Königswinter Things to Do
Schloss Drachenburg is a fantasy castle much in the same vein as the gloriously wasteful Schloss Neuschwanstein near Munich. It was built by a rich baron at the end of the 19th century, but never lived in. It's all towering spires, pastel pinks and layer cake design. It looks fantastic as well as fantastical, and the location is simply awe inspiring.
You can pay some ridiculous sum to visit the palace or take incredible pictures for free on that path up to (or down from) Drachenfels.
The steep incline to the summit of Drachenfels has been served by a train line since 1883. Originally steam traction engines plied the route from Koningswinter, but since a tragedy in 1958, when a steam train derailed killing 17 people, it has been electric only. It's a pleasant piece of history, and the only way you are going to reach the top if you can't handle the steep 321 meter walk, but it's expensive for what you get: 9 euros return for a 15 minute journey.
According to legend Siegfried slew a great dragon on a rocky summit 321 meters above the Rhein. He then bathed in its blood to become invulnerable. They named this mountain Drachenfels, or Dragon's Rock. Later some crazy German built a castle at the top, and this can be visited, along with a viewing platform, by taking the Drachenfels train to the top. Or walking.
The views are incredible, and worth a side trip from Bonn or Cologne by themselves, although the charge to travel the train might seem steep for what you get. Best consider walking as an option.
Petersberg, (formerly Gastehaus Petersberg), 53639 Konigswinter, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Good for: Business
Hauptstrasse 357, 53639 Konigswinter, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Good for: Business
Rheinallee 3, 53639 Konigswinter, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Good for: Families
Schonsitzstr. 1, 53639 Konigswinter, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Good for: Couples
An der Herrenwiese 14, Königswinter, North Rhine-Westphalia, 53639, Germany
Good for: Business
Lowenburger Strasse 1, 53639 Konigswinter, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Solo
Hauptstr. 487, 53639 Konigswinter, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Good for: Solo
Hauptstrasse 345, KÃ¶nigswinter, North Rhine-Westphalia, 53639, Germany
Good for: Business
Gustav-Freytag-Strasse 1, 53639 Konigswinter, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Good for: Families
Pizzeria Italia: Don't eat here!
VERY unpleasant manager who said he couldn't give us meat as the kitchen was closing. We said 'fine' since we're vegetarian anyway. I ordered something with cheese sauce and he never stopped me, yet it had meat in it when we got it! When we complained he turned nasty after we declined his offer of 'scraping off the meat'...
From Cologne check regional trains running to Koblenz for ones that stop in Konigswinter. They take about 50 minutes. From Bonn take tram 66. If you want to go to Drachenfels Railway station, go all the way to stop Konigswinter Fahre, then walk backwards to Drachenfels street and walk up there until you find it.
Königswinter Warnings and Dangers
Guidance on photography in churches:...
Visiting churches is one of the absolute highlights of a trip to Europe, and provides a fascinating insight into the most powerful influencethat has shaped European cultures of the past couple of millenia.
Unlike some other religions - where access to places of worship may be restricted to members of that religious group or a specific gender - the vast majority of Christian churches will allow tourists to visit at most times, including routine services (although some may charge an admission fee for doing so, and access may be denied for private events such as weddings and funerals). However, tourists should realise that most churches are still active places of worship, and so visitors need to exhibit a certain sensitivity to display respect to the culture and avoid giving offence to people at prayer.
The following guidelines are based on wonderful advice offered by Homer (homaned) - who does this for a living - in a forum response, and although specifically written for Christian places of worship, would apply equally to places of worship for other religions
So, here is a general list of do's and don'ts for people wishing to photograph during a church service:
READ THE SIGNS
If photography is not permitted - because, for example, it may damage paint on delicate murals - this will usually be indicated by a pictogram of a camera with a red line through it. Under most circumstances, you can assume that photography will be allowed (unless otherwise indicated), but may not be permitted during services. If in doubt, ask for clarification - this shows respect and will very seldom be met with anything other than a helpful response.
TURN OFF YOUR FLASH!
Every camera on the market has a button on it which will turn off the flash. The number one most alarming and distracting thing that can happen during a liturgy, and one which will even get you kicked out of some churches, is the bright flash that goes off when you take a picture. Not only is it distracting, but it usually makes the picture turn out dark, because your camera's flash only has about a 10-15' range. Turn off the flash, and hold the camera up against your eye, using the viewfinder, and you will likely get a better picture (and you definitely won't have any red-eye problems!).
DON'T MOVE AROUND ALL OVER THE PLACE! (UNLESS YOU HAVE PERMISSION)
Instead of walking all over down the main aisle and in front of everybody, pick a good place from which to take a picture at the beginning of the liturgy, and stay there. Unless you're a professional photographer with practice at stealthily moving during liturgies, you're a distraction, and you're being disrespectful. Even if you're a pro, try to stick to one out-of-the-way place, and use a zoom lens and zoom in to get pictures. Walking in front of people is a surefire way to distract and disrespect and closing in on priests or other celebrants just to capitalise on a photo opportunity is offensive.
TURN OFF THE CAMERA'S SOUND!
Every camera has some way to mute all its 'cute' beeps and clicking noises. If you press a button, and hear a beep, or if you take a picture and hear an obnoxious shutter clicking sound, you need to turn off those sounds (the muting option is usually in one of the menus). Along with the flashing, it's an obvious sign that someone is taking pictures and not showing much respect for those trying to pay attention to the liturgy.
TURN OFF THE 'FOCUS ASSIST' LIGHT!
If your camera can't focus without the little laser-light that shines in everyone's eyes before your camera takes a picture, then don't use your camera. You have to turn that light off! It is very distracting to be watching a lector or priest, and see a little red dot or lines pop up on his face all of the sudden. It's as if some rifleman is making his mark! Turn the light off (again, look in the menus for the option to turn off the 'AF assist' or 'focus assist' light). If you can't turn it off, put a piece of duct tape or some other opaque material over the area where the light is, so the light won't shine on someone.
TURN OFF THE CAMERA'S LCD!
You should never use the LCD to compose your shots anyways; just put your eye up to the viewfinder, and that will not only not distract, it will also steady your camera against your face, making for a better picture (especially if you don't have the flash on). And if you must review the pictures you've taken, hold the camera in front of you, down low, so people behind you don't notice the big, bright LCD display on your camera
CERTAIN PARTS OF THE CEREMONY ARE PARTICULARLY SENSITIVE
The consecration (blessing) of the eucharist (bread and wine) and distribution of communion to the congregation are considered to be particularly sacred parts of the service, and it is offensive to photograph these activities.
The main thing is to try to be respectful of the culture and of other people present at the service. Don't distract. And, if you are asked to not take pictures, or if there's a sign saying 'no photography allowed,' then don't take pictures. You can always ask a priest's permission before the liturgy, but if he says 'No,' put away your camera and enjoy the freedom you have to focus on the privilege of being able to share an experience with people who consider these religious rituals core to their culture and identity, rather than focusing on your camera's LCD!
Homer's Rules ... Homer rules!
Königswinter Tourist Traps
Drachenfels - a hill in the...
Drachenfels - a hill in the Siebengebirge range where the inspiration to the Seven dwarfs is said to have come from since the hills are associated with forest stories. We don't feel disappointed going there as it had a nice view of the Rhine both north and south and a 'burg' ruin at the top but the queues to the tram up there from Königswinter can be long and the restaurant is a concrete bunker with the usual fast food things. The not that old castle might have made it more worthwile but we had a train to catch in Cologne and that castle was only half way up the mountain.