Bistro and Shop

Bistro


Enjoy a bite to eat, either before or after your visit to the castle, in our Bistro in the Vorburg or on the west terrace. There's an excellent range of savoury snacks, cakes, ice cream and warm or cold drinks for you to choose from. 

The Vorburg Bistro is open from Wednesday to Sunday from 12 till 7 p.m. (see opening hours)

 

 

The Castle Shop

If you wish to take home a memento of your visit to Schloss Drachenburg or if you are looking for attractive and reasonably priced presents for your loved ones, you'll be sure to find something in the Castle Shop with its large selection of souvenirs. It is situated in the Vorburg. Our souvenir articles offer you the chance to take a small piece of castle atmosphere back home with you.
When it comes to younger dragon hunters, we have some stuffed dragons and much much more to explore.

Admission Prices

Admission to the historical rooms of the noble level, insights to parts of the private floor, the parkland, permanent exhibitions of the castle history and restoration, the North Tower and the Vorburg with its Museum of the History of Nature Conservation in Germany:

Adults: 7,00 Euro
Children/concessions*: 5,00 Euro
Family ticket**: 17,00 Euro

Please note, that we have different prices for special events (i.e. castle lights "Schlossleuchten")

 

Private guided tour (max. 25 people)


Duration: 45 minutes
85,00 Euro : foreign language guided tours (English, French, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Russian) + 5 € reduced price tickets per person.

With groups larger than 25 persons, the number of participants will be divided into two smaller groups. Please note, that we can not offer more than one group at the same time in following languages: Italian, Spanish, Russian. Private guided tours outside official Schloss Drachenburg opening hours will be subject to a supplementary charge (35 EURO).


For more information, please send us an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call: +49 2223 901 970 

 

* Children from the age of 6-17 (younger kids are free), students, disabled persons, groups from 20 persons or with guided tour

**2 adults and 2 children from 6-17

Opening Hours 2018

3 March to 20 June    daily    11 am – 6 pm


21 June to 22 September    daily    11 am – 7 pm


23 September to 4 November    daily    11 – 18 Uhr


5 to 25 November    daily    12 – 5 pm


Christmas Market  (All advent weekends)   1st till 26th december 2018 on Saturdays 12 – 9 pm / on Sundays and holidays 12 – 8 pm

 

We would like to point out that parts of the landscape park, the terraces and the north tower involves the negotiation of steps or stairways. The exhibition rooms of the castle can be visited by physically disabled people and wheelchair users with the help of our staff.

Animals are not allowed inside the castle.

 

Code of Conduct

Welcome to Schloss Drachenburg!

Please remember that you are on the grounds of a listed architectural monument, the character of which we would like to preserve. Please note too that these grounds are private.To make your stay as pleasant as possible and to ensure your safety on this cultural heritage site, we would request you to adhere to the following Code of Conduct.

1. If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to ask our staff in the Schloss Drachenburg reception area or the supervisors in the castle itself.

2. The entire area is listed as a historical monument and may not be altered. That area includes the castle complex and the parkland which features both steps and steep pathways. We would draw your attention to the uneven ground surface and to the danger of tripping up – both indoors and outdoors. That being so, you will appreciate that we cannot accept liability for any damage to personal property caused by simple negligence. This means in effect that you enter the grounds of Schloss Drachenburg at your own risk. If you decide to leave the paths, we would respectfully ask you to take extra care so that you do not place yourself at risk on terrain that is impassable in parts. Please note that only limited winter maintenance service, or none at all, is provided in certain areas and on certain pathways.

3. Please act with consideration for other visitors. Refrain from any conduct that may annoy others or put them at risk. We reserve the right to treat any contravention of this rule as a breach of the peace and take appropriate action.

4. Open fires and barbecues are forbidden.

5. The consumption of food and drink in the castle and exhibition rooms is prohibited. You are also asked not to consume food and drink brought from outside in the Schloss Drachenburg bistro and restaurant.

