Siebengebirge [Ger.,=seven mountains], small wooded range of the Rhenish Slate Mts., W Germany. Of volcanic origin, it extends for c.10 mi (16 km) S of Bonn along the Rhine River and rises to 1,509 ft (460 m) in the Grosser Ölberg. One of the most scenic spots of the Rhineland, the entire range is a national park and particularly famous for the Drachenfels. It is a popular tourist region.

The Siebengebirge (lit. "seven mountains" in German) is a German range of hills to the East of the Rhine, southeast of Bonn, consisting of more than 40 mountains and hills. It is located in the municipalities of Bad Honnef and Königswinter. It is of volcanic origin and came into being about 400 million years ago. Much of the territory covered by the Siebengebirge belongs to the Naturpark Siebengebirge, which is under environmental protection.

The highest peak is the Oelberg at 460 metres. It is a popular tourist destination for hiking, because of its natural beauty. Large parts of the range are part of the Siebengebirge nature reserve and are subject to environmental protection regulations.

The Siebengebirge mountains

The seven most important hills:

  • Großer Ölberg (Large Mount of Olives, 460 m)
  • Löwenburg (455 m)
  • Lohrberg (435 m)
  • Nonnenstromberg (335m)
  • Petersberg (331 m, Former name: Stromberg
  • Wolkenburg (324 m)
  • Drachenfels (321 m)

Other mountains and hills:

  • Himmerich (366 m)
  • Trenkeberg (430 m)
  • Weilberg (297 m)
  • Stenzelberg (well suited for climbing, 287 m)
  • Broderkonsberg (378 m)
  • Mittelberg (353 m)
  • Leyberg (359 m)
  • Jungfernhardt (320 m)
  • Geisberg (324 m)
  • Schallenberg (310 m)
  • Großer Breiberg (313 m)
  • Kleiner Breiberg (288 m)
  • Wasserfall (338 m)
  • Kleiner Ölberg (Small Mount of Olives, 332 m)
  • Limperichsberg
  • Scharfenberg
  • Zickelburg (182 m)

Origin of the name

The origin of the name Siebengebirge is disputed. Four theories exist:

  1. The word sieben is derived from the word siefen, which denotes a wet, creek-nerved valley.
  2. The oldest name (Moller, 1590) wasn't Siebengebirge, but Sieben Berge (septem montes, seven hills). Depending on the viewpoint near the rhine, one notices almost exactly seven mountains, which are not always the same and not even the highest. Also, the number seven used to denote an arbitrary amount of items, was connected to magic and thus had a highly symbolic meaning. This makes it an obvious name for an area that was said to be sinister and impenetrable before the 19th century.
  3. The name Siebengebirge emerged from the word Siedengebirge which indicated the presence of soap boilers ("Siefensieder"), which were banned from the valleys because boiling soap smelled so badly.
  4. The most common, yet wrong interpretation is that the word specifies the seven major mountains.

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