The pretty Hohenschwangau Castle stands in the Schwangau district of the same name, opposite the world-famous Neuschwanstein Castle, near Füssen in the Allgäu. It was built between 1832 and 1837 by order of the Bavarian King Maximilian II from the ruins of Schwanstein Castle and later served as the royal family's residence. Today, Hohenschwangau Castle is a great sight that no Allgäu holidaymaker should miss.
The popular fairytale king and Neuschwanstein creator Ludwig II spent large parts of his childhood and youth in Hohenschwangau Castle. Originally, Schwanstein Castle, first mentioned in a document in the 12th century, stood on the site of the castle, which initially served the Lords of Schwanstein as their domicile and frequently changed hands in the following centuries. In 1829, the then Bavarian Crown Prince Maximilian II discovered the castle, which had meanwhile fallen into ruin, and was so taken with its magnificent location between the Alpsee and Schwansee lakes that he decided without further ado to buy it. After three years of purchase negotiations, he finally acquired the castle ruins, renamed it Hohenschwangau Castle and had it rebuilt in the neo-Gothic style by the architectural painter Domenico Quaglio. As Quaglio died during the building project, the architect Joseph Daniel Ohlmüller completed it into a romantic residential castle, which later served the royal family mainly as a summer residence. Maximilian's son, the future Bavarian fairytale king Ludwig II, grew up in Hohenschwangau Castle together with his brother Otto, so to speak. After his father's death and during the construction of Neuschwanstein Castle, he lived in the castle for a long time before moving to his own magnificent residence. Ludwig's mother, Queen Marie, continued to live in Hohenschwangau Castle until her death in 1889. Today it belongs to the Wittelsbach Equalisation Fund and is one of the most famous sights in the Allgäu region.
The main building of Hohenschwangau Palace is a four-storey, neo-Gothic complex with a yellow façade colour and three round towers. The interior design dates from the Biedermeier period and has remained unchanged to this day. The harmonious residential palace houses numerous rooms that are worth seeing and artistically decorated. The largest room is the castle's banqueting hall, whose murals depict motifs from the Wikina saga. The Orient Room, which Maximilian II had decorated after a trip to the Orient and which served as his wife's bedroom, and the Berchta Room - Queen Marie's writing room - are also extremely splendidly furnished. Perhaps most charming, however, is the Tasso Room, which served as Maximilian and Ludwig's bedroom and has a fascinating illuminated starry sky integrated into the ceiling. The Hohenstaufen Room, which served as both a dressing and music room, is also very pretty. Here is a golden piano on which Ludwig's friend, the composer Richard Wagner, is said to have regularly played during his visits. More than 90 murals throughout the palace depict motifs from the medieval world of legends and combine to form a harmonious whole that will impress not only art lovers.
Hohenschwangau Castle can be visited all year round on a guided tour lasting about half an hour. Tickets are available from the Hohenschwangau Ticket Centre. From there you can also be chauffeured to the castle in the style of the old kings in a carriage. To the north of Hohenschwangau Castle is the picturesque Schwansee Park with its wonderful walks, and directly opposite is the world-famous Neuschwanstein Castle. Below the two castles, on the banks of the Alpsee, is the Museum of the Bavarian Kings, where you can learn a lot of interesting facts about the Bavarian kings and their magnificent buildings in an entertaining way.