6. Please note that you are not allowed to use hiking sticks or other sticks in the castle or the front building. However, this rule does not apply to walking aids designed for medical purposes.

7. It is not permitted to take dogs or other animals into the castle and exhibition. Elsewhere in the grounds, dogs must be kept on a leash. Help us to keep the Schloss Drachenburg grounds clean and tidy by cleaning up after your dog if necessary.

8. Teachers, group leaders, parents and legal guardians are responsible for the behaviour of the children and young people in their charge.

9. When special events are taking place, the Schloss Drachenburg management reserves the right to restrict admission to the Schloss Drachenburg complex in terms of both time and space. We kindly request you to comply with any corresponding arrangements.

10. Taking photographs and/or filming with camcorders is permitted for private purposes only. However, special exhibitions are excluded. Any photo, sound and film recording not made solely for private purposes requires the written approval of the Schloss Drachenburg management. Attention is herewith drawn to the provisions of copyright law. Members of the press going about their work may take photographs following consultation with Schloss Drachenburg management.

11. It is generally forbidden to touch the exhibits. Exceptions to this rule will be clearly marked. When in the immediate vicinity of the exhibition pieces, please be careful when handling articles in your possession so that they do not inadvertently cause damage to the exhibits.

12. Only the Schloss Drachenburg management may organise and carry out guided tours through the castle and front building. The staff in the Schloss Drachenburg Visitors Centre will be happy to provide further information and/or advise on booking procedures.

13. The supervisory staff acts on behalf of the Schloss Drachenburg management. As such, they have been instructed to ensure that the Code of Conduct is observed at all times. For this reason, visitors are required to follow the instructions of the supervisory staff. Should the Code of Conduct or the instructions of the supervisory staff be ignored, then an authorised member of the Schloss Drachenburg management team may request the person(s) involved to leave the premises.

14. Visitors who repeatedly disregard the Code of Conduct and the instructions of the supervisory staff may be banned from entering the premises permanently. In the case of a ban from the premises, the money paid for admission will not be refunded.

Thank you most cordially for your support. We wish you a pleasant stay at Schloss Drachenburg.

Links

Drachenfels Railway

This unique rack railway runs from to the Drachenfels and stops at Schloss Drachenburg Station on request. For further information, please go to:
> www.drachenfelsbahn.de

Culture in the Siebengebirge

The landscape along the romantic River Rhine offers visitors a nature and culture experience of truly unforgettable quality. Outstanding architectural monuments help bring alive the eras during which they were built. Museums display artistic works or aspects of everyday life and business routines from times gone by. Historical sites evoke memories of famous people from the past. Here is a list of interesting links. Please note that some knowledge of German may be required:

> Kultur im Siebengebirge
> Haus Schlesien
> Brückenhofmuseum
> Museum Naturschutzgeschichte
> Naturpark Siebengebirge
> Siebengebirgsmuseum der Stadt Königswinter
> Stiftung Abtei Heisterbach
> Stiftung Bundeskanzler-Adenauer-Haus
> VHS Siebengebirge

Further Links

> Nibelungenhalle
> NRW-Stiftung
> Stadt Königswinter
> Deutsche Stiftung Denkmalschutz
> Bonn Region
> Straße der Gartenkunst
> Europäisches Gartennetzwerk – EGHN
> Rheinriviera
> Rheintaler
> doatrip – Dein Ausflugsportal
> Hotels und Ferienwohnungen in Nordrhein-Westfalen
> Hotel Bergischer Hof Königswinter
> Hotel-Angebote in Bonn von Expedia.de
> BonnHotels.de

Schloss Drachenburg is a member of "Straße der Gartenkunst" and of EGHN (Europäisches Gartennetzwerk).

