Popular destination on the Venusberg The Casselsruhe was once a landmark of Bonn

Venusberg · The Casselsruhe on the Venusberg was a popular destination for many Bonn residents. Many associate childhood memories with the house.

 The Hotel and Inn Casselsruhe on a photograph by Wilhelm Köhler at the beginning of the 20th century.

The Hotel and Inn Casselsruhe on a photograph by Wilhelm Köhler at the beginning of the 20th century.

Foto: Stadtarchiv

Before you could get an ice cream, there was an exhausting task: Angelika Rudolphi still remembers the steep ascent well. "Either we went up the stairs at the end of Hinsekamp Straße or we took the mountain road," she says. But no matter which way the parents of the now 56-year-old had chosen for the Sunday walk. "For a child it was already a strenuous walk," she smiles. When they reached the top, however, she and her brother Klaus were rewarded: "With a large ice cream on the ‚Casselsruhe‘, she adds. The parents sat down at a table under the trees and enjoyed coffee - outside there were no cups but only jugs - and cake. "If we were good and didn't complain about the long walk, we went to the miniature golf course afterwards", the native of Kessenich continues.

Visit to the Casselsruhe on Sundays

An excursion to Casselsruhe was for many people part of the Sunday obligatory programme. Dressed up, after lunch we went up the mountain on foot. Seeing and being seen was the motto for decades. Until the second half of the 1980s. In 1987, the heirs of the operator Rudolf Kessel, who was killed in an accident in 1979, sold the facility to the Steigenberger Hotel Group. In 1988 they completed a new building on the same site. In 2000 Dorint took over the building, which is still used as a hotel. Even though nothing remains which reminded us of the formerly imposing excursion hotel, the address is still "An der Casselsruhe 1“.

The name Casselruhe reminds people of Johann Heinrich Cassel, who was mayor of Poppelsdorf and Kessenich from 1834 to 1863. When he walked from Dottendorf over the hill to Poppelsdorf, it is said that he always stopped up there and loved the view of Bonn and over the Rhine to Petersberg. It did not take long before the lookout point was nicknamed "Cassels-Ruhe" (Cassel's rest), and on the occasion of Cassel's silver anniversary of service, a bench with the inscription "Casselsruhe" (Cassel's rest) was set up at his favourite place. After the First World War a memorial stone was erected at this place.

After 1862, several excursion bars with the name Casselsruhe were built in succession. In 1895, Jean Kessel, owner of the Poppelsdorfer Jägerhof and, despite the name, not related to Mayor Cassel, acquired the excursion point and had the popular restaurant extended by a hotel. However, this building was destroyed in the Second World War. When Kessel died on 6 October 1940 at the age of 88, his son Karl Kessel took over the business.

In 2000 Dorint Hotels took over the hotel

Almost 20 years later, another change of operator was pending. Karl Kessel died in 1958, and after his death his son Rudolf Kessel took over the business together with his sister Liesel. Together they rebuilt the hotel in 1959. Both managed the hotel together, and in addition to the well-attended terrace there was a restaurant as well as hotel rooms and meeting rooms. And there were dance events in the hall, which were very popular with the Bonners and always well attended.

A decisive turning point in the long history of this Bonn institution was when Rudolf Kessel died in 1979 in an avalanche accident in Kitzbühel. In 1987 Casselsruhe was sold to Emil Steigenberger, who built a new building and moved into it at the end of 1988 at its present location. In 2000 Dorint Hotels took over the premises.

For Angelika Rudolphi, besides ice cream and miniature golf, there is another beautiful childhood memory that will always connect her with the Casselsruhe. "In winter you could go sledding from up here all the way down to Kessenich," she laughs. Sometimes she arrived at the Bergstrasse, but sometimes she also arrived at the Hindenburgplatz. "You just had to be careful not to take the turnoff via the stairs in Dottendorf. ...because the descent would be over before you knew it."

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