Hiking around Twickel Castle

In the Dutch municipality of Hof van Twente in the province of Overijssel lies the Twickel estate. It is one of the best preserved castles in the Netherlands with an elaborately designed castle garden, orangery and extensive parkland. The so-called Umfassungsweg draws a circle around Twickel Castle on a walking route of eleven kilometers. This path was planned in 1890 by the German landscape architect Eduard Petzold to beautify the park. Petzold died in 1891 before the completion of the entire circular trail. It was not until 2011 that the loop trail, which still bears the name chosen by Petzold, Umfassungsweg, was completed.

Abwechslungsreiche Wanderroute. Der mit UW gekennzeichnete Umfassungsweg verläuft auf einer Länge von 11 Kilometern um Schloss Twickel / © Foto: Georg Berg
Varied hiking route. The Umfassungsweg, marked UW, runs for 11 kilometers around Twickel Castle / © Photo: Georg Berg

Varied cultural landscape

The perimeter trail around Twickel Castle was largely laid out around 1890. The estate covers over 4000 hectares. From the castle, wooden posts with the letters UW point in the direction of the circular path. The idea of the garden architect Eduard Petzold was to use the Umfassungsweg to guide hikers through the entire diversity of the cultural landscape. The route begins with the parkland around the castle and then passes into woodland, semi-open meadows, leads through the Azelerbeek stream valley, along a boardwalk through what is now the Koematenveld nature reserve, across fields and past farms, and finally back to the village of Delden.

Der Bohlenpfad im Naturgebiet Koematenveld ist Teil des Umfassungswegs, der im Jahr 1890 vom deutschen Landschaftsarchitekten Petzold  angelegt wurde / © Foto: Georg Berg
The boardwalk in the Koematenveld nature reserve is part of the perimeter path, which was laid out in 1890 by the German landscape architect Petzold / © Photo: Georg Berg
Vielfalt am Wegesrand. Blühender Streifen mit Wildblumen säumen die Felder rund um Schloss Twickel / © Foto: Georg Berg
Diversity along the path. Blossoming strips of wildflowers line the fields around Twickel Castle / © Photo: Georg Berg

Eduard Petzold – sought-after garden architect of his time

Eduard Petzold expanded the landscape park on behalf of Baron Van Heeckeren van Wassenaer between 1885 and 1891. At that time, Petzold had long been considered one of the most successful garden designers in Europe. He did his apprenticeship with the park creator Hermann von Pückler Muskau, who is still considered a genius today. In addition to his great passion for garden design, the enterprising Prince Pückler was a successful writer and world traveler. The prince, it is said, had a great influence on the young Petzold. Early success as a garden architect also enabled Petzold, like his role model and patron Prince Pückler, to travel extensively for park studies. In 1852, Petzold was appointed park director of the Netherlands and remained so until 1872. According to his plans, the park of Twickel Manor was transformed by the addition of special trees and shrubs in large numbers and of a wide variety of species. Eduard Petzold died in 1891 before the full implementation of his garden plans for Twickel Manor. The relocation of the vegetable garden into a walled kitchen garden, where fruit, vegetables and flowers were grown, can still be seen today. Also, a first part of the enclosure path was still realized under Petzold and led along the outermost borders of the park. It was not until 120 years after his death that the perimeter path was completed. Today a worthwhile and varied hike.

Gedenktafel für den deutschen Gartenarchitekten Eduard Petzold, der von 1885 bis zu seinem Tod 1891 im Auftrag des Barons Van Heeckeren van Wassenaer Teile des Landguts Twickel, u.a. den Umfassungsweg, gestaltete / © Foto: Georg Berg
Commemorative plaque for the German garden architect Eduard Petzold, who designed parts of the Twickel estate, including the perimeter path, from 1885 until his death in 1891 on behalf of Baron Van Heeckeren van Wassenaer / © Photo: Georg Berg

The Twickel Estate

In addition to the castle and the extensive park, the Twickel estate contains more than 150 farms and intact buildings worth seeing, such as a watermill, an oil mill, a museum farm and a wagon maker’s workshop. Old oak trees alternate with hilly fields and pastures. The castle itself is first mentioned in 1347. Since that time it has always been inherited by the son or daughter on the father’s side of the family. In 1953 the castle and the park became a foundation. Twickel Castle is still inhabited and is open for visits only on selected days of the year. The park, orangery and vegetable garden are accessible all year round but at certain opening hours. More information about the Hof van Twente region and the Twickel estate.

Schloss Zwickel aus dem Jahr 1347 ist umgeben von einem großen Schlossgarten und 4000 Hektar Land / © Foto: Georg Berg
Castle Zwickel from 1347 is surrounded by a large castle garden and 4000 hectares of land / © Photo: Georg Berg

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