1882 – The Architectural Dream

Stephan Sarter was born the youngest son of a Bonn innkeeper in 1833. Following his apprenticeship at a bank and several stays abroad, he made his fortune by speculating on the stock exchange and, incidentally, helping to finance the Suez Canal. In 1882, he was ennobled by Duke Georg von Sachsen-Meiningen and, by 1882, Baron Stephan von Sarter had already laid the foundation stone for an imposing residence, namely, Schloss Drachenburg – a mixture of villa, mansion and castle. Two Düsseldorf-based architects, Leo von Abbema and Bernhard Tüshaus, drew up the original plans which were subsequently revised by Wilhelm Hoffmann, an architect resident in Paris and a former pupil of Ernst Friedrich Zwirner, a Cologne Cathedral architect. The historical architecture and splendid furnishings of Schloss Drachenburg were to find much admiration amongst contemporaries. Yet Sarter was never to live there. His chosen place of domicile was Paris where he died in 1902, still a bachelor, without having regulated his inheritance. Jakob Biesenbach, one of his nephews, bought the castle from the state.

1903 – Schloss Drachenburg as a Summer Resort

As a child, Jakob Biesenbach had experienced the foundation stone ceremony and lived in the nearby Hirschburg Castle for some time. A lawyer by profession, he decided that Schloss Drachenburg should now be developed as a tourist attraction and had the medieval Burghof (a castle farm which was then part of the overall property) demolished, replacing it in 1904 with a hotel built in the "Swiss style". In addition, Biesenbach also built some Nordic Summer Houses in the park for use as exclusive holiday apartments. Newly planted pine trees and a wildlife enclosure made for a suitably atmospheric backdrop. For its part, Schloss Drachenburg was transformed into a kind of community centre for the better-off: there was a restaurant in the basement; art objects were sold in the art gallery; and further rooms in the castle could be inspected for a small fee. Several series of postcards were on sale as souvenirs depicting interior and exterior views as well as mural painting details.

1910 – The Planned Amusement Park

In 1910, Biesenbach sold the property to Egbert von Simon, a retired cavalry captain, whose plans soon surpassed the mild touristic ambitions of his predecessor. The idea was that Schloss Drachenburg become a leisure park, pull in masses of visitors and turn into an economically attractive proposition. Von Simon planned a huge festival Theatre, a hotel building and a hangar for an airship that could be used for short pleasure flights. Ultimately, though, he was unable to finance these features. He arranged only garden and art exhibitions and run a nature theatre. In 1915, he fell during combat in the First World War.

1923 – The Social Commitment of an Industrialist

Hermann Flohr, who had previously lived as a tenant in the castle for some years, bought the Burghof by auction in 1921 and Schloss Drachenburg in 1923. The Cologne-based merchant and manufacturer placed several of the block houses at the disposal of the Women's Association of the German Red Cross for use as a convalescence home. In 1930 he decided to leave the entire property to a Catholic order. The interior furnishings was auctioned off and the Brothers of the Christian Schools, commonly known as the De La Salle Brothers, moved in a year later.

1931 – Christian Boys' Boarding School/Chapel in the Art Gallery

For the Order of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, Schloss Drachenburg was a perfect place to work educationally. Relatively cut off from the rest of the world, the Brothers opened a boys' boarding school known as St Michael's. Any figures on the property considered lewd – such as Venus on the eponymous terrace or the bacchantes in the tavern room – were either removed or covered up . Indeed, the Brothers transformed the former tavern into a sacristy and used the neo-Gothic Art Gallery as a chapel. Classrooms were accommodated in the castle building with dormitories for the pupils set up in the partly rebuilt block houses. Thus it was that, despite the tensions of the time, Schloss Drachenburg offered its inhabitants an almost idyllic living situation. In 1938, however, under increasing pressure from the National Socialists, St Michael's Boarding School for Boys had to close its doors.

1942 – Destruction during the Second World War

The Adolf-Hitler-Schule (AHS 3) – a Nazi elite school – moved into Schloss Drachenburg in 1942. The most sustainable damage done to the building during this time was the destruction of the original Main Portal. Instead of the ornate double staircase that led to a gable-topped portico, the entrance vestibule was monumentalised by means of a broad set of stairs. The park also lost many of its landscape features due to the landfill utilised to position artillery. Added to which, the castle itself was bombarded – with nearly all the glass paintings being shattered and the Art Gallery heavily damaged in the process. On the side facing the Rhine, wind and rain could sweep in unhindered, thus causing the masonry to absorb damp. At the end of the war, US soldiers occupied the castle and afterwards it was commandeered as a refugee camp.

