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The Drachenfels Railway, Königswinter, Germany - 29th January 2012

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Published on Mar 4, 2012

The Drachenfels ("Dragon's Rock") is a mountain 321 metres (1,053 ft) in the Siebengebirge mountain range between Königswinter and Bad Honnef in Germany.

The ruined castle atop the mountain, built between 1138 and 1167 by Archbishop Arnold I of Cologne bears the same name and was originally intended for the protection of Cologne to the south. Originally it consisted of a bergfried with court, chapel and living quarters for servants. The castle was slighted in 1634, during the Thirty Years' War, by the protestant Swedes and never rebuilt. As a strategic asset it had outlived its usefulness. Erosion due to the continued quarrying undermined much of the remains and only a small part is left today.

The rock, like the rest of the Siebengebirge, is formed by the remnants of a volcano and has been the site of a trachyte quarry since Roman times, which, amongst others delivered the building material for the Cologne Cathedral. Of all the mountains in the Siebengebirge, it's closest to the river Rhine, which facilitates easy transport by barges, thus making it an excellent place for a quarry. This ended in 1836, when the Prussian government bought the quarry. In 1922 the first protection measures were put in place and in 1956 the site was declared a national park.

A neogothic castle, lower on the mountain, is named Schloss Drachenburg and was built in 1882 by Baron Stephan von Sarter. Both the top and Schloss Drachenburg can be reached by the Drachenfelsbahn, a rack railway built in the 19th century to satify demand from growing tourism.

This video features views of the Drachenfelsbahn, and views from it on both the journeys up and down the mountain. At the top of the mountain the views feature the valley of the River Rhine and Königswinter / Nordrhein Westphalia below.

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