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Hohenschwangau Castle – Neuschwanstein’s Little Sister

Hohenschwangau Castle
Hohenschwangau Castle

Hohenschwangau Castle is a 19th-century palace in the town of Hohenschwangau, near Füssen in southwest Bavaria, Germany. The Bavarian Kings used it as a summer residence. It is less well known than its neighbor, Neuschwanstein, but nonetheless worth a visit.

The history of Hohenschwangau Castle

Hohenschwangau Castle has a long and rich history that dates back to the Middle Ages. The knights of Schwangau built it in the 12th century as a fortress and residence for the local nobility.

In the 19th century, King Maximilian II of Bavaria, who was the father of King Ludwig II, acquired the castle. King Maximilian II had it renovated and transformed it into a summer residence for his family.

After King Maximilian II’s death, his son, King Ludwig II, inherited the castle and continued to use it as a summer residence. He had enjoyed hikes in the nearby countryside in his youth, and treasured the memories. King Ludwig II was a patron of the arts and a lover of all things romantic and fantastic. He had a great interest in the legend of the “Lohengrin,” which inspired the decor and design of the castle.

King Ludwig II was also responsible for the construction of several other castles and palaces in Bavaria, including Linderhof Palace and Herrenchiemsee Castle. His extravagant and lavish lifestyle, and his love for the arts and literature, afforded him the nickname “Fairy Tale King”.

Hohenschwangau Castle continued to be used as a royal residence until the death of King Ludwig II in 1886. After his death, the castle became accessible for the public and turned into a popular tourist destination.

Hohenschwangau Castle’s architecture

Hohenschwangau Castle’s distinguishing feature is its beautiful and elaborate architecture, which reflects the romantic and artistic ideals of the 19th century. The castle was built in the Gothic Revival style, which was popular during the time of its construction. Hallmarks of the Gothic Revival style are its use of pointed arches, ribbed vaults, and flying buttresses, which drew inspiration from the architecture of medieval castles and cathedrals.

Another influence was the Neo-Gothic style, which was a revival of the Gothic style that occurred during the 19th century. The Neo-Gothic style incorporated elements of the Gothic style, such as pointed arches and ribbed vaults, but it also incorporated more modern features, such as iron construction and steam-powered technology.

The most distinctive architectural elements of Hohenschwangau Castle are the numerous towers, spires, and gables. The castle also has a moat and a drawbridge, which add to its medieval appearance. The castle’s exterior is decorated with frescoes and murals, which depict scenes from the legend of the “Lohengrin.”

Impressive Interior

Inside the castle, visitors can explore the various rooms and halls and marvel at the antique furnishings, tapestries, and works of art. The castle’s interior includes frescoes and murals, which depict scenes from German and Bavarian folklore and history. Intricate details, such as carved woodwork, stained-glass windows, and marble fireplace mantels, make the castle’s interior a sight to behold.

Inside the castle, visitors can explore the various rooms and halls, which are filled with antique furnishings, tapestries, and works of art. There is also a museum that displays the personal belongings of King Ludwig II, including his famous costume for the opera “Lohengrin.”

One of the most famous features of Hohenschwangau Castle is the “Swan Knight’s Hall”. The rich murals in the hall depict the legend of the “Lohengrin.” The hall is also home to a large collection of antlers, which King Ludwig II used to collect during his hunting expeditions.

Why you should not miss Hohenschwangau

Another aspect that makes Hohenschwangau Castle worth visiting is its beautiful location, nestled in the foothills of the Bavarian Alps. The breathtaking landscapes, including forests, mountains, and lakes, make it an ideal place for hikers, nature lovers, and photographers.

In addition to its historical and cultural significance, Hohenschwangau Castle is also a popular tourist destination, attracting over 500,000 visitors each year. It is open to the public from April to October, and guided tours are available in several languages.

Overall, Hohenschwangau Castle is a must-see for anyone visiting the Bavarian region of Germany. Its beautiful architecture, rich history, and stunning location make it a truly magical and unforgettable place.

Hohenschwangau Castle – FAQ

Is Hohenschwangau Castle more beautiful than Neuschwanstein?

Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, as the saying goes, but a lot of visitors are impressed by the intricate details of the ornament inside the castle. Plus, it’s less crowded than Neuschwanstein.

Can I visit Hohenschwangau Castle?

Hohenschwangau Castle is open to the public from April to October. Visitors must take a guided tour with limited capacity, which takes about 45 minutes.

How do I get to Hohenschwangau Castle?

The castle is in the south of Bavaria. From Munich, it takes approximately 100 minutes to get there by car.