Bavarian Castles: Ludwig II. and his crazy ideas

Not so long ago I went with my friends to Austria and Germany. We were so happy we were able to go on this trip by car and we didn’t need to change buses or trains to reach our destinations. You would agree that this way of traveling definitely has its advantages, right?

First stop on the route was Eisriesenwelt, world’s largest ice cave situated in Werfen, at an altitude of 1656 m. It’s something you have to see! Cave tour takes around one hour and it costs 22 euros – this includes cable car to the top and the cave. Remember that warm clothing is a must because temperatures are really low even during the summer. The cave is 42 km long but only the first kilometer is the area tourists can visit. It is really spectacular. Check out the gallery!

We went on this trip to visit Bavarian castles. Castles aren’t something that really impresses me but this time I wanted to see what was going on in the head of Ludwig II. First we took the ferry and went to the Herrenchiemsee, royal building that was built on the island Herreninselin on Chiemsee, Bavaria’s largest lake. This palace stands as a monument to Ludwig’s admiration of king Louis XIV. because he always wanted it to be the same as the Palace of Versailles but he died and never finished it.

We stayed the night in Fussen, small town in Bavaria, just five kilometers north of Austrian border. I think it’s the best place to stay if you are going to visit other Bavarian castles. Our hostel was very close to our next stop and in the morning it was time for Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein, most popular castle because everybody seen it, at least on TV.

Hohenschwangau was built by Ludwig’s father in 19th century. It is really beautiful from the outside, I didn’t enter in this one, I walked through the forest to the lake instead. Ludwig liked this castle very much, especially because he was able to observe the construction of Neuschwanstein, which is located just nearby.

It was raining, wind was blowing and the fog covered everything. The weather gave a special touch to the castles but it also didn’t let us see the Neuschwanstein in all its glory. This castle was built on the altitude of 965 m and the fog was so thick that we couldn’t see anything as you can see on the photos. We took guided tour through this very dark and murky place. It should have 228 rooms but Ludwig finished only 15 before he died. You may find this castle very familiar because you can see it in the opening sequence of Disney movies. I photographed the postcard just to show you what does it look like when the weather is nice 🙂

Last stop was Linderhof castle, the smallest of the three palaces built by King Ludwig II. In this palace only four rooms have a real function. Ludwig liked to be alone so it was really stupid to build all these huge castles. He just wanted to show off! I liked this one, the surrounding is very beautiful, with the huge green meadows and great view from the top.

In the end, I just need to show you how crazy this man was. In the park of the Linderhof castle you can see the Moorish kiosk which Ludwig bought at an exhibition in Paris, Moroccan house from an exhibition in Vienna and Music pavilion. But the best part is Venusgrotte, artificial cave with a pond and lightning where Ludwig II. listened Wagner’s music while driving the boat in the shape of swan. What a crazy man…

Venusgrotte
Venusgrotte

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