Parkhotel Wasserburg Anholt

Photos courtesy of Parkhotel Wasserburg Anholt








If you were building a castle and didn’t have a mountain top to slow down invading armies or to use as a lookout point to see such armies amassing their forces below, what could you do for defense? You built a moat—a big one. In fact, Wasserburg means “water castle” in German.

Anholt has been a fortified site since Roman times when people took refuge in a tower surrounded by marshland. The tower and lower wall date from the 12th century, while the main part of the castle dates from the 13th and 14th centuries.

After the Thirty Years War, it was obvious a moat could no longer protect Anholt, and it was turned into a residence. In the early 19th century, a combined Russian-Prussian army of 14,000 defeated one of Napoleon’s armies just outside the moat.

In the final weeks of World War II, the German army occupied the castle, and Allied air raids destroyed 70% of the structure in 1945. After the war, Prince Nikolaus Leopold zu Salm-Salm spent 30 years restoring his castle using ancient bricks taken from area barns, stables, and farmhouses to give some historical authenticity.

Pamela’s Perspective

The atmosphere at Anholt is refined and elegant. If you’re driving to or from the Netherlands, by all means stop for a night; the accommodations are lovely.


Parkhotel Wasserburg Anholt

A 12th-century castle


Klever Strasse
D-46419 Isselburg-Anholt
Tel: ++49 (0) 2874 4590
Hotel website
Reserve with

Fast facts

7 single rooms; 19 double rooms; 7 suites

Single rooms: 109 euros
Double rooms: 169–209 euros
Suites: 225–340 euros
Rates include breakfast, tax, and service.
Special offers available

Open: all year

Getting there

Isselburg-Anholt is just over the Dutch border. From the A-3 autobahn, exit at Exit 4 at Bocholt-Rees. The nearest train station is at Empel-Rees, 4 km away.

What to do

On site: 18-hole golf course; cycling; museum; animal park
Nearby: excursions to the Netherlands


Yes. Inquire hotel for details.


Anholt doesn’t need to depend on a misty mountaintop or legendary river location for a sense of drama. Appearing to float on its own lake, this sturdy brick castle casts an aura of romance on all lookers.

The approach to the castle couldn’t be more striking: drive through a broad park, cross a drawbridge over the moat, and enter through an arched tower.

Interiors are pretty and pleasing with neutral colors and tasteful floral prints. A fireplace casts a welcome ambience.

Guest rooms are contemporary in style. A canopy bed and crystal chandelier highlight the tower suite.

Dining can be an elegant, candlelight affair or a more casual occasion in a café-restaurant. When the weather is fine, tables and umbrellas are set out on a terrace over the water. The wine cellar features some of Germany’s most well known wines.

Something special

curlicueCastle museum with fine art, 18th- and 19th-century Chinese porcelains, and Flemish tapestries exhibited in historic rooms.

curlicueThe castle is owned by a real prince: Fürst Carl Philipp of Salm and Salm-Salm.