Friday, June 17, 2011

THE CASTLES OF KONIGSWINTER

Independence Day ala Bonn for Riza (Bernabe) and me is taking time off the climate change negotiations for the historic Marketplatz.

There we went church hunting and Beethoven watching. 

There was that al fresco lunch of a huge pretzel and layered coffee and milk. 

There was Abert (Magalang) at the tourist information center as we frantically hunt for a place to wiwi.

There were the three us deciding to spend the afternoon in Konigswinter and visiting that palace we heard from Denise. 

And there were us walking to the banks of the Rhine River, across the bridge to see the love padlocks, and getting in to the Bad Honnef-bound train.   

Konigswinter is a popular summer resort and the gateway to the Drachenfels Castle ruins and the elegant Drachenburg Castle.

To get to the castles, we paid 9 Euros to ride Germany's oldest cog wheel train up and down Drachenfels Mountain where legend says Siegfried from the epic Nibelungen Saga slayed a dragon. 


First stop is the ruins of the Drachenfels Castle at the highest point of Drachenfels Mountain for a panoramic view of Bonn, where the Romans used to quarry stones, and where the Archbishop of Cologne has the castle built as a watch tower between 1198 and 1208.

First stop was a castle of minor importance until its stone quarry was again rediscovered when the Cathedral of Cologne was being built, and sparked a family spat among its owners which in 1526 led to the assassination of Count Clas of Drachenfels by his own nephew.

First stop was blown up in 1634 by order of the the Archbishop of Cologne during the Thirty-Year War to repel the Swedish army who converted the castle into a military base, with subsequent quarrying causing what remained of the castle walls and tower to collapse, until it was finally stopped in 1836 by a royal edict, and conservation work began from 1855 until 1900.

Today, the ruins of the Drachenfels Castle is today among Germany's most popular sites with 2 million visitors every year.


On the way down,  we stopped midway at the newer Drachenburg Castle having been built between 1882 and 1884 by a Baron von Sarter.

On the way down, I remember Denise telling me that the castle was used as a Nazi school and as punishment was heavily bombarded by allied troops during World War II and remained in ruins until it was rebuilt in the 1960s and opened to the public in 1973.

We walked down to Konigswinter disappointed that we were not able to go inside Drachenburg Castle since it was already closing time.


Back at Konigswinter, we bumped into most of the Philippine delegation. 

Back in the banks of the Rhine, Albert decided to take the train back to Bonn while we decided to ride the ferry back to Bad Godesberg.

Back in Lando's house, me and Riza joined the Team Philippines in finishing off the left-overs of last night's reception dinner.


CREDIT: Last photo was taken bu Usec. Fred Serrano.

1 comment:

Fethiye said...

Königswinter absolutely perfect location. On the banks of the Rhine River walk, go to the top of the hill, the wine was excellent. I went to see the history and nature was perfect. Refer to
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbL5COsBWfE