Anholt Castle and Park Anholt
A moated castle in Münsterland
The castle is one of the most beautiful moated castles in Münsterland. Inside, fantastic artworks await at one of the biggest and oldest museums in the state. Outside, a walk through the baroque park beckons, stretching far beyond the entire pond landscape.
Where once a love-drunk count had a miniature Lake Lucerne built, complete with a romantic alpine lodge, as a memento of his honeymoon, visitors can now admire one of the largest and most beautiful moated castles in Münsterland. To this day the image of the former fortress is dominated by its massive tower, which was built in the 12th century.
One of the largest and oldest museums in North Rhine-Westphalia is housed within the ancient walls of Anholt Castle itself, which was rebuilt in the 14th century as a prestigious residential palace. Its collection includes Dutch masters like Rembrandt as well as an extensive collection of Chinese, Japanese and even Dutch porcelain, and Renaissance and Baroque furniture.
But it’s not only the castle that is worth a visit; its gorgeous garden is too. The Baroque English landscape garden extends over the entire landscape around its ponds. A spacious box tree parterre garden opens onto the residence of the Princes of Salm-Salm, the owners of this estate for several centuries. Passing by roses and equestrian statues, symmetrical gravel pathways lead to the historic tea house. Colourful rhododendron bushes, lush water lilies and bright red poppies provide additional pops of colour along the way. All the main paths are accessible for wheelchair users.
The nearby Anholter Schweiz (Anholt Switzerland) wildlife park provides a family-friendly alternative programme to the grand castle park: here, bears and wolves roam throughout their generous outdoor enclosures and native wildlife and birds of prey can be observed in their natural environment.
The trip to the western tip of North Rhine-Westphalia to the area just outside of Isselburg between Münsterland and the Lower Rhine on the Netherlands border is particularly worthwhile during the peak season from mid-March to mid-October. Those who wish to stay overnight can get the royal treatment at the Schlosshotel.