Gardens in the Münsterland Castle and Park Landscape
Enjoying the heritage of garden culture
“The wide variety of gardens, parks and promenades comes as a surprise to the visitor from outside the Münsterland”. Remarks such as these by the Swiss landscape architect Günther Vogt are often heard when garden lovers from other places get to know the region.
While the Münsterland does indeed have extremely impressive examples of garden design in the form of gardens and parks like those at Schloss Nordkirchen, the “Westphalian Versailles”, its distinctive features and typical qualities are often only recognised at second glance.
Here the landscape shapes the gardens and the gardens shape the landscape. The Münsterländer Parklandschaft epitomises a mainly agrarian and extremely structured region consisting of numerous individual farmsteads surrounded by meadows, pastures, fields, embankment hedges and small woods. It is, however, simultaneously a PARK landscape.
The numerous moated castles and palaces along with their gardens and parks are scattered in the landscape like jewels, giving the whole area a special charm. Architecture, park and landscape combine here to create a unique mosaic. This structure is supplemented by public green spaces in the towns and municipalities. Münster’s Promenade, for example, a 4.5 km chain of individual high-quality open spaces, is a unique green area for recreation and relaxation around the old historical town centre. The embankments and promenades, the historical graveyards, the town squares and town parks of the municipalities make the whole Münsterland and its park landscape a particularly attractive region in which to live.
The proverbial rootedness of the population has contributed to the preservation of this valuable cultural landscape. Agricultural structures, which have developed over centuries, form the basis for high-quality regional products today. These products add to the variety of what is on offer in the area, either directly from their place of production or via short marketing paths. Collaboration between individual suppliers in quality circles such as Slow Food or the initiative of farms to market their products directly exemplify the attempt to use regional characteristics to counteract the international standardisation which is generally common today.
Co-operation with Slow Food and other initiatives within the framework of the EGHN network represent the new approach of enabling the visitor to enjoy the heritage of (garden) culture in the Münsterland along with the valuable asset of high-quality regional products.