Burg Vischering (Germany)
North Rhine-Westphalia See list of castles in Germania
Burg Vischering is the ideal model of a moated castle in Münsterland. With its main round castle building in the middle of the water mirror, it is an architectural monument of picturesque unity - widely known as a popular destination and photographic theme.
The name Vischering did not appear until the 14th century. However, the first documentary evidence of the castle dates back to the year 1271. At that time, the bishop of Münster, Gerhard von der Mark, entrusted it to the knight Albert von Wulfheim. The latter, with a small troop, had to defend the castle from attacks and keep it at the bishop's disposal. These measures were aimed at the brothers Hermann and Bernhard von Lüdinghausen residing in the nearby castles of Lüdinghausen and Wolfsberg. The brothers were feudal lords of the nearby very wealthy imperial abbey of Werden, which they themselves wished to rule.
The bishop of Münster regarded the construction of Wolfsberg as a violation of his sovereign rights, and was therefore forced to act. He conquered the city of Lüdinghausen and destroyed Wolfsberg Castle. To keep his opponents in check he gave Albert von Wulfheim the fortification, later called Vischering. A facsimile of the 1271 confiscation document is exhibited in the Burg Vischering museum.
Location and architectural history
The castle, built on the plain of the River Stever, was protected by a new stream. However, it is difficult to determine the exact dates for the castle's architectural development. Recent studies indicate an earlier building, possibly dating from the 12th century, in the location of the main castle. In 1271 a mighty medieval tower-house was erected on what is now the castle courtyard.
During the subsequent restructuring of the castle the walls, whose exact time is not even known, was only partially broken down. The subsequent construction took place on top of the walls and, due to this construction procedure, the castle still conveys a closed and well fortified impression even if from 1519 to 1622 the castle, starting with a new guardhouse in the main building, it became a residential castle. A great fire in 1521 provided another opportunity for renewal. Higher quarters and a stair tower were built. Finally, the section of the bay window was built that juts out over the house's pond. There was no Baroque transformation of the castle, perhaps also because at the end of the 17th century the castle had lost its role as the primary residence of the owner family. Although the castle never went unused and continued to be important to the identity of the house of Droste zu Vischering, it was only from 1893 to 1923 that the Erbdrostenhof served as a long-term domicile for Count Maximilian.
In 1944 the bombs of the Second World War caused severe damage. Reconstruction began immediately after the war.
In 1972 the Münsterland Museum was opened and expanded in 1984. In 2018 the permanent exhibition within the Regional Project “WasserBurgenWelt” (the world of moated castles) was reopened after a fundamental redesign that took place in parallel with the complex. Since then Vischering, as the "Portal of the Castles and Palaces of Münsterland", has also been providing information on the tourist attractions of the area.