The Drachenfels – The Legend of the Dragon

Once upon a time there was a dragon who lived on a mountain overlooking the Rhine river in the Siebengebirge region called the Drachenfels. The local pagans regularly sacrificed prisoners and enemies to avoid calamity and in turn, the dragon did not burn their villages and farm. 

Unknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

One day, two chieftains met in combat. They both had fallen in love with the most beautiful girl in the area and demanded her for marriage. The fought and fought yet no winner could be declared. Exhausted they decided that if they were not able to settle this dispute, nobody should have her and instructed the villagers to take her and give her to the dragon as sacrifice. 

As she entered the cave of the dragon, the beast emerged. The villagers retreated from the sight of the monster. Smoke came from its nostrils and its eyes shone red and evil. As the dragon advanced though, the girl stood still and looked it calmly and composed. Slowly she raised her arms just before the dragon’s jaws closed around her. The villagers expected her to be eaten, but suddenly the dragon retreated. A light seemed to surrounded the girl and she was now holding aloft her pendant, which had a cross at the end. The dragon retreated back into the cave, scared and horrified. With one look, it turned to the opening and flew over the cliffs, in its haste crashing into the cliffs and falling into the river.

The villagers were astonished. One by one they fell to their knees and prayed. A miracle had happened and the dragon was finally dead. They build a castle on top of the mountain and whilst her name faded from memory, her brave deed is not forgotten. 

The Drachenfels is also the place where Siegfried is said to have killed a dragon in the most famous of all German sagas: the Niebelungenlied. If you would like to elarn more about the rock as well as the castle ruins on top, click here.

Thinking of visiting: click here

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