The second stage of the Rheinsteig hiking trail leads from the village of Königswinter-Oberdollendorf through the Mühlental valley to Heisterbach Abbey. Let us have a look around. With its crooked streets, the beautiful half-timbered houses and of course the wine restaurants, Oberdollendorf is a town for connoisseurs.
The Cistercians and Oberdollendorf
Here we are on the track of the medieval and early modern Cistercian monks of Heisterbach Abbey. In 1189, they had arrived in the Siebengebirge and settled on Mount Petersberg. Three years later in 1192 they moved down to Heisterbach valley and built their abbey there. In the nearby Mühlental valley, they ran numerous mills. Their estate Gut Sülz was the center of their wine trade. So they also made up the image of Oberdollendorf.
Today Gut Sülz is a well-known wine restaurant. In Oberdollendorf, we have Germany’s most northern vineyards. You can walk along the local wine hiking trail, Oberdollendorfer Weinwanderweg. Last but not least, Oberdollendorf has a lovely local museum named Brückenhofmuseum (Bachstraße 93).
Of course, you can also drive up or go by bus. Heisterbach Abbey has a parking lot and a nicely designed bus stop of the RSVG line 520. The country road L268 leads from Oberdollendorf to Heisterbacherrott and further into the hills. Already from afar you will see the abbey’s baroque portal, and shortly afterwards the medieval choir ruins. It is all that has remained of the abbey church, built in the early 13th century.
The abbey grounds are open throughout the whole year. Some years ago, the buildings have been restored. The gardens are thriving and there are numerous information boards about historical events as well as on rare plants. In the Zehntscheune (tithe barn) there is an exhibition on the Cistercians in Germany and Europe and the cultural landscape of Heisterbach Valley. Concerts take place there, too. For opening hours and programs, kindly check the Heisterbach Abbey website at www.abtei-heisterbach.de.
From Heisterbach Abbey, hiking trails lead to Mount Petersberg and Einkehrhäuschen, a restaurant in the middle of the woods. Right next is Mount Nonnenstromberg and enjoy the natural forests there.
Stenzelberg and Weilberg
You can also hike to the abandonned quarry on Mount Stenzelberg. Here, the Cistercians broke the stones for their abbey church.
Another hiking trail on the other side of Heisterbacher Straße / L268 leads to Mount Weilberg with the natural monument. This is another abandonned quarry where you can see the rock material of the Siebengebirge. You can walk along the hiking trail or ride on the bus line 521 until the next stop called “Verschönerungsweg”. The nearest parking lot is “Im Mantel”.
Then there is the “Herrenweg” down to Königswinter-city. The abbots of Heisterbach took this path when they had business to do down in Königswinter. There they lived in their own accommodation, the Heisterbacher Hof (the later Düsseldorfer Hof) in today’s Rheinallee. After all, the abbots were important men in the region and successful businessmen.
In Oberdollendorf there is a stop of the tram line 66 Bad Honnef-Siegburg. Niederdollendorf has a train station, and regional trains stop here.