With the large number of castles in Germany, it can be difficult to figure out which ones you want to visit and sometimes the landmarks we want to see dictate where our travels will take us. I hope this guide to visiting Schloss Moyland (Moyland Castle) will help you decide whether you want to put this castle on your travel bucket list.
Where is Schloss Moyland?
Schloss Moyland is located about an hour north-west of Düsseldorf in the state of Nordrhein-Westfalen (Northrhine-Westfalia). When getting there by public transit, you can easily take the train from Düsseldorf to the city of Kleve, which is near the border to the Netherlands. From there, there is a short bus ride that can take you to the castle. When going by car, the drive is also quite scenic going through the country-side.
Inside the Castle and the Art of Joseph Beuys
The inside of Schloss Moyland was completely renovated following its destruction from World War 2. The reconstruction began in 1987 and now the inside uses its white walls as a backdrop for an art museum. A majority of the artwork here is by a german artist named Joseph Beuys. Born in 1921, Beuys lived through the second World War and went on to become a multifaceted artist. You can read a little bit about him, as well as view some of his artwork here.
Even if you’re not much of an art connoisseur, one perk of paying the €13 entrance fee to the museum is being able to climb the narrow, winding staircase up to the top of the north tower. The view of the Kleve area from the top is quite beautiful. Keep in mind the museum is closed on Mondays.
A Brief History
The plot of land where Schloss Moyland now stands was first documented in the year 1307. By 1339 it was officially documented as a house and in 1365 is was considered to be a castle as well. In the late 1600’s, Prussian King, Friedrich the 1st had purchased the castle and used it as a hunting lodge. His successor, Frederick the Great, notably met french philosopher, Voltaire, for the first time in 1740 at Schloss Moyland.
Jumping ahead to the 20th Century, the castle was heavily damaged during World War 2 battles. It was then occupied by allied troops and unfortunately, soldiers as well as civilians, pillaged the furniture, art, and porcelain collections. What remained of the castle was destroyed by fire in 1956. As mentioned earlier, the reconstruction began in 1987 and the castle has been operating as a museum since 1997.
Enjoying the Gardens
Even if the museum is not to your taste, the €2 entrance fee to enjoy the gardens is still recommended. As well as being able to enjoy the quiet park and its large herb garden, seeing the castle from the outside is impressive enough. In the peak of summer I can imagine coming here for a relaxing picnic.
To learn more about visiting Moyland Castle in Germany, you can visit the Nordrhein-Westfalen tourism website.