Siebengebirge. On Friday evening, lighting artist Wolfgang Flammersfeld will flip the switch and reveal a Drachenburg Castle in dazzling colors. Visitors will have five weekends to see it up close and enjoy the view.
Wolfgang Flammersfeld and his team are expecting the first boxes of lighting to arrive on Wednesday. Then they will spend two days building up the lighting installations so that the Drachenburg Castle can be seen in glorious color even from afar. The lighting is expected to be turned on punctually at 6pm on Friday evening.
It is the fifth time that the lighting artist will be staging the castle illumination, which will be open to the public for five weekends, from January 25 to February 24. Once again, he has come up with some new ideas: Amazing video projections and reflections, oversized spheres and flying chairs - in recent years, the 66-year-old has repeatedly staged the historical walls in a new light.
“Three little pigs” fairytale houses
As a professional lighting artist, Flammersfeld is responsible for lighting displays in other venues as well, but Drachenburg Castle remains a special place for him: "Many ideas that I have developed over the past weeks will be implemented for the first time in Königswinter," he says.
He does not want to give away what visitors can expect this year. Just this much: In the park, several fairytale houses will be installed, around three meters high - drawing from the fairytale "The Three Little Pigs". In addition, visitors will be able to stroll through an approximately 60-meter-long "Walk of Light". And inside the castle, the shelf of a large Swedish furniture company unfolds an unexpected visual effect through video projections.
Visitors tend to come after complete darkness
A total of 16,400 visitors came to Schlossleuchten in 2018 - a record, says Alexandra von dem Brinke, who is responsible for events at Schloss Drachenburg. "And this was despite the fact that last year for the first time we only opened on five weekends instead of six as in previous years". There has been a change in the opening hours as well.
On a trial basis, the lights at Schloss Drachenburg went on already at 5 p.m. last year so that photographers in particular could use the twilight hours to take their photos. But that didn't work out, says von dem Brinke. "For most visitors the earlier opening hours were not so interesting, because the light installations only become fully visible in the dark.” It will now open at 6pm and visitors will be able to move around freely, with no designated route.
The most beautiful view is from above
The Nibelungen Hall, which visitors pass by halfway to the castle, is also part of the castle lighting. And this year the visitors don't have to have a flashlight ready: "The way from the parking lot at the Lemmerzbad to the castle will be illuminated", promises von dem Brinke.
For those who would like to see Flammersfeld's light installations from a bird's eye view, von dem Brinke recommends climbing the north tower. "This is normally only accessible as part of special tours." However, it will be opened during “castle lighting”, so that a limited number of visitors can always climb up.
"And the sight of the glowing castle and the Rhine Valley from up above opens up completely new perspectives once again." By the way, Flammersfeld has decided on the predominant color for the “Castle Lights 2019”: "The castle will turn red," he says. "Most likely."
For further information about viewing the Drachenburg Castle Lights, please visit the website (in English): https://www.schloss-drachenburg.de/index.php/en/general-info/castllights
Orig. text: Heike Hamann