We spent a day visiting the Ludwig II’s most noteworthy castles in Bavaria. Ludwig II became the King of Bavaria (what is now Southern Germany) when he was only 18 years old, and he is most remembered for his contribution to Germany’s extravagant architecture, and not to politics. He poured his own private funds (and those borrowed from his family and whomever would give him loans) into elaborate construction projects, and when his government ministers tried unsuccessfully to stop him, they accused him of insanity in an attempt to dethrone him.
We first visited his main home, Linderhof Palace. He designed this palace with inspiration from Versailles, and it is crazily elaborate in some areas. It is also quite quirky, which is a direct reflection of his quirky personality. For example, he would often sleep during the daytime and stay awake all night reading.
We weren’t allowed to take photos inside the palace, so all of our photos are from the garden.
However, our favorite feature of the palace interior was in the dining room, which had a table that was essentially a huge dumb-waiter. The entire dining table would lower into the servant’s floor below, so the servants could prepare the table and display the food. Then it would be raised back up to the dining room so Ludwig II could enjoy his meal completely and entirely alone (despite the fact that the table always was set for 4, as Ludwig carried on conversations with his imaginary friends).
The little ducklings all in a row…
Location, location, location!
Okay, so the location of Linderhof is pretty awesome, but this Palace is certainly not what has put Ludwig’s name down in history.
You’re likely more familiar with the Neuschwanstein Castle that he built (the inspiration for Disney’s iconic castle):
We were very excited to see it, but a bit surprised at this first impression of the castle as we drove up to it:
I guess even Castles need some refurbushing, sometimes.
No worries…we jumped on one of the big shuttle buses that drives tourists up the winding road towards a better view of the castle (2€ pp, each way—you can walk for free, but it’s quite a walk).
Once you get to the top of this area you can walk across Mary’s Bridge to get a great view of the Castle, oryou can continue on for a nice long hike that will swing you around the mountain to get a frontal view of the castle from the adjacent mountain. We stuck with the bridge:
Okay, if location is everything…this castle surely takes tops. It’s interesting to see how the castle is perched on top of this mountain, and then immediately afterwards the terrain drops into a flat valley.
We skipped the tour of the interior of the castle, since most of it is unfinished and we’ve been told the tour isn’t all that impressive. Linderhof Palace was actually Ludwig’s residence, and has a lot more inside to view. However, the view of the castle was certainly worth the visit, all by itself!