Sometimes my feet are tired and my hands are quiet, but there is no quiet in my heart.
Spending a week in the cozy town of Lüdinghausen meant that I had to visit the moated castles in the area. Which is no small feat, as this region of Germany has one of the country’s highest concentrations of castles, palaces and fortifications (Wikipedia). I do not know why this is the case, but Lüdinghausen itself has three moated castles and the "Versailles of Westphalia" is a quick bus ride away in Nordkirchen, meaning I was able to visit all four and report back on them. Enjoy!
Vischering is one of Germany’s best examples of a medieval moated castle. Built in 1271 as a defensive fortress, the castle succumbed to a fire in 1521 and was rebuilt in the Renaissance style. When I visited, the castle was unfortunately closed due to off-season repairs (sad face) but the café was open so I got a delicious, light lunch (happy face).
This castle, whose water defenses are now a part of the town's park, was developed in the 12th century. According to this website, there is a modern art exhibit and cultural center on the grounds, although when I visited it seemed closed to the public.
The Kakesbeck castle is a bit outside of town and involved a bike ride to Lüdinghausen's lovely countryside. I was unable to visit the inside of the castle as it's closed to the public with the exception of advanced notice (which I was unaware of, and couldn't find any information on anyway). This castle is the oldest of Lüdinghausen's three moated castles and was developed in the early 1100s, and it's worth noting that Kakesbeck has the largest water defense system in the area at 10,000 square feet of water.
Built in the early 1700s for the Prince-Bishopric of Münster, Nordkirchen Schloss exudes the opulence and luxury of Versailles, but with a moat. The castle was closed when I visited (note to self: winter is not the season for German castle hopping), but a walk through the meticulously-maintained grounds and expansive park was just as enjoyable.