Schloss Nordkirchen is a palace situated in the town of Nordkirchen in the Coesfeld administrative district in the state of North Rhine Westphalia, Germany. The schloss was largely built between 1703 and 1734 and is known as the "Versailles of Westphalia" since it is the largest of the fully or partly moated Wasserschlösser in that region. It was originally one of the residences of the Prince-Bishopric of Münster.
The present Baroque schloss is the successor to a fully moated Wasserschloss built in the sixteenth century for the noble "von Morrien" family. In the eighteenth century, the structure visible today was raised in several building campaigns for Fürstbischof Friedrich Christian von Plettenberg zu Lenhausen and his successor, Fürstbischof Ferdinand von Plettenberg. In 1833, the complex passed to Count von Esterházy who sold it to Duke Engelbert Marie von Arenberg in 1903. In 1933, the Arenberg-Nordkirchen GmbH, a newly founded ducal assets management company, assumed possession. In 1959, the schloss was purchased by the State of Nordrhein-Westfalen and has since been the site of "Fachhochschule für Finanzen Nordrhein-Westfalen", a state-run college specializing in the training of future tax inspectors. The neighboring "Oranienburg" complex and the park were subsequently added, as was – in 2004 – the deer park, which included a generous green belt of more than 1,000 hectares of woodland surrounding the south-western perimeter of the schloss proper. Parts of the interior of the schloss are open to the public, as are the parterres and the surrounding park. Inside the schloss, an up-market restaurant offering Westphalian cuisine looks out into the large formal garden that faces the northern façade of the schloss. The schloss chapel may be rented for weddings.
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