Arff Castle is a former water castle in Roggendorf/Thenhoven, a town in Cologne. It is located 20 km northwest of Cologne city centre and directly on the border with the town of Dormagen in the Rhine district of Neuss.
A first recorded mention of the Knights van der Arffe, the namesake of the castle, took place in 1366. Albrecht von Baexen acquired the estate in 1572 by marriage to Catharina von der Arff. But in the Cologne War of 1583 to 1586, the previous building was destroyed.
In 1750 Adam von Blittersdorf sold the estate to the family of Buschmann, who then within five years from 1750 to 1755 arranged the construction of the present castle. The architect was most likely the Frenchman Michel Leveilly. In 1803, the castle came to the Geyr family of Schweppenburg.
After the death of Christoph Freiherrn Geyr von Schweppenburg, the heirs sold the castle in 2015 to his niece Caroline and her husband Friedhelm von Landsberg-Velen, who also run the amusement park around Schloss Dankern. Since then, Arff Castle has been used for weddings and other events.
Main buildings and forecourt, as well as two parallel farm buildings and the manor house, form the parts of the building and border the castle courtyard. The two-part garden was once surrounded by a moat. However, the feeding springs have dried up. It is a so-called Maison de Plaisance, a pleasure castle in which the nobility spent the summer months in the countryside, away from the cities.
The mansion is attributed to the architect Michael Leveilly and is a simplified repetition of Falkenlust Castle near Brühl, which belongs to the UNESCO World Heritage Site “Augustusburg Brühl” and where Leveilly was construction manager under François de Cuvilliés the Elder. Leveilly also designed the designs for Haus Horr in Grevenbroich in the Rhine district of Neuss as well as the historic town hall of the city of Bonn.
Other Castles in North Rhine-Westphalia
More to come.