has become the Guest House of the Federal Republic of Germany
, termed the "Bundesgästehaus" (the official title being Gästehaus der Verfassungsorgane der Bundesrepublik Deutschland
). It is located on the Petersberg
, a prominent mountain of the Siebengebirge
. With a height of 331 meters, it looks over the cities of Königswinter
, on the right bank of the Rhine
river, and Bonn on the opposite side.
There is evidence that humans were already living on the Petersberg in 3500 BC. A ring wall constructed about 1000 BC has been excavated.
In 1189, by order of the Archbishop of Cologne Philipp von Heinsberg
monks from the abbey of Himmerod took over an abandoned hermitage built by Augustinians
. In 1202 the new monastery of Heisterbach was constructed in the Peterstal, the valley below the Petersberg.
The mountain was first known as Stromberg
(as documented in 1142) and received its current name after a chapel dedicated to Saint Peter
was erected on its peak in 1764. In 1834 the area was sold to the merchant Joseph Ludwig Mertens. His wife Sibylle Mertens-Schaafhausen built a summer residence on the Petersberg, and became known as the Rheingräfin
("countess of the Rhine").
At the end of the 19th century the Nelles brothers from Cologne
had bought the area and started to add buildings. In 1892 they opened up the eponymous hotel that could easily be reached via the newly built......