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:
The Château d'Olhain is probably the most famous castle of the Artois region. It is located in the middle of a lake which reflects its picturesque towers and curtain walls. It was also a major stronghold for the Artois in medieval times and testimony to the power of the Olhain family, first mentioned from the 12th century.
The existence of the castle was known early in the 13th century, but the present construction is largely the work of Jean de Nielles, who married Marie d’Olhain at the end of the 15th century.
The marriage of Alix Nielles to Jean de Berghes, Grand Veneur de France (master of hounds) to the King, meant the castle passed to this family, who kept it for more than 450 years. Once confiscated by Charles Quint, it suffered during the wars that ravaged the Artois. Besieged in 1641 by the French, it was partly demolished by the Spaniards in 1654, and finally blown-up and taken by the Dutch in 1710. Restored in 1830, it was abandoned after 1870, and sold by the last Prince of Berghes in 1900. There is also evidence that one of the castles occupants was related to Charles de Batz-Castelmore d'Artagnan, the person Alexandre Dumas based his Three Musketeers charictor d'Artagnan on.
During the World War I and World War II, the castle was requisitioned first by French troops, then Canadian and British soldiers. The current owner has restored the castle to its former glory.