1947 – A Training Centre Brings New Life

It was a stroke of luck for Schloss Drachenburg that in 1947 the German Rail Regional Office based in Wuppertal realised that the property could be used as a training centre and took out rent. The Art Gallery was restored, its roof was renewed and the original glazed wall on the park side was bricked up so that the Rhine side could be repaired as well. A made-to-scale signal box enhanced lessons here in the largest room of the castle. Other rooms were also put to training use while the Principal had his office in the Niebelung Room. But by 1960, the German Rail authorities had transferred the training premises and left Schloss Drachenburg.

1971 – Decline and a New Beginning / the Spinat Era

For the next ten years, from 1960 to 1970, Schloss Drachenburg stood empty, visibly disintegrating. Although demolition as planned was prevented in 1963, it was not until 1971 that the property gained a new private owner – Paul Spinat, who had the complex maintained and refurbished. Young artists helped to freely reconstruct the missing mural paintings. In 1973, Spinat opened Schloss Drachenburg to the general public. Until his death in 1989, the eccentric castle-owner, about whom numerous stories abound, resided in the Drachenburg or in the Burghof.

1986 – Listed Monument and Restoration

Schloss Drachenburg was eventually listed as a monument in 1986. In 1989, urgent measures for full restoration were initiated by the North Rhine-Westphalia Foundation of Nature, Heritage & Culture. Since 1995, in close collaboration with the City of Königswinter, this NRW foundation has supervised the careful restoration of the castle complex. From 2003 to 2009, a dedicated exhibition entitled "Open Due to Restoration – a Look at the Building Site known as Schloss Drachenburg" has provided a wealth of information about the restoration process. And in early 2010, the rehabilitation work inside the castle was completed and all the restored and refurnished rooms again made accessible to visitors. The restoration of the landscape park was finished in 2011.

The Scale of Damage

The western façade of the building on the Rhine side suffered heavy damage during the Second World War as the result of Allied Forces artillery fire. The central cupola of the Art Gallery was virtually destroyed, bullet holes dotting the walls are still visible today and the priceless stained-glass windows that once decorated the Art Gallery and the castle's function rooms were completely shot to pieces. Luckily, the large staircase window on the eastern side managed to survive. The furnishings belonging to the historical interior rooms were also badly affected. Allied troops and refugees were bivouacked here and, after they had left, large sections of the mural paintings were found to be missing, having been ripped from the walls and stolen.

The first protective measures were initiated in 1948. The Art Gallery received a makeshift roof, damaged windows were repaired and interior rooms were made habitable again. However, by 1960, more decay had set in as the building stood empty for ten years and underwent even more damage through vandalism and adverse weather effects. If the maintenance carried out in the 1970s rescued the castle from total demolition, it would be fair to say (at least from today's point of view) that the work carried out then was neither thorough nor adequate in terms of monument restoration considerations.

The Chronology of Restoration

A comprehensive survey conducted in 1994 formed the basis of the restoration work which, it was estimated, would take twelve years to complete. In the course of that review process, it was found necessary to produce hundreds of true-to-detail plans anew since the drawings and documents from the original time of construction could not be located.

The primary aim was to preserve any existing substance and prevent further dilapidation. All the supply and waste disposal lines had to be replaced as water, electricity, gas, telecom and sewage systems were re-installed. Every square metre in the spacious park grounds was examined and any stones bearing witness to the original masonry were secured and reworked. Access roads for construction traffic, the fire service and storage points had to be laid while old pathways had to be made negotiable again. At the same time, the 1.6 km long castle walls had to be rehabilitated, of which one third has been completed in the mean time – partly within the framework of a successful job creation scheme.