The stunning and unique Vischering Castle, or Burg Vischering in Germany, only exists because of a feud between Bischop Gerhard von der Mark and the Von Ludinghausen family. Feuds between families and clans are not uncommon throughout history, but what may be unusual is a feud that leads to castles that will stand for millenia. Built in 1271, Vischering Castle quickly approaches it’s 750th anniversary.
The castle was built and engineered for defense, with a defensive courtyard, and a moat supplied by the River Stever, and a drawbridge. The outer defensive courtyard holds business and farm buildings, strategic gateways, shooting ranges, and is surrounded by a lower defensive wall. The Castle itself is three stories, built in a horeshoe shape, so it is round in appearance from most angles. The outer walls are composed of very thick sandstone.
Once completed, the castle became the seat of the Droste zu Vischering Family. The Droste was a title of nobility who served the Bishop of Munster, which was passed on through heredity.
The castle withstood all attacks for 250 years. Then in 1521, the main building was heavily damaged by fire. It was rebuilt, in a more Renaissance style. The original foundations were used, and it is clearly visible where newer brickwork was laid on top of the remaining original stones. The gable was added at that time, and windows, making the castle more suitable for comfortable living, and a little less defensive in appearance. It was not significantly damaged by bombing during WWII, so it has remained almost unchanged for nearly 500 years.
Today, the castle serves as a cultural center, houses a museum, and a cafe. The are several detailed informational signs explaining the castle and it’s history around the outer grounds, although they are only in German. The outer grounds can be visited from 10:00 to 1:00 and 1:30 to 5:30 in spring and summer, and closes an hour early in winter. Entrance is 1 Euro for children 7-18, and 2.50 Euros for adults. It is closed on Mondays.
Normally, guided tours inside the castle are available to groups in German, English, French, Dutch, and Russian, when arranged in advance. However the main castle building is currently closed for a 5 year extensive rennovation project, as it nears it’s 750th anniversary.
Vischering Castle is a stunning example of a defensive moated castle. Any visitor to Munsterland, or Nordrhein-Westphalia in Germany, should make a point to visit and see this one of a kind castle. Even with the inner structure currently closed, exploring the grounds is truly a pleasure, and an experience to remember.
To really enjoy the stunning photos of Burg Vischering, click open the picture to see it in full size!!
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To read the full story of our visit to Burg Vischering, check out this post: Vischering Castle- A Wasserschloss
To learn more about Burg Vischering, see the Munsterland, Ludinghausen tourism site: http://www.muensterland-tourismus.de/22629/luedinghausen-tourismus