Moated Castles on a Hiking Trail
More than any other German towns, Muensterland, situated in North Rhine Westphalia, boasts quite a number of moated castles (Wasserburgen). It is a region that is rather flat geographically.
Its medieval ancestors took to digging moats around its castles for protection from marauding enemies, being short on hills and mountains on which to build fortresses.
Its most famous moated castle is Burg Vischering, originally built in 1217 by a bishop to rival another nearby castle, Burg Luedinghausen. It later became the family seat of the Droste zu Vischerings.
Much of Burg Vischering has been restored after it was destroyed by fire in 1521 and then during World War II (though damage then was minimal.) But its restoration was well in keeping with its medieval origins….
….unlike Burg Luedinghausen, which had a makeover around the 16th century and then again in the 19th century (when it was given an additional wing.) Today, Burg Luedinghausen retains very little of its medieval features.
Luedinghausen is known as the “Town of Three Castles”. However, Burg Vischering and Burg Luedinghausen are the only two still surviving and that are well visited by local and foreign tourists.
It’s third companion, Burg Wolfsberg, has much less than Burg Luedinghausen to show in terms of its original medieval features or even of a moat.
There are other moated castles and hiking trails all over Germany to delight you. Why not start with what Muensterland has to offer?