Vischering Castle is a typical moated castle in the Münster region. It consists of outer defensive courtyard, defensive gateways, moat, drawbridge, main building and chapel. The sandstone walls, the red tile roofs as well as their reflection in the moat provide many harmonious views from the wooded surroundings.
Vischering Castle was built by Bischop Gerhard von der Mark. It became the seat of the Vischering Family. The moat is constantly replenished by a side-arm of the River Stever. The outer defensive courtyard contains the business and farm buildings. The main building is a horseshoe-shaped three-story structure with heavy outer wall. Its inner courtyard is closed off by the chapel and a lower defense wall. A castle keep is missing, having been removed during Renaissance renovations. Fire destroyed the castle in 1521. Rebuilding took place on the existing foundation. Windows and the addition of a large bay made the castle more liveable but diminished its defensive character. The whole site however retains the character of a feudal age moated castle. Damage from air attack during World War II was minor.
Vischering Castle houses the Münsterlandmuseum, an exhibit on knighthood for children, as well as a cafe-restaurant. It serves as a cultural center for Kreis Coesfeld. Visiting hours are provided in the first link below. Viewing the outside is possible at all times. The second link provides a more detailed chronology of the castle in German .References:
German crusaders known as the Livonian Brothers of the Sword began construction of the Cēsis castle (Wenden) near the hill fort in 1209. When the castle was enlarged and fortified, it served as the residence for the Order's Master from 1237 till 1561, with periodic interruptions. Its ruins are some of the most majestic castle ruins in the Baltic states. Once the most important castle of the Livonian Order, it was the official residence for the masters of the order.
In 1577, during the Livonian War, the garrison destroyed the castle to prevent it from falling into the control of Ivan the Terrible, who was decisively defeated in the Battle of Wenden (1578).
In 1598 it was incorporated into the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Wenden Voivodship was created here. In 1620 Wenden was conquered by Sweden. It was rebuilt afterwards, but was destroyed again in 1703 during the Great Northern War by the Russian army and left in a ruined state. Already from the end of the 16th century, the premises of the Order's castle were adjusted to the requirements of the Cēsis Castle estate. When in 1777 the Cēsis Castle estate was obtained by Count Carl Sievers, he had his new residence house built on the site of the eastern block of the castle, joining its end wall with the fortification tower.
Since 1949, the Cēsis History Museum has been located in this New Castle of the Cēsis Castle estate. The front yard of the New Castle is enclosed by a granary and a stable-coach house, which now houses the Exhibition Hall of the Museum. Beside the granary there is the oldest brewery in Latvia, Cēsu alus darītava, which was built in 1878 during the later Count Sievers' time, but its origins date back to the period of the Livonian Order. Further on, the Cēsis Castle park is situated, which was laid out in 1812. The park has the romantic characteristic of that time, with its winding footpaths, exotic plants, and the waters of the pond reflecting the castle's ruins. Nowadays also one of the towers is open for tourists.