The Seven Giants

Siebengebirge tales: The Seven Giants
A giant on Mount Ölberg

A traditional legend about seven giants that might explain how the Siebengebirge, the Seven Mountains, came into being

Once upon a time, River Rhine did not flow from its spring in Switzerland through Germany and the Netherlands into the North Sea as it does today.

Close to a little town, the future Königswinter, a range of hills stopped its flow, and the waters dammed up to a big sea, whereas the village remained without water. The citizens suffered greatly from this situation and wondered what to do. Finally, they hired seven very strong giants, to dig a canal through the range of hills so that River Rhine could continue its flow.

The seven giants arrived, each one with a giant sized spade on his shoulder, and got to work. Three month later, the waters of the Rhine flowed freely depositing rich soil on both banks. The citizens were delighted. After receiving their generous reward, the giants got ready for their way home.

However, they did not want to get home with their spades all dirty. Therefore, they tapped their spades on the ground. Clod upon clod fell from the spades onto the ground, forming little hills that grew bigger and bigger… When the seven giants shouldered their spades and went back home, they left seven hills behind them.

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