These were developed in the Münster region before Charlemagne as fortified keeps. They were built on natural or artificial islands to protect the inhabitants in areas without mountains or hills. They often featured multiple moats for protection.
After the invention of gunpowder, castles lost their military value and gradually became solely the residencies of the aristocracy.
Of the buildings still preserved today, the main castle, the manor house, it the oldest. It was built in 1545. The manor house is a typical example of castle and building construction in the Münster region. The Late Gothic and the Renaissance styles come together here to form an artistic unity.
The outer bailey, rectangular, extends from west to east beyond the water, on the island past the one the manor house is standing on. It was used as a stable.
The park, 30 hectares in size, is again today the landscaped garden planned by Clemens August II von Droste-Hülshoff, Annette's father. The spacious estate invites visitors to take walks, rest and relax.
The winter and summer bosquets are located here (small pleasure forests within a geometrically shaped baroque castle garden), an open air theater made from hedges and trees, a must for sophisticated garden culture at the time. A large sunbathing area with recliners and lounge chairs, the wildlife preserve, an exciting garden island and a small teahouse in the forest invite guests to take walks, rest and relax.
Under the direction of the architectural firm Mensen + Zora Architekten (Münster), urgently necessary renovation work has been being conducted since 2014 which is funded by the special program for landmark preservation of the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM) as well as the German Foundation for Landmark Preservation.
In the coming years, the architecture firm Staab Architekten (Berlin) and landscape architecture firm Levin Monsigny (Berlin) will provide the bailey with event, exhibition and meeting rooms as well as accommodations and offices; these will also be used for the planned expansion of the Droste research unit located at the LWL into a Droste Institute. This large-scale renovation is being funded with funds from the German federal National Urban Development Projects program.