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  • Writer's pictureChristine Nikander

Road Trip #1

Exploring Schloß Holte & Schloß Neuhaus.

On Friday morning, we got in our new e-car and started on our first road trip along the "Road of Weser Renaissance". The plan was to head to Paderborn, located between Düsseldorf and Hannover, and to start our journey along the Weser River with one of the most famous buildings of the Weser Renaissance. We, however, ended up making a lovely little pit stop in a smaller place called Schloß Holte-Stukenbrock first.

Straße der Weserrenaissance

The area along the Weser River experienced a large-scale economic and cultural boom in the century before the Thirty Years War (1618–1648). In the 16th and early 17th centuries, a large amount of new buildings were therefore built along the Weser River. The "Road of Weser Renaissance" was established as a tourist route to connect countless architectural monuments of the Weser Renaissance. The road is located in the north of Germany and it passes through Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia, Lower Saxony and Bremen. We are beginning our journey in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Schloß Holte

Our first stop was at the Holte Castle. It is a beautiful yellow, baroque water castle from the 17th century, which is surrounded by a moat. There is a bridge to the front gate and another bridge at the back that leads to a small private island. The current castle was built on the site of an old 14th century water castle, which was destroyed by a fire in 1556. The current castle was built from 1608 to 1616 and the structure incorporated the remains of the old destroyed castle. The Holte Castle was purchased by a merchant family in 1822 and the family still owns the castle today. The buildings and inner park of the residential castle therefore cannot be visited.

Schloß Neuhaus

Our final destination was the Neuhaus Castle, which is considered to be a true icon of the Weser Renaissance. The castle is surrounded by a moat, and it has a bridge at both the front and the back. It was built in multiple stages and each part of the castle is also named after the person who commissioned the construction. The oldest part of the castle is the "Spiegel House", which dates back to the 1370. The modern-day front of the castle was built from 1524 to 1525, by master mason Jörg Unkair. Additional parts to the castle were built in 1534 and 1584-1560. The castle reached its current form in 1590, when it was doubled in size and four round towers were added. The baroque garden, at the back, was originally added in 1736. Since 1967, the castle has housed a secondary school.

After months of socially distancing at home, it was nice to get to see these two castles and get out a bit. Even just walking around outside in new surroundings feels like a welcome change at this point! I am planning another road trip next week and I will share some photos from that here too.

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