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 Externsteine (Extern stones) is a distinctive sandstone rock formation located in the Teutoburg Forest, near the town of Horn-Bad Meinberg. The formation is a tor consisting of several tall, narrow columns of rock which rise abruptly from the surrounding wooded hills. Archaeological excavations have yielded some Upper Paleolithic stone tools dating to about 10,700 BC from 9,600 BC.
In a popular tradition going back to an idea proposed to Hermann Hamelmann in 1564, the Externsteine are identified as a sacred site of the pagan Saxons, and the location of the Irminsul (sacral pillar-like object in German paganism) idol reportedly destroyed by Charlemagne; there is however no archaeological evidence that would confirm the site's use during the relevant period.
The stones were used as the site of a hermitage in the Middle Ages, and by at least the high medieval period were the site of a Christian chapel. The Externsteine relief is a medieval depiction of the Descent from the Cross. It remains controversial whether the site was already used for Christian worship in the 8th to early 10th centuries.
The Externsteine gained prominence when Völkisch and nationalistic scholars took an interest in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This interest peaked under the Nazi regime, when the Externsteine became a focus of nazi propaganda. Today, they remain a popular tourist destination and also continue to attract Neo-Pagans and Neo-Nazis.