The legacy of Bavarian King Ludwig II

The second part of the one-week road trip that I have taken this August in Bavaria region of Germany has focused on the castles and palaces linked with the last Bavarian king Ludwig II. Impression from the first part of this adventure can be found in my previous blog post: " Munich, Germany".

The main focus of this trip was to visit the famous Neuschwanstein Castle build in the 19th century and selected as one of the contestants to the New 7 Wonders of the World of the world. This is my first chance to approach such an important touristic landmark up to today. However, I was slightly disappointed. A whole industry was build to exploit the tourists who visit the castle, a castle which was not completed, missing one of the main towers (keep) and only a small part of the interior being furnished and open to the public, in comparison with the initial plan of Ludwig II. I should remind that the last king of Bavaria, Ludwig II was declared incapable of executing his governmental powers due to insanity and sentenced to leave the throne mainly because of this fantasy castle, before he died in mysterious circumstances. Although insinuated that the construction of this castle ruined Bavaria financially, the investment costs were sustained by the Wittlesbach royal family. It was opened as a touristic attraction a few weeks after his death and today became the number one touristic landmark of Germany. The palace has paid itself several times up to now and keeps on bringing millions of visitors to Germany each year.

© Bogdan
The only accessible and good observation point for the castle is the Marien Bridge (Marienbrücke) as in the most images of this castle that are to be found on Dreamstime (right-up image), which provide the perfect light conditions early in the first half of the day. I was not lucky enough to have the proper meteorological condition to bring a some plus to the already existing pictures in the database, so I chose not to bother to upload on the subject. However, the most postcard on sale at the castle have another angle, as seen from the main gate. I wasted two days to find information about where and how to get to that point, only to find out that they were taken by advanced climbers or from flight. I would be interested to return for a para-gliding session sometimes in the future...

© Bogdan
On another cliff just a few hundred meters away from Neuschwanstein Castle lies Hohenschwangau Castle, an ancient location for a medieval fortress brought to today's shape by Ludwig II's father, King Maximilian II of Bavaria in 1837. This is where Ludwig II spend his childhood and from where he supervised the construction of his newest project.

© Bogdan
In the same area, but around 100km away in a remote valley of the German Alps, another creation of King Ludwig II lies: Linderhof Palace. The ornate small palace build in neo-French Rococo style was completed before his death and he even reside here for a few years.

© Bogdan
The extensive formal gardens contain a Venus Grotto where opera concerts were held, lighten up by electricity (a novelty at that time) and several small tea houses in exotic architectural styles. This palace made a very good impression over me, as also on my camera's sensor providing my best pictures from this Bavarian trip.

Among other building bearing the mark of King Ludwig II are the Herrenchiemsee Palace, a copy of the central part of Versailles Palace in France, located on the Herren Island on Chiemsee Lake, the Schachen king's hunting lodge with an overwhelming decorative Arabian style interior high in the German Alps and only accessible by foot and several unfinished or destroyed projects. Unfortunately, I did not have the time to cover them also, and there are hardly any related images in the Dreamstime database... The idea to cover this locations in the future looks promising...

Photo credits: Bogdan Lazar, Eg004713.

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September 25, 2007


I have heard a lot about Neuschwanstein Castle from my German colleagues in the past. I even watched a movie, Ludwig II which had some pretty shots in/of the castle. It looks very pretty in winter.

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