Schloss Moyland

Moyland Castle (German: Schloss Moyland) is a moated castle in Bedburg-Hau in the district of Kleve, one of the most important neo-Gothic buildings in North Rhine-Westphalia. Its name derives from the Dutch word Mooiland which means “beautiful country”. The name was probably coined by Dutch workers, which the former owner Jacob van den Eger of the Lower Rhine had brought to his property to drain the surrounding wetlands.

The building is now primarily a museum devoted to exhibiting the world’s largest collection of work by artist Joseph Beuys. It is a popular destination on the Lower Rhine.

The stair railing on the stairway to the portal of the main palace are decorated with various animal figures. At the upper end are two lions – they are older originals. At the lower ends of the railing, the original lions were replaced by a wolf on the right and a pug on the left. The wolf was to commemorate the visit of Voltaire . The figure was selected to record for posterity the “ferocity” of the French philosopher in discussion with Frederick II. The pug represents Sir Winston Churchill. During World War II, he attended Moyland Castle in the wake of observing Operation Plunder – the Rhine crossing of the British Army. He was one of the last to visit the intact 200-year-old fortress in which the King of Prussia and Voltaire had their discussions. Shortly after Churchill’s visit to the palace was looted and the interior largely destroyed.

The Museum

The castle buildings now house the art collection of the brothers Hans van der Grinten and Franz Joseph van der Grinten, collected over 50 years. The extensive collection includes exhibits from the 19th and 20th Century, including works by Erwin Heerich, Willem den Ouden, Rudolf Schoofs and Hermann Teuber. A major focus of the comprehensive collection of works by Joseph Beuys which consists of nearly 5000 pieces and thus is the world’s largest collection of his work. Several previously unpublished drawings in the exhibition “Energy Plan” are presented, from 5 September 2010 to 20 March 2011 in the rooms of the castle.

In a special Joseph Beuys Archive, in co-operation with the Düsseldorf Institute of Art Academy, is kept about another 200,000 archival records and documents related to the life and work of the artist.

There is also an extensive art library of more than 60,000 items of the Museum Foundation.

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