The Paradise for Horse and Rider
Wickrath Schloss can look back at a long tradition as a breeding establishment. A centre for horse breeding and equestrian sports stood on the site in the middle of the 18th century, something Napoleon appreciated. He set up namely a stallion depot on the premises in 1806 during his occupation of the Rhineland in order to secure supplies for his army. Approximately 10 years later - about 1818 - after the end of the Napoleonic rule, the stud farm was rebuilt and converted into a cavalry barracks. The garrison stationed in Wickrath only vacated the palace in 1834, so that the state´s royal stud farm was able to move to Wickrath Schloss in 1839/40.
Previously a wing of the old palace in which horses were stabled, the Nassau Stables are well worth seeing. They were built, together with the rest of the Baroque palace, between 1746 and 1772 by the Maastricht architect as a royal stable with a central stable passageway. It is the last authentic example of this kind of building in the Lower Rhine. Even today one is able to view and marvel at the stucco embellished rooms in which the valuable horses were stabled in previous times.
Horse breeding expanded increasingly towards the end of the 19th century. After the "Rheinische Pferdestammbuch" - equestrian´s governing body in Rhineland - was moved in 1911 to the Landwirtschaftskammer Rheinland (State Agricultural Chambers) in Bonn - where it stayed for a long time - it returned to Wickrath Schloss in 2002. It was therefore back at its historical roots.
Horse breeding in Mönchengladbach and the surrounding region has been going on for centuries. Today, the region is a real equestrian eldorado! A multitude of riding stables offer just the right thing for each and every horse lover. It does not matter whether they are a beginner or a passionate rider. Absolutely beautiful bridlepaths invite you to explore the wide countryside.
The extent to which equestrianism is rooted in Mönchengladbach is demonstrated by the Germany´s oldest trotting track. It celebrated its 110th anniversary in 2003.
Rheinischer Rennverein zur Förderung der Traberzucht
Am Flughafen 5