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  • Kata Kobli

Picture-perfect Castles in Bavaria

Updated: Mar 25

Southern Germany's Bavaria region is well known for its picture-perfect castles that resemble those found in fairy tales. Discovering these amazing buildings provides an insight into the rich history and architectural magnificence of Bavaria. Below, we listed some of the most stunning castles, which are definitely worth visiting when you are in the area. If you are visiting Germany, don't forget to check out our previous blogs on What to eat in Germany, What to visit in Berlin and Munich.


Discover with us:

Neuschwanstein Castle: The Fairytale Palace


Located near the Austrian border in the very south of Germany, on a steep slope in the foothills of the Alps, is the 19th-century historic palace known as Neuschwanstein Castle. It is located in the municipality of Schwangau, above the incorporated hamlet of Hohenschwangau, which is also home to Hohenschwangau Castle, in the Bavarian region of Swabia. In order to escape the constraints that Munich was exposing him to, King Ludwig II of Bavaria ordered the construction of Neuschwanstein Palace in 1869, a retreat on the far northern edge of the Alps, partly in honor of the composer Richard Wagner, whom he held in high regard. Originally, the castle was supposed to serve as the king’s private residency, however, he had passed away in 1886, and the castle was opened to the public shortly after. An interesting information about this castle is that Walt Disney had not only visited the place, but he used the Neuschwanstein Castle as an example for Sleeping Beauty’s fairy tale palace, when constructing the theme park in California.


Linderhof Palace: Bavaria's Hidden Gem


Linderhof Palace is a lesser-known but equally stunning palace built by King Ludwig II. Located in southwest Bavaria, Germany's Linderhof Palace is the smallest of the three palaces constructed by King Ludwig II of Bavaria. This one was the only one that was finished and the king lived here most of the time starting in 1876. Despite Linderhof's much smaller size than Versailles, the French Sun King Louis XIV's palace served as influence. For instance, the staircase is a scaled-down version of the well-known Ambassador's stairway at Versailles, which would be fully replicated in Herrenchiemsee, another Ludwig palace project intended more as a tribute to the Sun-King than as a residential structure. The structure and furnishings draw inspiration from Louis XV's mid-1800s Rococo style, while the Petit Trianon, the king's Versailles estate, served as a more direct model for the little palace in the Graswang.


Herrenchiemsee Palace: The Bavarian Versailles


Located in southern Bavaria, Germany, on Herreninsel, the largest island in the Chiemsee lake, is a complex of royal buildings known as Herrenchiemsee. Situated around 60 kilometers southeast of Munich, it is part of the municipality of Chiemsee, together with the adjacent isle of Frauenchiemsee and the deserted Krautinsel. As a tribute to absolute monarchy, Ludwig II intended to design Herrenchiemsee after the Palace of Versailles, having been a great admirer of the Sun King Louis XIV. The palace even has a Hall of Mirrors, which features 25 portaits of Louis XIV. The Hall of Mirrors has seventeen arches, and each of the two side halls, the Hall of Peace and the Hall of War, has six windows, just like Versailles. The royal court would not reside in Schloss Herrenchiemsee, nor was it intended to serve as a place of governance. The king intended to utilize the palace as a retreat from public life, therefore it was constructed exclusively as a private home. The monarch would take very few attendants with him when touring his fairlytale castles in order to ensure his wants were met.


Hohenschwangau Castle: The Childhood Home of King Ludwig II


The Hohenschwangau Castle was constructed by Bavarian King Maximilian II, and King Ludwig II of Bavaria grew up there. Situated in the county of Ostallgäu in southwest Bavaria, Germany, it is in the German village of Hohenschwangau, close to the town of Füssen. The Schwangau knights lived in the castle, which was built in the twelfth century. Nevertheless, it suffered significant damage over the ages. King Ludwig II's father, Crown Prince Maximilian, bought the castle in 1832. It took five years to complete the whole rebuild. During the summer, he and his family lived in the castle and utilized it for hunting. King Ludwig II occupied the castle and spent a lot of time there following the death of his father. The 19th-century interior has been retained to this day. There are murals in each room of the royal apartments, which were created by Ludwig Lindenschmidt and Moritz von Schwind.



The Munich Residenz: The Wittelsbach Dynasty Residence


The historic royal residence of the Wittelsbach dynasty of Bavaria is located in the heart of Munich at the Residenz. The Residenz, Germany's largest city palace, welcomes guests today with its displays from the past royal collections, architecture, and room décor. From 1508 until 1918, the Munich Residence was the home and place of government for the Bavarian dukes, electors, and kings. Over the ages, the kings of the time turned what started out as a castle on the northeast corner of the city in 1385 into a magnificent palace with buildings and gardens that stretched deeper and deeper into the town. The chambers and art collections, which span from the Renaissance through the early Baroque and Rococo periods to Neoclassicism, are testament to the Wittelsbach dynasty's refined taste and aspirations for power. After being destroyed in the Second World War, the Residence was rebuilt in 1945. This is currently one of the biggest museum complexes in Bavaria, housing the museums of the Bavarian Palace Administration (the Residence Museum, the Treasury, and the Cuvilliés Theatre), in addition to other cultural organizations.

We've reached the end of the article Picture-perfect Castles in Bavaria. This region has a fantastic atmosphere, and we believe you will love it as much as we did! If you are visiting Germany, make sure to read our previous blog on Bavaria. In case you are traveling to Portugal or Poland in the future, you should try out our tours in Porto, Lisbon, and Warsaw. Remember to follow us @thewalkingparrot to be continuously updated on the new releases. We will be back soon with a new article!

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