In Germany, just about three kilometres across the Dutch border you can find a moated castle in Münsterland: Anholt Castle and Park. It truly is a hidden treasure at the border. Nowadays the castle is partly a hotel and partly a museum. Inside you can find fantastic art works in one of the biggest and oldest museums in Germany. But it’s not only the castle that is worth a visit; its gorgeous garden is too. You can take a walk through the baroque park beckons, stretching far beyond the entire pond landscape. You can even get lost in a maze.
For years Anholt Castle (also called Wasserburg Anholt) has been on my list of castles I once wanted to visit. With this post I hope to inspire you to visit the castle too.
For many centuries (first mentioned in the 12th century) Anholt Castle was privately owned by the princely family of Salm-Salm. During the Second World War, the castle received significant damage and was destroyed for about 70%. As part of the reconstruction of the castle, a museum was added. Nowadays the castle is partly a hotel and partly a museum.
Since the castle is surrounded by water, in quiet weather it creates a magnificent reflection. The castle is amazing to see and immensely big. I was really impressed by its size.
If you want to surprise your love, you should definitely take him or her to this history-filled place.
Museum Wasserburg Anholt
In Anholt Castle you can find one of the largest and oldest museums in North Rhine-Westphalia. The museum is a series of rooms in the castle with a collection of exhibited works with about 700 paintings. There’s also an extensive collection of Chinese, Japanese, Dutch and German porcelain from the 17th and 18 Century and Renaissance and Baroque furniture. There also is a fantastic library and you can even find a Rembrandt painting in one of the rooms. The museum is lovely and well worth a visit.
The museum can be visited by means of a guided tour (language: German). When you don’t speak English you can borrow a book in English that describes the rooms. Also keep in mind that there are many steps up and down in the museum.
Anholt park and gardens
It’s not only the castle and museum that are worth a visit; its gorgeous garden is too (built in the 18th century). The garden extends over the entire landscape around its ponds and is more like a park. It is huge, very well-groomed, and very suitable for walking.
In the Anholt park and gardens you can find three Baroque gardens: a garden on a small island (the wassergarden), a wild flower meadow, and a cool maze where you can walk around in. It took me quite a few minutes to find the exit of the maze.
The park around the castle is magnificent with the old trees, beautiful flowers, the birds over the lake and old bridges which I adored.
When you decide to visit the park and gardens you can choose three different routes to walk. The first one is a ‘canal route’ that runs around the castle. You will admire in particular the medieval walls of the castle and the historical gardens. This route takes about 20 minutes. The second route is the ‘large parkway route’ that runs around the entire park. It connects culture and nature and takes about 1 hour to walk. I can really recommend this one! The third route is if you don’t want to walk that long, about 45 minutes. This route runs along the herb meadow, pond and castle.
Restaurant Wasserpavillon at Anholt Castle
After my walk in the gardens and the visit in the castle itself I sat at the restaurant Wasserpavillon (water pavilion) at the Anholt castle. The restaurant is located in the moat, offering stunning views of the surrounding park and gardens. It is an absolute treat to go and to stay for lunch, drinks or dinner. The restaurant has a very extensive card with regional dishes and wines. The dinner was perfect, no problems with the fact that I am a vegetarian. You can also have afternoon teas and food as well. The quality is superb and if you are lucky and the weather is good you can sit outside at the terrace floating on the water surrounding the old castle.
Restaurant opening hours: Monday through Sunday between 12.00h – 14.30h, and 20.00h – 21.30h.
Overnight at Parkhotel Wasserburg Anholt
There’s also the opportunity to overnight in one of the 31 rooms at the Anholt Castle. This is especially convenient if you are traveling from Germany to the Netherlands or vice versa. The hotel has a classic, elegant interior with antique furniture. The rooms have stunning views of the ponds and park around the castle and were also very clean. The staff is really very friendly and helpful.
How to get to Anholt Castle
By public transportation you can take the Deutsche Bahn to the station Empel-Rees, which is about 4 km away from the castle. From there you take the Bus 61 to Isselburg, Schloss Anholt. Use bahn.de to find the schedule. You can also go by train to the Dutch places Doetinchem or Winterswijk and cycle from there to Anholt Castle.
From the Messe Dusseldorf it is only 68 km. The driveway No. 4 (Rees / Bocholt) to the motorway A3 (E35) Oberhausen / Arnhem is only 5 km away. Parking is not allowed in the courtyard.
The park is open all year round from Tuesday to Sunday from 11:00 – 17:00, except from Christmas Eve, the Christmas holidays, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
Entree fee of Anholt Castle and park
When visiting the museum you can choose two kinds of guided tours: a compact guided tour that takes about 60 minutes or a premium guided tour that takes about 90 minutes and focuses mainly on the paintings. All prices below are per person and are subject to change.
Adult (17+ years): € 12,00 (compact) or € 15,00 (premium). Group (15+ persons): € 10,00 (compact) or € 13,00 (premium).
Adult (17+ years): € 5,00. Group (15+ persons): € 4,00.
Museum and park:
Adult (17+ years): € 15,00 (compact) or € 18,00 (premium). Group (15+ persons): € 12,00 (compact) or € 15,00 (premium).
Children up to 16 years accompanied by adults have free entrance for public tours and the park. Pensioners, students and people with disabilities pay (with proof of identity) the price for groups.
I hope I inspired you to visit Anholt Castle too. If you have any questions or tips for visiting, feel free to leave a comment in the comment section below. Thank you for reading!
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