Tour 1: Famous personalities and their gardens

our-suggested-itinerary culture-packagecombination-tips

Set in the Kurpark it combines exemplarily the historic English park landscape from the 19th Century with the contemporary garden by garden artists Piet Oudolfs and Jacqueline van der Kloet. A statue in the park of Susett Gonthard recalls the time she spent together here with the poet Friedrich Hölderlin in 1796.

The “listed” park is an important monument to the garden art of the late 19th Century and an excellent example of a largely intact manor park in Westphalia-Lippe. The corner tower in the park was occupied, for a time in 1917, by the writer Rainer Maria Rilke. The park can only be visited when attending an event.

t1_03_esters-lange_kl120GÄRTEN HAUS ESTERS / HAUS LANGE, KREFELD
At the end of the 1920’s Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was commissioned to design two homes and their private gardens. Accordingly, the gardens reflect the buildings in their design and impact; from the precise window cut outs in the garden, the sight lines lead to the deliberate planting of groups of trees and single trees which pick up on the formal language of the buildings.

In designing the garden, the artist Ulrich Rückriem was given his first opportunity to design a landscape for his sculptures. It is spread across several zones, such as synthetic turf areas, hornbeam hedges and a straw meadow.


Schloss Dyck is one of the most important cultural monuments in the Lower Rhine. For over 900 years, Dyck was owned by the Salm-Dyck Reifferscheidt family. Count Ernst Salentin (1621-1684) began the expansion to a symbolic residence after The 30 Years’ War. Under his successors Schloss Dyck became one of the most distinguished addresses in the region during the 18th century. The poet and writer Constance zu Salm-Dyck Reifferscheidt lived here from 1803.

Hülshoff, the typical Westphalian castle is surrounded by a large landscaped park. A few kilometres away, Rüschhaus House one of the finest small manor houses in Westphalia with a prestigious park and an artfully landscaped moat invites a visit. It was here that the poet Annette von Droste-Hülshoff spent 20 years of her life.

Karl Ernst Osthaus commissioned the garden architect Leberecht Migge in 1913 to draft the design for the garden of villa Hohenhof which was inspired by the plans of Belgian architect Henry van de Velde. After a chequered history, work on the buildings and the restoration work in the garden was carried out in 2003.

In the 17th Century the Brandenburg governor of the Duchy of Cleves, Johann Moritz von Nassau-Siegen, set himself a goal of, transforming his royal residence and its environs into unprecedented parkland. With the Klever gardens he created a monument which has served as an inspiration to many from Berlin to Versailles.

The contemporary park formed by the restored plain of the river Erft symbolises the idea of an artistic cultural landscape through its dialogue between nature, art and architecture.
Visitors can experience “art parallel to nature” here. The sculptor Erwin Heerich created eleven pavilions, each of which –art in itself – is home to other works of art.

With picturesque views of the Rhine valley, surrounded by a colourful garden, situated in Rhöndorf and built in 1936/1937, one finds the residence of Konrad Adenauer (1876-1967), the long-time mayor of the city of Cologne and the first Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Behind the famous Rubens House and the artist’s workshop is a serene garden, which shows off three special characteristics of particular charm: the wooden tunnel built in the Renaissance style, entwined with roses, clematis and honeysuckle; the original gardener’s cottage with a square herb garden and pond from the 18th Century and a small orchard.


