The legend of Drachenfels (Dragon Rock)


This weekend we went to visit family who live near Bonn in North Rhine-Westphalia, the most populous state in Germany, which encompasses the plains of the river Rhine and the Mittelgebirge (small mountains/central uplands) which stretch towards Belgium, where they continue as the Ardennes. The lands on one side of the Rhine were colonized by Romans (the Cologne/Bonn side), whereas the other side was left to the local tribes after the Romans suffered a heavy defeat. Southeast of Bonn near the Rhine are the Siebengeberge, hills of ancient volcanic origin, formed by magma rising up beneath the surface and then cooling and becoming solid. Now as I’ve mentioned before, the usual practice in Europe is: if there’s a hill put a castle of top of it (it makes for a good lookout/defensive position), and indeed, you will find several castles and monuments on top of the many hills in the area. The rock of the area was also quarried, since the nearby Rhine made it convenient to transport the rocks, and used  to build the massive Cologne cathedral, amongst other things. Continue reading