Moyland Castle (Schloss Moyland) is a moated castle in Bedburg-Hau in the district of Kleve, one of the most important neo-Gothic buildings in North Rhine-Westphalia.
1307 is the first time that a fortified farm called Moyland is documented with ditches and ramparts. It was between 1345 and 1355 redesigned by Roland von Hagedorn into a classical gothic castle with a square floor plan. In addition to three round towers it had on the north corner of a more powerful, fourth round tower, which served as a dungeon. From the interior courtyard the third tower was accessible and provided all sorts of comforts, such as a well, toilet, light niches and a fireplace. The western side of the castle was at that time, a great hall, the other sides consisted of walls with battlements. South of the main castle was a bailey, the castle gate through which the main castle was reached. In the 15th century in the courtyard of the main castle building new wings were built and a decorated chapel was added in the east tower.
Until the second half of the 17th Century there followed frequent changes of ownership inheritance, which ended in 1662, when the Brandenburg Field Marshal Alexander von Spaen purchased the fief. His descendant Wilhelm von Spaen sold the recently rebuilt castle in 1695 to the Brandenburg electors, and later Prussian King Friedrich I. He used Moyland primarily as a hunting lodge, and also as a love nest. His affair with the 17-year-old Emmericher citizen's daughter Katharina Rycker was made mention of at the Prussian court.
Under Johann Nikolaus von Steengracht from 1854 to 1862 a remodeling of the exterior was done in the Gothic Revival style. The Baroque interior was maintained largely untouched during the work under the Cologne Cathedral architect Ernst Friedrich Zwirner. The castle walls were covered with red brick and the three corner towers were fitted with battlements and pointed windows. The keep was set up with a historicist pointed roof. The gateway also experienced a reorganization and was made accessible via a newly built stone bridge. In the course of this work, the fore-castle was rebuilt on the foundation of its predecessor.
The castle survived the last battles of the Second World War relatively unscathed, until the arrival of the Allies on February 25, 1945. Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery took the castle as his headquarters. In this period Winston Churchill also came to Moyland. After they left almost all of the sumptuous interior went through theft and vandalism by Canadian soldiers, and the castle was devastated. 1987 began with repairs to restore the buildings.
The castle buildings now house the art collection of the brothers Hans van der Grinten and Franz Joseph van der Grinten, collected over 50 years. The extensive collection includes exhibits from the 19th and 20th Century, including works by Erwin Heerich, Willem den Ouden, Rudolf Schoofs and Hermann Teuber. A major focus of the comprehensive collection of works by Joseph Beuys which consists of nearly 5000 pieces and thus is the world's largest collection of his work.References:
The original Cochem Castle, perched prominently on a hill above the Moselle River, served to collect tolls from passing ships. Modern research dates its origins to around 1100. Before its destruction by the French in 1689, the castle had a long and fascinating history. It changed hands numerous times and, like most castles, also changed its form over the centuries.
In 1151 King Konrad III ended a dispute over who should inherit Cochem Castle by laying siege to it and taking possession of it himself. That same year it became an official Imperial Castle (Reichsburg) subject to imperial authority. In 1282 it was Habsburg King Rudolf’s turn, when he conquered the Reichsburg Cochem and took it over. But just 12 years later, in 1294, the newest owner, King Adolf of Nassau pawned the castle, the town of Cochem and the surrounding region in order to finance his coronation. Adolf’s successor, Albrecht I, was unable to redeem the pledge and was forced to grant the castle to the archbishop in nearby Trier and the Electorate of Trier, which then administered the Reichsburg continuously, except for a brief interruption when Trier’s Archbishop Balduin of Luxembourg had to pawn the castle to a countess. But he got it back a year later.
The Electorate of Trier and its nobility became wealthy and powerful in large part due to the income from Cochem Castle and the rights to shipping tolls on the Moselle. Not until 1419 did the castle and its tolls come under the administration of civil bailiffs (Amtsmänner). While under the control of the bishops and electors in Trier from the 14th to the 16th century, the castle was expanded several times.
In 1688 the French invaded the Rhine and Moselle regions of the Palatinate, which included Cochem and its castle. French troops conquered the Reichsburg and then laid waste not only to the castle but also to Cochem and most of the other surrounding towns in a scorched-earth campaign. Between that time and the Congress of Vienna, the Palatinate and Cochem went back and forth between France and Prussia. In 1815 the western Palatinate and Cochem finally became part of Prussia once and for all.
Louis Jacques Ravené (1823-1879) did not live to see the completion of his renovated castle, but it was completed by his son Louis Auguste Ravené (1866-1944). Louis Auguste was only two years old when construction work at the old ruins above Cochem began in 1868, but most of the new castle took shape from 1874 to 1877, based on designs by Berlin architects. After the death of his father in 1879, Louis Auguste supervised the final stages of construction, mostly involving work on the castle’s interior. The castle was finally completed in 1890. Louis Auguste, like his father, a lover of art, filled the castle with an extensive art collection, most of which was lost during the Second World War.
In 1942, during the Nazi years, Ravené was forced to sell the family castle to the Prussian Ministry of Justice, which turned it into a law school run by the Nazi government. Following the end of the war, the castle became the property of the new state of Rheinland-Pfalz (Rhineland-Palatinate). In 1978 the city of Cochem bought the castle for 664,000 marks.