Our Suggested Itinerary

1st DAY
  • Arrival in Bad Driburg where, in 1796, of the poet Friedrich Hölderlin and his great love Susette Gontard spent a long time.
  • Guided tour of the Gräflicher Park. On an island in the park’s lake there is a bust of Susette Gontard overlooking the “Hölderlin grove”, in memory of the couple.
  • Option for lunch at the Restaurant Pferdestall in the historic park.
  • Continue to Münster. Hotel rooms reserved
  • Time for your own exploration
  • We suggest: dinner in a typical restaurant in Münster, e.g. at the “Kiepenkerl”.
  • Upon request, night watchman tour of the city, alternatively visit a theatre performance (depending on programme).
  • Overnight in Münster
2nd DAY
  • After breakfast, drive to the Droste-Hülshoff’s family estate Haus Rüschhaus in Münster-Nienberge. Annette von Droste-Hülshoff spent 20 years of her life here. Guided tour of the garden and manor house.
  • Continue to the moated castle of Burg Hülshoff in Havixbeck, where the poetess was born in 1797. Guided tour of the garden and Droste Museum
  • Lunch in the Restaurant Burg Hülshoff (regional cuisine with local products)
  • Continue to Hagen
  • Visit the Osthaus Museum with a guided tour of the Art Nouveau collection and explanation of the history of the house
  • Option of a coffee break at Restaurant Novys at the museum
  • Continue to Hohenhof, the former home and garden house of Karl Ernst Osthaus, one of Germany’s most important patrons of the arts in the early 20th Century
  • Tour of the house, the small special gardens and the Jugendstil estate of “Am Stirnband”
  • Continue to Dusseldorf. Hotel reservation
  • Recommendation: Dinner in the Malkasten restaurant, a walk through the Jakobi garden
  • Overnight in Dusseldorf
3rd DAY
  • Morning drive to Cleves, where the Brandenburg Governor John Maurice of Nassau-Siegen (1604-1679) transformed the former royal capital and its surroundings into spectacular parkland.
  • Combined visit to the museum and park: A guided tour of the Kurhaus Kleve Museum, followed by walk through the historic park Amphitheatre and forest garden of the museum
  • Optional lunch at the charming “Café im Gärtchen” in Keeken near Kleve, where original Granny style recipes are featured.
  • Continue to Krefeld
  • Visit the Haus Esters / Haus Lange Museum, designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, including the gardens, which reflect the buildings in its design and impact
  • Return to Dusseldorf. Time for your own exploration
  • Optional dinner at a restaurant in the MedienHafen (Media Port)
  • Overnight in Dusseldorf
4th DAY
  • Morning drive to Neuss
  • Visit the Insel Hombroich Museum which is an integrated work of art. The beauty of nature, architecture and art melts together here in a unique way. The sculptor Erwin Heerich created the striking pavilions for the arts here. On the island there is a small snack bar.
  • Then proceed to Bad Honnef.
  • Guided tour of Adenauer’s house and garden with its garden pavilion, where the former chancellor often worked on his memoirs. The garden’s terrace offers fantastic views over the Rhine Valley and the Drachenfels.
  • Optional dinner at one of the many typical wine restaurants in the Siebengebirge.
  • Overnight in Dusseldorf
5th DAY
  • Trip to Schloss Dyck in Jüchen
  • Guided tour of the English landscape garden and the new gardens. The French poet and writer Constance Salm-Reifferscheidt- Dyck lived at Schloss Dyck from 1803 and ran the castle as an open house and a literary salon.
  • At the end of the visit, lunch at the Bistro Botanica at Schloss Dyck
  • Optional visit to Rückriem’s Artist Garden in Rommerskirchen
  • Return home
  • Trip to Antwerp in Belgium
  • Visit Rubens’ garden with its flowers and fruit, which was well-known during Rubens’ lifetime in the 17th Century and visit the Rubenshuis Museum, where the artist lived and worked.
  • Peter Paul Rubens lived most of his life in Antwerp and had a major influence over the late flowering of the city.
  • Lunch in a typical restaurant in Antwerp
  • Guided tour around the main attractions such as the Cathedral of Our Lady, with masterpieces by Rubens and the City Hall
  • Return home.


  • 1 night in an upper mid-range hotel in Münster
  • 3 nights in an upper mid-range hotel in Dusseldorf
  • Admission and guided tour of the Gräflicher Park, Bad Driburg
  • Admission and guided tour of the Rüschhaus estate
  • Admission and guided tour of the park and castle at Burg Hülshoff
  • Lunch at the Burg Hülshoff restaurant
  • Admission and tour of the Karl Ernst Osthaus Museum, Hagen
  • Admission and guided tour of Villa Hohenhof, Hagen (weekends only)
  • Combined tour of Kurhaus Kleve museum and parks
  • Admission to Haus Esters / Haus Lange, Krefeld
  • Admission and guided tour of Adenauer’s house and garden, Bad Honnef
  • Admission and guided tour Schloss Dyck
  • Lunch at the Bistro Botanica Schloss Dyck
  • Admission to the Insel Hombroich Museum
  • Provision of additional services and brochures
  • Free accommodation for the 21st person in a double room

Price per person: from € 268, – in a double room
from € 82, – single supplement
Groups of 20

  • Dinner at Restaurant Malkasten in Dusseldorf
  • Dinner at a restaurant in the MediaHafen

Combination tips

  • LWL Outdoor museum, Detmold
  • LWL State Museum for monastic culture, Dalheim
  • Schloss Corvey with its Carolingian west-works from the former monastery church
  • Visit to the Glass Museum at Bad Driburg
  • Visit to the Cathedral and the Diocesan Museum and the Museum of the Imperial Palace in Paderborn
  • Miele Museum in Gütersloh
  • Kunsthalle Bielefeld Art Gallery and Sculpture Park
  • Visit to the Potts brewery in Oelde
  • Visit an event at manor park Böcke in Rödinghausen
  • Visit the heritage museum Haus Nottbeck, Museum of Westphalian Literature, Oelde
  • Picasso Museum in Münster
  • Visit to the first pleasure park in the Münsterland dating from the 18th Century, the Bagno in Steinfurt
  • Visit the Heinrich Habbel distillery and brewery, Hagen
  • Emil Schumacher Museum, Hagen
  • Visit Hohenlimburg Castle, high garden and Castle Museum, Hagen
  • Visits to the North Rhine-Westphalia art collection or the art museum
  • City tour with visit to the Nordparks in Dusseldorf
  • Purchase of regional products at the country store at Schloss Dyck
  • Wine tasting and cellar tour at a local winery in Bad Honnef or the Ahr Valley
  • Visit the Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany in Bonn
  • UNESCO World Heritage Museum Plantin-Moretus with the earliest printing presses in the world, Antwerp
  • Art museum MAS – Museum on the River, Antwerp
  • Paleis op de Meir in Antwerp, where in particular the former apartments of Napoleon and the Hall of Mirrors of King Leopold are worth seeing
  • Visit the “Chocolate Line” shop, where Belgian chocolates are for sale in a highly exclusive ambience