find many dragon-themed items in the castle’s souvenir store. But, there are no dragons or dangerous creatures along the trail.
At the entrance of this tiny castle, you will find two massive deer guarding the Venetian styled terrace. From the grand steps of the Drachenburg castle, you get to see the glorious green view. The Siebengebirge nature reserve with its dense forest surrounds the castle. I was awestruck the castle itself is beautiful but, it’s also rather small. It looks more like a grand mansion than a castle. Some say it’s not really a castle. I fell in love a little just because I’m short and there was a castle that was tiny too. It was the kind of castle I could see myself wanting to live in if I was a princess of the past.
Then I stepped inside and saw that the inside of Schloss Drachenburg is exquisite. There are murals painted on certain sections of the roof, intricate carvings, the furniture is antique and stately. The colours of the décor blend together and fit in perfectly. I think you aren’t supposed to take photos of the interiors but, there wasn’t a sign so I sneakily took a few photos inside. Not a lot is known about Drachenburg castle. It was commissioned by, Baron Stephan von Sarter, who laid the first foundation brick in 1882 for the Wilhelminian style castle. von Sarter was the son of a Bonn innkeeper and he became a prominent businessman. The story of someone from humble beginnings rising to success is kind of inspiring. Then I found out that von Sarter never lived in the castle. He rented an apartment in Paris and lived there till he passed away in 1902. A bit wasteful then again maybe he adored Paris too much to live in his magnificent castle. Maybe the castle was just a symbol of having made it, or he intended on marrying someone and staying there then the romance fizzled. Anyways in 1903 Sarter’s nephew, Jakob Biesenbach gained the rights to the property and decided to open it to the public. To this day historians still, don’t know why Sarter had the castle built or why he never lived in it. I for one wonder why he had it built but, I’m happy he did it truly was a major highlight for me. The North-Rhine Westphalia region wasn’t always as stunning for me as I’m spoilt from living in Cape Town. Then I saw Köningswinter, Bonn and the Drachenburg castle and that changed. I got to see the beauty of the region.
According to the NRW tourism site, Schloss Drachenburg becomes a beacon of light around Christmas time. The first three advent weekends see the castle playing host to a lively Christmas market. Various stalls sell different kinds of food and wine all from the Siebengebirge. You can also visit the interior of the castle. And at the end of January, the “Schlossleuchten” is held, 400 lamps and 12 projectors are installed in order to illuminate Drachenburg castle, its trees, and shrubs creating an explosion of colour. I might have to go back to see these magical lights since I spent my Christmas in the Netherlands.
January and February: 12 am to 5 pm daily
March to June: 11 am to 6 pm
daily July and August: 11 am to 7 pm daily
September to November 24: daily 11 am to 6 pm
On all Advent weekends: “Unique Christmas time”
Saturday: 12 noon to 9 pm
Sunday: noon to 8 pm
Schloss Drachenburg gGmbH
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