On the east bank of the Rhine, south of Bonn, there is a small range of hills. The hills are the Siebengebirge (the Seven Mountains). ‘Mountains’ is somewhat of an exaggeration. The highest point, Großer Ölberg, is just 460m high with a 220m prominence. They are volcanic in origin, largely located in a protected park and mainly covered in trees.
Not only is this area easily accessed from Bonn, but also public transport allows for quick access from Cologne where we were staying with our son. We had visited these hills once before and climbed Petersberg. A church and a fancy hotel top this hill and (like many of these hills) with fine views over the river, and the flatlands beyond. We had approached this hill from Königswinter. The hotel acts as an official guesthouse of the Federal Republic of Germany.
This time we determined on a long half-day visit. The principal objective was Löwenburg, the second highest of the Siebengebirge. In fact, there are many more than seven hills. But looked at from afar, this looks to be the right number.
On this occasion we started from the DB station at Röhndorf, walked through the village (which was where Konrad Adenauer, Germany’s first post-war Chancellor, lived at his death) and continued beyond a vehicle barrier. Shortly after that point we entered the trees. Here we followed a path (signed amongst other places to Loewenberg in 4.6km), doglegged back to the right more steeply uphill until looking down on the village, and then took a left towards the Eulehutte.
From here a decent map is needed to determine which of the myriad of paths to take. We continued straight on at the hut and a few hundred metres beyond it, shortly after another path came in from the right, we took a narrow path uphill to the right crossing a wide path and up a little-used, overgrown trail that zig-zagged up to the south ‘ridge’ of Großer Breiberg and beyond. At the top of this first hill there are a couple of benches and a view between the trees to the castle on Drachenfels (Dragon’s Rock) and to Petersberg.
The trail continues, a little more easily, north-east to another hut. My companions then made their way towards Löwenburg, whilst I decided to visit some of the other nearby bumps. There are paths up the principal hills, but this is not the case for these others.
So I visited Kleiner Breiberg (which is up a rise to the right of the main path), Ölender (which has no path leading to its top amongst the trees, no view but a decent cairn) and Fritcheshardt (which required a bit of a diversion and has a top that required a bit of finding). Sometimes these bumps require a bit of bushwhacking!
From Fritcheshardt I headed for and followed the main track that circles Löwenburg. Where it reached the point between Poßberg and Löwenburg, I turned left up the loop to the top of Löwenburg. There are no lions here, but there is a ruined castle. My companions were waiting for me here sitting on a bench in the shade provided by the trees on this scorcher of a day.
Having taken in the views over the Rhine it was then back down the way we had come. We nipped up Possberg on the way battling brambles and suffering many scratches in the name of this bag!
In need of some refreshment on this blisteringly hot day, we followed the track that circles Löwenburg in an anti-clockwise direction and soon found a hostelry where we consumed some food and drink.
We then had a 3.6km descent via the Röhndorfer Tal to Röhndorf. A good outing with the Siebengebirge definitely a pleasant location to go for gentle walks.
There is a slightly more detailed description of the route beyond Kleine Breiberg here.