Germany is home to some of the most impressive castles in Europe. Whether they were used to defend territories or they acted as elaborate homes for kings and other officials, many of them can still be seen perched proudly on hilltops and along the banks of rivers like the Rhine and Danube.
Bavaria, in particular, has some great examples that are available for the public to explore, giving you an insight into the role they played in Germany’s past. Here are three Bavarian castles worth visiting.
Possibly the most famous castle in Germany, the iconic image of Neuschwanstein Castle will be something with which most people are familiar without even knowing it. That is because it was supposedly used by Walt Disney as inspiration for how Sleeping Beauty’s castle (the one at the centre of every Disneyland park) should look.
In real life, however, it is the former home of King Ludwig II and one which was built in 1886 using his own personal fortune. It is located on a clifftop close to Füssen and has to be constantly monitored due to the vulnerability of its limestone facades and rock walls. Nearly one and a half million people visit Neuschwanstein every year, touring a structure that was only ever built to house one reclusive king.
Hohenschwangau, the village where Neuschwanstein can be found, is also host to another castle that is worth visiting whilst you are in the area. Erected slightly earlier, around 1832, Hohenschwangau castle was built from the ruins of the original structure which had been damaged in previous wars. It was King Maximilian II, father of King Ludwig II, who commissioned the castle to be rebuilt to its former glory and it subsequently became a place where the Bavarian royal family would spend their summers.
On visiting Hohenschwangau Castle, you can tour the many rooms that would have hosted royal gatherings and which feature some of the original furniture. As well as the King’s bedroom, the banquet room and the writing room, you can see the music room which features a piano thought to have been played by Richard Wagner.
Also known as Linderhof Palace, this castle is situated further east than the other two, in the municipality of Ettal. Built close to the River Linder, again by Ludwig II, it was originally supposed to be the King’s own tribute to the Palace of Versailles, crafted in the image of the infamous French residence. However, the structure that stands today is slightly less elaborate and is the result of continual redevelopment of a forester's house left to King Ludwig II by his father.
Whilst the structure may not seem as impressive as the previous two from the outside, once inside you will be able to see the kind of elaborate life the royal family led when they stayed here on hunting trips. The dining room features a table that can be lowered into the kitchen below in order to maintain privacy, the bedroom is home to a giant bed and an even bigger chandelier and the hall of mirrors lives up to its name in rather dramatic fashion.
All three of these Bavarian castles can only be viewed as part of a guided tour. If you would like us to plan a trip which includes a visit to one of these striking residences, or a tour of all three, call our friendly team today.