See sites of royal splendour in Germany
Anholt moated castle in the western part of Münsterland is one of North-Rhine Westphalia's few privately owned castles. It first appears in records in the 12th century. Further extensions in around 1700 created a grand baroque residence with the feel of a palace. Today, the moated castle is used as a museum founded by Prince Nikolaus of Salm-Salm, which features a private collection documenting his family's history. The historical housekeeping accounts reveal a wealth of information about the original room layouts and furnishings. Apparently, the 'fat tower' was once only accessible via a rope ladder above the entrance to the dungeon. The present configuration of three upper floors probably dates from the middle of the 17th century. Gothic arches are incorporated in the external brickwork and the wall facing the 'fat tower'. The adjoining room, formerly a guard room and armoury, later became the library. The banqueting hall has a magnificent stucco ceiling from 1665 featuring the royal coat of arms and gold ornamentation. On display in the marble room, which was created in 1910, is the majority of the china collection dating from the 17th and 18th centuries. This room is graced by gilded furniture in the high baroque style. Besides the castle, visitors can also enjoy the extensive park (34 hectares) and several baroque gardens. Visitors today can admire the different areas of the garden, such as the water garden, the island, the maze and the wild flower meadow. With its rich variety of plants and trees, many footpaths and expanses of water, Anholt moated castle is the perfect choice for a day out. Other castles in the region include Burg Bentheim and Wasserburg Gemmen, a moated castle dating back more than nine centuries.