Welcome to the Siebengebirge! Our region is located on the northern end of the Middle Rhine Valley. For many people, the narrow valley with its steeps, vineyards and numerous castles is the classical Rhine landscape par excellence, and the epitome of the romantic Rhine.
On the following pages, you can visit the seven most famous hills which gave the Siebengebirge its German name, translated "Seven Mountains": Mount Drachenfels with the medieval castle ruin, Mount Wolkenburg, Mount Petersberg with the hotel, Mount Nonnenstromberg, the highest mountain of all, Mount Ölberg, Mount Lohrberg and Mount Löwenburg with another medieval castle ruin. Of course, it is exaggerated to speak of "Mount ..", the Seven Mountains are hills, but it might help distinguishing the mountains from the medieval castles of the same name. Although we speak of the "Seven Mountains", in reality there are around 40 hills, and there are more beautiful sites to see, for instance the monastery of Heisterbach, the Nightingale Valley (Nachtigallental in German) and the Rosenau mountain with yet another medieval castle ruin.
In addition to the broad hiking trails through the Seven Mountains, we also find narrow paths and places where you can forget everyday life - almost enchanted places in the forest, where you still feel the magic of dwarves and dragons. Yet, our region has experienced hard times in the course of its eventful history. Often enough, the Rhine was the frontier, and many people have left their homeland because they were suffering great hardship or persecution. We will look into all that.
Love for our home and cosmopolitanism are not mutually exclusive, quite the contrary. We all lose if we allow that what separates us grows stronger than what brings us together, and if we back down and leave the field to hate mongers and radicals.
Of course, I can only show you a small part and hope that I can get you in the mood for a hike through the Seven Mountains. Or maybe you just get an idea of the region where your ancestors are from, and you might like to read my emigrants' story "At Home at the Rhine and in America". I'm at home here, and I'm glad when I catch once in a while a few words from other hikers in another language. For today, the Rhine flows right through a united Europe, and that is great.