Burg Hülshoff in Havixbeck
A picturesque moated castle transformed into the Center for Literature
Two centuries ago, the birthplace of the poet Annette von Droste-Hülshoff (1797-1848) was already a show-place of outstanding poetry and sharp-witted reflection on the world. Over the next few years, the moated castle in Münsterländ’s Havixbeck is to be transformed into a “future location for literature”.
Picturesquely embedded in a generous baroque park, Burg Hülshoff primarily served as a retreat for the aristocratic Droste zu Hülshoff family at the beginning of the 19th century. Today, on the other hand, the largely preserved renaissance buildings including the outer bailey is an open, public facility. As a multifunctional event and exhibition centre, it will be open to all genres. From literature to music and performances to socio-political and scientific topics, events are to be held throughout the entire facility.
Lifestyles of the nobility
The Droste Museum is already at home in the Villa Schonebeck manor house, built in the ‘Jugendstil’ or art nouveau style. Here, visitors gain lively insights into the lifestyles of Münsterländ’s nobility during the Classical and Biedermeier periods. In addition to this, the richly decorated family library and some personal items are reminders of one of Germany’s most important poets, whose work still has an impact today. From the magnificent garden hall, visitors are then treated to view of the castle moat and the park, which is a popular destination for walkers in the summer months.
The poet’s ancestors acquired the former knight’s seat in 1417 and expanded it. Annette von Droste-Hülshoff lived and worked here until her father’s sudden death. At the age of 29, she, her mother and her sister moved to Haus Rüschhaus just five kilometres away. The elegant country manor, framed by two small pavilions and a baroque garden, was where she wrote what is probably her most famous work: Die Judenbuche (The Jew’s Beech).
A place of change and dialogue
Both of the building complexes are now seen as one and are the show-place for the new Center for Literature, which under the direction of literary scholar and author Dr Jörg Albrecht is considered to be a place of constant change and dialogue. The Lyrikweg connects Burg Hülshoff and Haus Rüschhaus with each other since June 2021. At 20 stations in the landscape, the path traces the changes in literature, everyday culture and nature through the centuries.