The King’s Garden, the Swan, the Gooseman, the Lion Fountain and a great view!
Hohenschwangau is worth visiting as this attractive castle, with its towers, turrets and battlements, together with its historic garden and fountains holds centuries of history about its residents, visitors and the Schwangau region. Tony and Helen got a bit wet when they visited, but it was worth it!
“Welcome from the fairy tale, but slightly soggy, palace of Neuschwanstein, although in fact we’re actually standing on the battlements of the Hohenschwangau Castle. You can see the cloud cover, it’s pretty low, and if I sweep round you can see the…roadworks, and the Jagdhaus Hotel, and to the right a car park – A car park, there are several – and coachparks, with the Bayerische Koenigemuseum, which is the building I am zooming in on with the blue shutters.
The Swan Fountain in the King’s Garden
Well, we’re in Hohenschwangau, this is the King’s Garden, and here is the Swan, in a quite beautifully set hedged pond. So we’re in the garden, we’re not going into the Castle itself. I’m going to walk through this garden, it’s quite small, and show you some sights on the way.
The Castle, by the way, is just behind us, no blue sky, I’m afraid. The last time I was here was in winter, and it’s really quite beautiful in winter, I really recommend it if you get the chance.
Now here’s a sight of the coach and car park. Yes, there are quite a few people here, and you’ll have seen earlier, if you’ve looked at our (website photo) gallery, the incredible number of people in the queue for tickets.
What we’re looking at now is the Alpsee, we walked along there, lovely isn’t it? But anyway, to walk up here took about 20 or 30 minutes the long way. I’ll show you the gate later on for the short way back; it’s about ten minutes and it’s really not very steep.
The gardens are kept in very good condition, in fact, in a way, in too good condition, as you’ll see when we get to the Lion Fountain.
Many Chinese here today.
The Lion Fountain and the Two Knights
OK, this is the track to the Lion Fountain. It’s really a little over-restored, I think. I’ll come into one of the lions, and you’ll see there’s a thick coat of mortar or paint of some kind. Unfortunately, the top you can see there – excuse me, that’s my hand sheltering the lens, it’s raining – is somewhat destroyed.
Now if I walk over here, we can actually see the entrance to the castle. You come up here, and go through that gate. You can just see over there, if I inch round, you can just see the Two Knights. Next to that, where all those people are coming out, is where you come out of the castle after you’ve been on your tour.
I’m just walking to one of the four corners of the battlements to show you the road up. Now if you come up by horse and cart, this is the road you come up, or car, and this is actually the road we walked up. It’s very pretty through all the trees, but you don’t have to take so long if you can climb a little.
Right, here’s a view of the castle from the Lion Fountain. And some more low cloud cover! It’s well-maintained, the battlements are well-maintained, and if I come over here, you’ll be able to get a view of the battlements where we were earlier. Sorry about the quality of the picture, the rain is actually coming down quite heavily now.
There aren’t a huge number of flowers in the garden, but those that there are, are quite well done.
Here’s a close-up of the two knights over the entrance to the castle, and if I move slowly around, you can see the entrance – sorry, the exit, with quite an interesting inscription: “When you are drinking and eating (or maybe, “looking”), you musn’t forget God”. Hmmm.
Now there’s the Lion Fountain, but actually there is another little fountain down here, if I can walk down here without tripping up. This one doesn’t seem to have any name. Interesting little guy, holding two swans [Ed: in fact, geese]. Hmmm.
Well, it’s quite impressive, this castle, close to. Very much a place for living in, rather than defending, I think.
A View of Neuschwanstein and the Marienbrucke
I’ll wander down here for what I hope will be a nice reveal of Neuschwanstein – but alas, not yet. Still, you live in hope…ah, now up there at the top, when we get closer to the Swan Fountain, moving round, can you see all those people, standing having a look there? Let me just zoom in, to give you more of an idea.
So there’s Neuschwanstein, and if I just move along…(shot of crowd standing against fence high up on hillside). The Marienbrucke bridge is closed now, for renovation, so one of the best views of course has gone.
From here, we’re looking at the back of the (Neuschwanstein) castle. Now the shot you always get, from the air or from the bridge, which is now closed, is from the other side, and you get the Alpsee which we saw earlier in the background, and also the cliffs and mountains – all very spectacular. If you were up above it looking the other way, you’d actually see – because it’s not very high up from the plain at all – a large flat green plain behind it. But I think the other view is much more glamorous!
The Garden’s Hidden Symbolism
Here we are back at the Swan Fountain, and after judicious perusal of a notice here, I see that the Lion Fountain was modelled on the one at the Spanish Alhambra, and we’ve see that, and it doesn’t look much like it, to be honest. But still, that represents “The Orient”, then that little statue you saw earlier, that’s called “The Gooseman“, and that’s meant to represent legends of the Middle Ages, and here’s the “Swan” statue, which of course represents the district and the Bayerische Kings. And then we’ll move on, over here, to see the “Mary’s Fountain“, which represents Christianity.
While we’re on this side of the castle, remember I said it wasn’t very high from the plain? Well, here’s the plain, and this is Hohenschwangau, and in fact, if you notice, compared to the other side it’s not very high up at all. Although I might add, when you’re on the road , you’ll notice that it does run along the side of a cliff, so it is to a degree quite defensible.
A Faster Way Down
So there’s the entrance we came up, and here’s where you can take the short route down. This is actually where we came up when it was snowing; it’s not far, as you can see. I might add this was a lot trickier when it was covered in snow and ice.
Well, those are the steps and the walkway we’ve just come down, you can see the steps just behind. And there, not so far away, is Hohenschwangau Castle. Even if you don’t go in – and you must reserve ahead, because the queues are horrendous, and you can only do it on the web, by the way – I still think it’s worth the walk up there, and the walk around the garden.”
Please have a look our other videos, and if you like them, why not subscribe to our Travelsignposts YouTube channel? And get more interesting info about Hohenschwangau and the Alpsee by checking out our feature Schloss Hohenschwangau – Home to the Fairy-tale King and the many photos of Hohenschwangau in our website gallery.