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Schloss Dyck (moated castle of Dyck) lies in Jüchen and is the former ancestral home of the Salm-Reifferscheidt-Dyck counts and princes. For hundreds of years it was a small autonomous dominion and is now one of the most cultural-historically significant castles in the Rhineland.
Surrounded by an historic country park with important dendrological assets, the imposing water castle can look back on a history ranging back more than 900 years.
Dyck's extraordinary reputation rests on the continuity in the line of its ownership and the good condition of the castle complex. The baroque castle complex has remained almost unchanged since the mid-17th century. It is surrounded by a large park in the English style. The landscape garden and its remarkable collection of rare tree types was commissioned by Prince Josef and designed in 1819 by Thomas Blaike, the Scottish garden architect.
Stiftung Schloss Dyck ('the Schloss Dyck Foundation')
A new phase of the Schloss Dyck's history was ushered in in 1999 with a project that was as ambitious as it was exciting. In December 1999, the non-profit Stiftung Schloss Dyck was founded for a unique purpose: as a centre for garden art and landscape culture, the foundation was set up to develop exhibitions on the art of gardening both past and present and create a corresponding scientific institute. Joint donors were Marie Christine Wolff-Metternich, the Rhein-Kreis Neuss, the municipality of Jüchen, the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the Landschaftsverband Rheinland ('the Rhineland Landscape Association'). The foundation is continuously supported in its extensive restoration work by the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia as well as the Rhein-Kreis Neuss.
The New Gardens
For the North Rhine-Westphalian Landesgartenschau 2002 (a state garden exhibition), the historic ensemble of castle and historic castle park were extended with a "Parc Agriculture", the New Gardens on the Dycker Feld ('Dyck field'). Here too the Rhein-Kreis Neuss and the municipality of Jüchen supported the implementation of the Landesgartenschau. Visitors can view 24 contemporary, experimental gardens among a "sea" of Chinese silver grass (Miscanthus), which slowly swells in the course of the year. The New Gardens were awarded 1st place in the "Nordrhein-Westfälischen Landschaftsarchitekturpreis 2003/2004" ("North Rhine-Westphalian Landscape Architecture Awards 2003/2004"). The young landscape architect Stefan Lenzen (RMP office) was already among the prize winners in the 2003 German landscape architecture awards.
The Schloss Dyck castle complex
The Schloss Dyck castle complex, with its outer fortifications and supply houses, stands on four islands. The baroque building, which was begun in 1656, is ample in size and clearly structured. Dyck is not merely a defensive castle and residence. Characteristic above all for the nature of this largest of Rhenish water castles is the unity of domestic quarters and supply houses: the land was managed from here. The castle park is home to a remarkable collection of rare and precious tree types. Other famous garden artists have shaped Dyck; people like Peter-Josef Lenné, Maximilian Friederich Weyhe and later Hermann Matern. The ensemble is classed as a great piece of Rhenish cultural history and is a popular tourist destination.
Centre for gardening and landscape culture
2003 also saw the addition of a "Zentrum für Gartenkunst und Landschaftskultur" ("Centre for Gardening and Landscape Culture"), unique in Germany and featuring exhibitions on gardening. The opening of the exhibition "Historie", "Landschaft" und "Grazie" ("History", "Landscape" and "Grace") made it possible to open the castle and stables to the public for the first time following a partial restoration approx. 10 years previously. While the "Historie" exhibition gives insights into Schloss Dyck's history, the "Landschaft" exhibition focuses on the history of the landscape garden in the 18th and 19th centuries. In the "Grazie" exhibition, ten contemporary and internationally renowned artists present their work under the curatorship of Jan Hout. Their works have taken the architectural character and special charm of the location as their influence and subtly play with its ambiance. "Historie" and "Landschaft" are permanent exhibitions while "Grazie" ended in September 2006.