There are hundreds of castles scattered throughout Germany and many in Bavaria alone. Not all of them offer tours and many are not as well known as the ones in Bavaria. King Ludwig II was the King of Bavaria in the 19th century and he designed three castles in this region.
King Ludwig II
King Ludwig was born in August of 1845 in Nymphenburg and was the Bavarian King from 1864 until 1886. He had designed three castles to be built as his residences, the Neuschwanstein, the Hohenschwangau, and the Herrenchiemsee.
During his time as king he became a bit of a recluse and eventually the government incapacitated him as King after being declared insane. He died a mysterious death a few days after on June 13th on Lake Starnberg along with one of the doctors that declared him mentally disordered.
Hohenschwangau Castle – King’s Childhood Home
The yellow Hohenschwangau Castle is where Ludwig spent his childhood. His father, King Maximilian II, had this castle built from the ruins of the original fortress that was mostly destroyed by Napolean’s forces. It was completed in 1837 and King Ludwig II lived there after his father’s death and Ludwig took over the throne. He stayed there until his own castle, the Neuschwantstein, was built a stone’s throw away.
Neuschwanstein Castle – Disney’s Model
This castle is the most famous of all the castles and resembles a fairy tale castle perched on the slopes of the Bavarian Alps. The Sleeping Beauty castle at Disney’s Magic Kingdom was modeled after this castle and it is seen on many postcards in the nearby town of Fussen. Ludwig lived in apartments here while the castle was still being built. Inside there is intricate wood carvings and ornate tapestries.
There is a wide panoramic view of the castle from Mary’s bridge which is a short hike above the castle.
Info for both Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein castles:
Hours: Open Daily Except Certain Holidays
April 1 – September 30: 9 am-6 pm
October 1-March 31: 10 am-4 pm
9 euros each(Guided tour Only)
Certain discounts apply
FREE: Children under 18
More information on both Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein castles are available on this website.
Linderhof Castle – The King’s Getaway
The Linderhof Castle, which is tucked away in the forest near Oberammergau, was originally designed as a hunting lodge. As it was getting built, the grounds expanded and the castle was completed in 1878. It was the only castle designed by Ludwig that was completely finished and the King spent much of his time at this picturesque getaway. The park on the castle grounds include landscaped gardens, statues, and a fountain. The fountain spouts water every 30 minutes from April to mid-October during opening hours.
Hours: Open Daily
April 1-October 15: 9 am-6 pm
October 16-March 31: 10 am-4 pm
Palace and park buildings:
7 euros (Guided tour Only)
3 euros (park buildings only)
Certain discounts apply
FREE: Children under 18 and Students