During my trip to Munich, I took a side trip to the picturesque Bavarian alps to visit the famous castles: Neuschwanstein Castle and Hohenschwangau. The castles are nestled in the mountainside of the village called Hohenschwangau which is about an hour's drive from Munich. It is one of the most magical sights in Germany.
View the behind the scenes travel vlog:
First stop is Schloss Hohenschwangau, which was the childhood residence of "mad" King Ludwig II of Bavaria. It was built by his father, King Maximilian II of Bavaria.
King Maximilian died in 1864 and his son Ludwig succeeded to the throne at the age of 18, moving into his father's room in the castle. As Ludwig never married, his mother Marie was able to continue living on her floor during the summer months. King Ludwig II enjoyed living in Hohenschwangau, however mostly in the absence of his disliked mother, especially after 1869 when the building of his own castle, Neuschwanstein, began on the site of the old Schwangau fortress, high above his parent's castle.
Tours and Photo Guide
Both castles are accessible only via guided tours which give you and inside look into the interior and the history. There is no photography allowed inside the castles, although many rooms are quite impressive. The exterior of the castles can be photographed from two prime locations. One is from the town below, which will give you a view of the alps. My favorite place to photograph the castles in all their glory is from the Marienbrücke bridge, which is where I got the below photo:
King Ludwig II lived in nearby Neuschwanstein, only a 15 minute tram ride away. It was built in Romanesque revival style, which later served as the inspiration for the Disneyland Castle. He used the castle as a personal retreat. Touring the castle, it is clear that the young king had quite an imagination. The rooms include the Throne Room, Cave Room, and Bedroom, as well as many stairs. King Ludwig II died mysteriously at age 40, and his castle now serves as a major tourist site, attracting roughly 1.3 million visitors annually.
What are your favorite castles to visit in Germany?
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