Did you know that Germany has over 25,000 castles, fortresses, and ruins? Drachenburg Castle is located in Königswinter, in western Germany, and was built in record time within two years. Unfortunately, the castle itself was badly damaged in the last days of World War II and despite extensive restorations from 1995 to 2010, bullet holes can still be seen on the Rhine-side facade.
In addition to the beautiful cities that you can marvel at near Drachenburg Castle, I am sure that you will definitely enjoy visiting Drachenburg Castle in Germany.
Why visit Schloss Drachenburg?
Drachenburg Castle was built on a mountain – the so-called Drachenfels. This has a height of 321m and was created by rising magma that could not break through to the surface of the earth. Especially in the Middle Ages, the Drachenfels down the Rhine was a much used building block. For example, the trachyte rock was used for the construction of the Cologne Cathedral.
From 1882 to 1884, Schloss Drachenburg was built as a private villa for the Baron Stephan von Sarter from Bonn. However, he lived in Paris until his death and never lived in the castle, for which he paid a total of 1.8 million gold marks.
During World War II, the castle building was heavily bombarded and damaged. Some of the bullet holes can still be seen today. The west facade is particularly affected.
Furthermore, the central dome and the stained glass windows of the art gallery were almost completely destroyed. After refugees were quartered there later, large parts of the murals, which were torn from the walls and stolen, were missing.
In 1971, a private citizen saved the castle from its final disintegration and opened it to the public for the first time.
It was only a few years later that the state of North Rhine-Westphalia acquired the castle and the park. Incidentally, this can only be viewed together with the museum since 2009.
Arrival to Schloss Drachenburg
Address: Drachenfelsstr. 188, 53639 Koenigswinter, Germany.
The castle itself can be reached either on foot or by using the Drachenfelsbahn. By the way, the Drachenfelsbahn is the oldest operated rack railway in Germany. It has connected the old town of Königswinter with the Siebengebirge since 1883.
Even if the Drachenfelsbahn is one of the most used cogwheel railways in Germany, we chose the footpath for our visit.
CAR | For our visit, we drove to the nearby parking lot by car. This is linked directly to the footpath. To find the parking space, simply enter the address in your navigation system. At some point you will see a parking lot under a bridge. You can park your car there and start hiking. The hike itself takes about 30 minutes.
TRAIN |There are good rail connections from Cologne and especially Bonn. You still have to walk a good distance or take the Drachenfelsbahn.
The opening times of Drachenburg Castle vary depending on the month and season. You can see the opening times here on the official website, but I also looked them up and wrote them down here:
- January & February: open daily from 12:00 to 17:00
- March to June: open daily from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
- July & August: open daily from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
- September to November 24: open every day from 12:00 to 17:00
- Christmas: Open on Saturdays and Sundays from 12:00 to 21:00
Cost of your visit
Unlike other castles in Germany, the park costs admission. Given that the castle and the park are in very good condition, this is absolutely fine. Admission tickets to Drachenburg Castle cost:
- Adults: € 7 per person
- Children & Students: € 5 per person
- Family ticket: € 17
Ticket prices can vary during special events.
Guided tours through Drachenburg Castle
There are classic private tours in English, French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and Russian. The prices for the tours are always for the entire group and not per person. Only the entry has to be paid by each person.
The following tours are available:
- Classic tour: tour of the museum and introduction to the castle history. Duration: 45 minutes; Cost: € 75 + € 5 admission; Number of participants: max. 25 people.
- Extended classic tour: Here you learn something about the history of the castle and have a wonderful view of the Rhine. Duration: 90 minutes; Cost: € 110 + € 5 entry; Number of participants: max. 25 people.
- Comfortable tour: This tour is especially for guests who want a slower pace. Duration: 75 minutes; Cost: € 75 + € 5 admission; Number of participants: max. 20 people.
- Children’s tour: A child-friendly tour of the castle. Duration: 45 minutes; Cost: 65 € + 5 € entry; Number of participants: max. 25 people.
There are also special themed tours. For an overview, just look here at their official website.
Our impression and visit
We visited Drachenburg Castle in May, but I’ve known Schloss Drachenburg since my childhood and have been there before. Nevertheless, I’m still obsessed with the beauty of the castle and love to take a walk there. I always try to imagine how life must have been here back then.
If you want, you can of course continue to visit the city of Königswinter, where you’re basically at when visiting Schloss Drachenburg. However, we would recommend that you use the opening times of the castle and then plan a relaxing evening.
Schloss Drachenburg is so beautiful that it’s impossible to not be happy-snappy all the time! Compared to the Eltz Castle, where you can basically just take photos from a single place, Drachenburg Castle offers more beautiful angles and photography opportunities.
If you are into flowers, in the castle park are incredibly beautiful rhododendrons and roses. A visit is worth it for that alone.
Here is some inspiration for your photos at Schloss Drachenburg:
One last tip for your visit to Schloss Drachenburg
After visiting the castle, you can still continue to hike the Drachenfels. From above you’ll have amazing views over Königswinter and you can visit the Drachenfels castle which is an old ruin right at the top of the Drachenfels.
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- How to spend one day in Cologne
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- A visit to fairytale Burg Eltz