Anholt moated castle is one of North-Rhine Westphalia's few privately owned castles. It first appears in records in the 12th century. Further extensions in around 1700 created a grand Baroque residence with the feel of a palace.
Today, the moated castle is used as a museum founded by Prince Nikolaus of Salm-Salm, which features a private collection documenting his family's history. The historical housekeeping accounts reveal a wealth of information about the original room layouts and furnishings. Apparently, the 'fat tower' was once only accessible via a rope ladder above the entrance to the dungeon. The present configuration of three upper floors probably dates from the middle of the 17th century. Gothic arches are incorporated in the external brickwork and the wall facing the 'fat tower'. The adjoining room, formerly a guard room and armoury, later became the library.
The banqueting hall has a magnificent stucco ceiling from 1665 featuring the royal coat of arms and gold ornamentation. On display in the marble room, which was created in 1910, is the majority of the china collection dating from the 17th and 18th centuries. This room is graced by gilded furniture in the high baroque style. Besides the castle, visitors can also enjoy the extensive park (34 hectares) and several baroque gardens.
Visitors today can admire the different areas of the garden, such as the water garden, the island, the maze and the wild flower meadow. With its rich variety of plants and trees, many footpaths and expanses of water, Anholt moated castle is the perfect choice for a day out. Other castles in the region include Burg Bentheim and Wasserburg Gemmen, a moated castle dating back more than nine centuries.References:
Château de Falaise is best known as a castle, where William the Conqueror, the son of Duke Robert of Normandy, was born in about 1028. William went on to conquer England and become king and possession of the castle descended through his heirs until the 13th century when it was captured by King Philip II of France. Possession of the castle changed hands several times during the Hundred Years' War. The castle was deserted during the 17th century. Since 1840 it has been protected as a monument historique.
The castle (12th–13th century), which overlooks the town from a high crag, was formerly the seat of the Dukes of Normandy. The construction was started on the site of an earlier castle in 1123 by Henry I of England, with the 'large keep' (grand donjon). Later was added the 'small keep' (petit donjon). The tower built in the first quarter of the 12th century contained a hall, chapel, and a room for the lord, but no small rooms for a complicated household arrangement; in this way, it was similar to towers at Corfe, Norwich, and Portchester, all in England. In 1202 Arthur I, Duke of Brittany was King John of England's nephew, was imprisoned in Falaise castle's keep. According to contemporaneous chronicler Ralph of Coggeshall, John ordered two of his servants to mutilate the duke. Hugh de Burgh was in charge of guarding Arthur and refused to let him be mutilated, but to demoralise Arthur's supporters was to announce his death. The circumstances of Arthur's death are unclear, though he probably died in 1203.
In about 1207, after having conquered Normandy, Philip II Augustus ordered the building of a new cylindrical keep. It was later named the Talbot Tower (Tour Talbot) after the English commander responsible for its repair during the Hundred Years' War. It is a tall round tower, similar design to the towers built at Gisors and the medieval Louvre.Possession of the castle changed hands several times during the Hundred Years' War. The castle was deserted during the 17th century. Since 1840, Château de Falaise has been recognised as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.
A programme of restoration was carried out between 1870 and 1874. The castle suffered due to bombardment during the Second World War in the battle for the Falaise pocket in 1944, but the three keeps were unscathed.