If you set out on the southern course of the 100 Castles Route by bike, you will experience a veritable firework display of historic buildings. Sometimes hidden behind hedges, sometimes free-standing and imposing: The impressive castles and palaces are always worth seeing. The "treasures of the Münsterland" are strung along the 210-kilometre cycle tour like a string of pearls. Visit these witnesses of great architecture.
Münster is the perfect starting point for your bike tour. But don't get on your bike straight away, take some time to visit the city. The Prinzipalmarkt is considered the city's "parlour". It's a great place to stroll under the arcades around the historic town hall. Münster's impressive cathedral is only a few metres away. A look inside the building is definitely worthwhile. Just like the cathedral, the famous church of St. Lamberti is a dominant feature of Münster's cityscape. On your way through the alleys of the city, you will inevitably come across the Erbdrostenhof. This magnificent building is one of the sights of the 100 Castles Route, just like Münster Castle, where your cycle tour begins.
Only a few kilometres from Münster, the 100 Castles Route is framed by meadows and pastures. The expanse of the flat landscape is only interrupted by a few farmsteads and charming villages. Again and again you will find restaurants, cafés and beer gardens along the cycle path. Manor houses such as Drostenhof near Münster or Haus Brückhausen near Everswinkel bring history to life. At Ascheberg at the latest, you will reach the "Castle Triangle" on your cycle tour. First, the picturesque Westerwinkel Castle rises out of the Münsterland park landscape near Ascheberg. A walk through the park opens up new perspectives on the moated castle.
It is now only a few pedal turns to the famous Nordkirchen Castle . The largest and most famous castle in the region is also called the "Versailles of Westphalia". And the castle and park live up to their reputation. Surrounded by moats and a lake, the castle's size alone is impressive. It takes time to walk around the castle - but it's definitely worth it. A souvenir photo with the lake and Venus Island is a "must" on your bike tour.
In a wide curve, the cycle path of the 100 Castles Route leads you past Haus Sandfort near Olfen to the castle town of Lüdinghausen. It would hardly surprise you to meet some knights at Vischering Castle. The main building towers mightily and proudly behind the picturesque outer castle. Even though Vischering Castle looks particularly fortified, today it is a cultural centre for the region. In the castle museum you can learn much more about the castles of the Münsterland.
The 100 Castles Route now leads almost due north. Before nature takes over in the hilly Baumberge mountains, you will come across Senden Castle. The castle, which has been in ruins for a long time, is one of the most exciting sites on the southern route. The castle is being meticulously restored. More than one mystery about the history and construction of the castle has already been solved. The cycle route still manages almost without any metres in altitude as far as the picturesque old town of Nottuln.
On the way to Billerbeck, the cyclists are surprised by wonderful views from afar. Between small wooded areas the fields shine and somewhere a church tower always points the way. The tallest among them marks Billerbeck Cathedral from a distance. Shortly before reaching the town, the Kolvenburg surprises with its cultural offerings. You may already have noticed that sandstone is an important and typical building material in the region. In the sandstone museum in Havixbeck you can get to the bottom of its history.
The castles and palaces of the Münsterland are places of history and stories. Some of the most beautiful were told by the great poet Annette von Droste-Hülshoff. Her birthplace, Hülshoff Castle near Havixbeck, is undoubtedly one of the highlights of this cycle tour. The extensive park provides a unique setting for the famous castle. Beautiful paths surround the buildings, which also house the Droste Museum. As a "Centre for Literature", Hülshoff Castle plays a very special role in the cultural heritage of the region.
The 100 Castles Route follows in the footsteps of Droste to the picturesque Haus Rüschhaus. The building, designed by Johann Conrad Schlaun, is a mixture of farmhouse and French country residence and was completed in 1748. Not only the builder lived in the Rüschhaus for some time. Annette von Droste-Hülshoff also lived here and enjoyed the beautiful surroundings and the baroque park. You are now within sight of Münster again, which is only a few kilometres away.
Westerwinkel Castle near Ascheberg enchants with its beautiful location in the middle of the Münsterland park landscape. Beautiful paths lead around the 17th century castle. Not only the castle itself but also the park bear witness to the baroque architectural style.
You can see at first glance that Vischering Castle in Lüdinghausen was built as a fortress. Fortified and surrounded by water, the castle appears almost impregnable. At second glance, however, it turns out to be a unique building and cultural centre of the castles and palaces in Münsterland.
Residence, monument, museum and creative centre - Hülshoff Castle near Havixbeck has had and still has many functions. In any case, it looks back on an eventful past and a famous inhabitant. The birthplace of Annette von Droste-Hülshoff is a wonderful stop on the 100 Castles Route.