Friday, April 10, 2009

The Bavarian Castle's of "Mad" King Ludwig


If you have to pick only one word to describe the German people it would have to be ORGANIZED.  Here you see the two tickets to visit today's two castles with exactly two hours between reserved entry times!  At the gate to enter each castle their was no fuss or muss as German ingenuity made everything run as slick as snot!  How refreshing...


Königsschlösser means the King's Castles  They are located in southern Bavaria and consist of two incredible castles both inside and out.  The older Hohenschwangau Castle was King Luwig's boyhood home.  The castle that he was building for himself, Neuschwanstein Castle, is set up on a hill for a very dramatic view.  This second castle was Walt Disney's inspiration for the castle as you enter Fantasy Land at the original Disneyland theme park in Anaheim, California.

Ludwig ruled Bavaria for 22 years until his death in 1886 at the age of 40.  At that time Bavaria was reduced to a puppet state of Prussia and Ludwig spent most of his time at his family's hunting lodge, Hohenschwangau.  It was during this time that he started construction on his castle Neuschwanstein which was under construction for the last 17 years of his life.  Construction on this new castle stopped when Ludwig died.  He only spent a grand total of 172 days actually living in Neuschwanstein!

His closest friend was probably the composer Richard Wagner and the interior of both castles reflect a Wagnerian view of the epic medieval history of Bavaria.

Ludwig would eventually be declared mentally unfit to rule and was deposed as King of Bavaria.  Two days later Ludwig was found dead in a lake.  To this day their is debate over whether he was murdered or committed suicide.

Neuschwanstein Castle

Hohenschwangau Castle

Originally built in the 12th century, Ludwig's father, King Maximilian II rebuilt it in 1830.  Hohenschwangau translates into "High Land of the Swans".  The inside is filled with exquisite wall paintings from romantic Bavarian themes.

One of Hohenschwangau's Fountains

Ever on Guard at Hohenschwangau Castle


As nice as this is, it pales in comparison to the art work inside.  Unfortunately pictures were not allowed inside either castle for copyright reasons and you know what sticklers Germans are for law and order.

Happy at Hohenschwangau

Of course the Royal family had a great of the Alp See, a medium sized lake nearby.

We were allowed to take pictures out the windows.

The View of Hohenschwangau Castle
from Neuschwanstein Castle

Another view of the Alp See, 
this time from Neuschwanstein Castle

Laurie on Marienbrücke

Walking out on the VERY high Mary's Bridge was the greatest conquering of a deep seated personal fear by Laurie since the salad days of G. Gordon Liddy!

The things they hunt in Bavaria!

The Königsschlösser is a MUST SEE for every traveller to Bavaria.  Now it is on to Innsbruck, Austria to spend a few days with Jason, Christie and Matt!


John A said...

5 days. 2 beers. Chocolate and 3 sausage.

Where's the food & drink?

George said...

Whatever the record for Cuban-American sausage consumption was, I broke it this week!

In Germany and Austria sausage and potatoes pretty much sum up the caloric intake of the people.

Beer in moderation, I'm driving.