SIEBENGEBIRGE is a mountain-range at the east-side of the river Rhine south-east of Bonn. It is near the cities Koenigswinter and Bad Honnef. Siebengebirge has more than 40 peaks with maximum hights of 461 meters. Siebengebirge was created by volcanic action 25 millions years ago. The most of Siebengebirge is a natural reserve now, it is one of the oldest protected areas in Germany. Siebengebirge can be translated to seven-mountains (The origin of the name is not exactly clear - See the history section). The seven big ones are:
You are come from Oberhausen and drive on highway A3 southwards in direction to Frankfurt. You can leave the highway at the exit #33 "Siebengebirge". Now, you drive towards the west through the Siebengebirge via Ittenbach and Margarethenhöhen towards the river Rhine. After Margarethenhöhe is a junction, where you can turn right drive up to Petersberg on a road with some nice serpentines. After this junction you drive 2 kilometers straight ahead to the junctions with the B42. Drive southwards on B42 to Königswinter.
Maybe you are come from Frankfurt and drive on highway A3 northwards to Cologne, you have to use the exit #33 "Siebengebirge". Watch the following details at the "Coming from North"-Description. If you are comming from Koblenz it is useful to take the B42 from Koblenz/Bendorf on. You reach Königswinter via Linz and Bad Honnef. This is a nice route, you can enjoy the fantastic view of the Rhine-valley.
You drive to the West and reach the highway A3. Now, follow one of the upper descriptions.
You drive from Aachen on highway A4 eastwards to Cologne and Olpe. At the crossing Heumar you have to change the highway and drive on A559 and after a while on A59 southwards to Königswinter. At the crossing Bonn-East the A59 changes to to B42. After 7 kilometers you reach Königswinter.
The Grosser Ölberg (also: Oelberg and old: Auelberg) is the highest mountain of the Siebengebirge and rises 461 meters above the sea-level. On the top of Grosser Ölberg is a big antenna. You can see Grosser Ölberg from far away and with the antenna it is well recognisable. On the top is also a restaurant Gasthaus "Auf dem Oelberg".
In the 12th Century Heinrich II built the Löwenburg lat: castrum Lewinberg (castle) on top of the mountain. It was necessary to protect his advance agianst the cologne castles of Drachenfels and Wolkenburg. The following years the owner was changed very often, and the wars in the 16th and 17th made the castle to a ruin.
Lohrberg is the third highest peak of Siebengebirge. The Lohrberg is a little massif with seven small peaks.
Nonnenstromberg is next to Petersberg. In the time Petersberg was called Stromberg, the Nonnenstromberg was called "Niedere Stromberg", because it was smaller than Stromberg (Petersberg). There is a tale saying that two godly nuns (Nonnen) had run for cover on the mountain during the crusade.
Archaeological researches say that 3500 before Christ some settlements were built on Petersberg. The Celts built a settlements in the 1st Century before Christ. In 1888 starts the construction of a hotel on top of the mountain, which was sold to the owner of 4711 Ferdinand Mühlens (the inventor-family of Eau de Cologne) in 1912. After the World War II the allied commission had its headquarter on the Petersberg. The "Petersberger Abkommen" was signed on 22nd Novemeber 1949. In 1978 the Federal Government of West-Germany bought the Petersberg for representative activities. Now, it is a Grandhotel "Steigenberger", where e.g. Michael Schumacher has married his wife Corinna.
The Wolkenburg, a castle was built by archbishop Ferdinand I. on the top of the mountain in 1118. The quarry ruined the castle in the 19th Century.
The Drachenfels is smaller peak of the Siebengebirge but it is very exposed and well recognisable at the south-western end of Siebengebirge. On top is a old ruin of the Burg Drachenfels (old castle of archbishop Ferdinand I.). The Schloss Drachenburg (palace) was built next to the castle. There is a railroad to a restaurant near the top, nowadays.
Siebengebirge was a quarry in the 1st Century which was used by the Romans. They produced Trachyt a hard rock which was used to built some representative buildings. In the 11th Century it was reopend. The stones were also used for the Cologne cathedrale (Kölner Dom) which was built over 600 years from 1248 to 1880. It was the highest building in the world. Now, it is the 3rd biggest church in the world. Siebengebirge was protected as a natural reserve by the Prussia on June 7th 1922. In 1971 Siebengebirge got a diploma as a protected area from the European council. The area of protection should be enlarged in the next years. Unfortunately the protection evoked a prohibtion of climbing at some quarries.