Siegburg is located along the Sieg and Agger Rivers, and a stone’s throw away from Bonn and Cologne. With 40,000 residents — some of whom are rather famous — this quiet town offers some interesting attractions.
One of the year’s highlights is the Medieval Market. It takes place every November to December and lasts for three weeks. It is part Renaissance Fair, part Christmas Market.
There are characters dressed in traditional Middle Ages garb, craftsmen selling their work and jugglers to entertain you. Children will enjoy the puppet theater and master fairy tale storytellers. There is even a knight tournament just for kids.
Another attraction is the Michaelsburg Abbey, which is perched high up on a hill (about 130 feet) overlooking Siegburg. The Abbey has had a long and unusual history. It was originally founded for the Benedictine monks but was closed in the 1800s after a movement toward secularization.
But it found new life in later years as an insane asylum, a slaughterhouse and a military barracks. Then, in the 1940s it was closed again by the SS and its monks were kicked out. It was heavily bombed during the war years. The expelled monks returned in 1945 and began reconstructing the abbey. Today it is used to brew the Michel brand of beer.
Apart from monks, Siegburg is also home to some famous personages. One of these is Englebert Humperdinck. Not to be confused with the 1960s pop singer (whose real name is not Englebert Humperdinck but Anthony George Dorsey! In fact, he took the name from this man), the original Englebert Humperdinck lived from 1854 to 1921.
Some people may know Humperdinck as the gifted composer of the Hansel and Gretel opera. However, many more will recognize the name from the beloved 1980s movie, The Princess Bride. Prince Humperdinck is a scheming, cowardly prince who tries to destroy the true love of the movie’s hero and heroine. There are many who believe that Siegburg’s own Humperdinck was the inspiration for this character!