9th FOREST EUROPE Ministerial Conference

Shaping our future with resilient forests

Drachenburg castle. Image by MarcelDominic from Pixabay
Heisterbach monastery. Image by 70650 from Pixabay
Drachenfels railway. Image by Heiko Heiterkeit from Pixabay

Rhine Romanticism and forests – between utopia and reality

Do not miss the opportunity to discover the romantic traits of the Siebengebirge with us!

On October 2, after the conference discussions are concluded, we offer our guests a few hours of fresh air and beautiful sightseeing. We leave the venue via bus after lunch at 14:00 CEST for a tour that will take about three hours in total.

We invite you to choose from two exciting tours close to our venue.  Both tours explore the diverse use of forests in the area, the legacy of the forest highlighting historical monuments, and the implementation of Sustainable Forest Management in the share more information on the Rhine romanticism movements in the last centuries.  

We will meet again after two hours at the Drachenfels Castle, for a final standing reception and an informative talk about the history and change of landscape over time. Enjoy the view which already inspired Beethoven! 

Read below for more details and make your choice when registering for the event. 

Tour A: Monastery tour “The monks and the forest” 

We start next to the Steigenberger hotel (venue) with a short introduction about the history of the region and landscape uses. Our guide explains the view and points out different points of interest. We will take a short walk to the old monastery ruins directly next to our hotel. After hearing about the historical importance of this place, the bus will bring us to the monastery Heisterbach (approx 20 min bus drive), an old Cistercian Abbey. You will have free time to walk around the area, but you will also be informed about the life of the monks and their usage of the forests around. Followed by a short walk to an old stone quarry in the nature protection area, this spot offers beautiful photo opportunities. The bus will bring us back to Königswinter and the Drachenfelsbahn, which we take to drive up the hill. On top of the mountain, we will meet the other tour and enjoy the final reception together.  

Tour B: Walking Tour “Romantic Forests of the Siebengebirge” 

Do you feel energetic and want to explore the forest with us? Come and join this 2-hour walk (about 4 km in total) through the autumn forest of the Siebengebirge. The bus will bring us down to Königswinter, where we will walk up the beautiful Nachtigallental to the Castle Drachenburg. Along the way, we will learn how humans shaped the landscape according to their romantic visions in the 19th century and how they made use of the resources of the area. We will have time for a photo stop and slowly make our way up to the top of the mountain, where we meet the other tour. Certainly, our tour guide will give you all the information about forest use, nature protection, and anthropogenic influence you wish for.