Wisch Castle is an imposing building with a striking L shape which particularly reflects its history of division and reunification. The castle was home to the Wisch family, who were part of the most powerful nobility in the county. It is still privately owned and was recently completely restored.
The lords of Wisch belonged to the four bannerets, the most powerful nobility in the County of Zutphen. The predecessor of Wisch Castle probably dates from the 11th century and was built three kilometres away on the other side of the Old IJssel river. All traces of that castle have disappeared.
In the 13th century, Dirk I of Wisch built a new castle on the current site. The area around the castle was called Hof ter Borg (courtyard near the castle) and it was here that the small town of Terborg emerged. Johan, Dirk’s youngest son, moved into the castle around 1285.
Two cousins inherited the estate around 1400. They each had their own house, separated by a canal. It was not until 1644 that the houses were reunited. That probably explains the castle’s elongated L shape. The oldest part of the castle is the round tower dating from the 15th century. This is also the transition point between the main 16th-century building and the elongated service wing from the 17th century. There is still a square tower at the end of the service wing.
During the Second World War the allies suspected that the German General Von Rundstedt had his headquarters in the castle. It was bombed twice in October 1944, causing immense damage. Restoration work on the house began after the war. The main building and the two towers were leased to Geldersche Kasteelen so that they could also be restored. Wisch Castle and the estate are still privately owned and therefore not open to the public.References:
The Castle of Gruyères is one of the most famous in Switzerland. It was built between 1270 and 1282, following the typical square plan of the fortifications in Savoy. It was the property of the Counts of Gruyères until the bankruptcy of the Count Michel in 1554. His creditors the cantons of Fribourg and Bern shared his earldom. From 1555 to 1798 the castle became residence to the bailiffs and then to the prefects sent by Fribourg.
In 1849 the castle was sold to the Bovy and Balland families, who used the castle as their summer residency and restored it. The castle was then bought back by the canton of Fribourg in 1938, made into a museum and opened to the public. Since 1993, a foundation ensures the conservation as well as the highlighting of the building and the art collection.
The castle is the home of three capes of the Order of the Golden Fleece. They were part of the war booty captured by the Swiss Confederates (which included troops from Gruyères) at the Battle of Morat against Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy in 1476. As Charles the Bold was celebrating the anniversary of his father's death, one of the capes is a black velvet sacerdotal vestment with Philip the Good's emblem sewn into it.
A collection of landscapes by 19th century artists Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Barthélemy Menn and others are on display in the castle.