My beloved home town Cologne, Germany, is always a bit of crazy – not just during the carnival days. Thus, the (hi)story of the Monte Troodelöh, the highest point of the city, feels to fit perfectly to the history and the mood of the city – as this point of Cologne has only been discovered in 1999. While traveling was restricted during Covid-19 times in 2020, I made the most alpine hike you can do within the city borders and climbed this mystic hill – no: mountain – which is leading you to 118.04 meters above sea level! As this is such a beautiful topic to write about, I dare to add some sarcasm and irony to this posting.
Monte Troodelöh – Location and History
The Monte Troodelöh is located in the very East of Cologne, in the borough of Rath / Heumar. As the mountain is located right at a forest road, the so-called Wolfsweg, it is comparably easy to reach (see below), there are multiple parking opportunities around Königsforst (“Kings Forest”), in which the Troodelöh is located.
Until 1999, the Troodelöh was undiscovered and the highest point of Cologne was given with 116.7 meters, at a spot, which is very close to the the nowadays officially accepted highest point of the city. The reason for the late discovery is the fact that the Troodelöh is not the highest spot of the area: behind the Wolfsweg, the hill is climbing up to about 130 meters above sea level. However, this spot is not within the Cologne city boundaries, but part of the adjacent city of Bergisch Gladbach (and its borough of Bensberg).
If you wonder about the strange name: it is named after three staff members of the city of Cologne, who “discovered” this magical beauty – their surnames are Troost, Dedden and Löhmer. There are many ways to reach the status of moral immortality in Cologne. Monte Troodelöh is one of the most famous mountains in the German state of Northrhine-Westfalia. Thus, it is well signposted in the area.
Being at the Monte Troodelöh
You see the facilities of Monte Troodelöh from far away already (at least from some 100 or 200 meters away). The most significant part if them is a covered bench, which is tenderly described at the mountain cabin of this natural wonder. Troost, Dedden and Löhmer originally put up a summit cross on top of Monte Troodelöh, but due to vandalism and many different reasons, it has been quite quickly replaced by a boulder with badge stating the name and the height of the mountain. After his death, the boulder also has an additional memory plaque for another staff member of the city, Rainer “Sherpa Longway” Buttkereit, who was also one of the explorers of Troodelöh. In order to properly enjoy and relax
If you also feel the magic of the place, you will likely not be able to resist to write your name and a prayer to the summit register or stamp your summit records and show that you made this mission to your friend. There are no other facilities, neither refreshments or sanitary ones, around. It’s just a forest. With a twinkle in the eyes of the authors, I read that some die-hard Troodelöh fans suggested to built a cable car to ease the sudatory climb. I – of course – have been overwhelmed by my feelings and had to do a couple of memory pictures.
A Hike to Monte Troodelöh
As said above, I made a hike up to Monte Troodelöh on 12th April 2020. You can find the detailed reoords of the hike on this (German) website. We started close to the A4 motorway, Bergisch Gladbach-Frankenforst exit, at a hiking parking lot South to the autobahn. From there, we more or less took the straight way to Monte Troodelöh, which is less than three kilometers. The route we took is also part of several historic pilgrimage routes. The paths are very easy to walk and well signposted.
After we spent significant time to enjoy the happiness of having climbed the summit of our beautiful city, we took a bit of a detour route and enjoyed the Königsforst nature – of course, nothing could finally be as impressive as the Troodelöh.