SCHLOSS HOHENSCHWANGAU WAS THE CHILDHOOD RESIDENCE OF KING LUDWIG II:
Most visitors come to Hohenschwangau to see Neuschwanstein Castle, the famous fairy-tale castle of King Ludwig II. However, set on top of a rugged hill overlooking the village of Hohenschwangau is another royal castle associated with Ludwig II. The bright yellow Schloss Hohenschwangau was where King Ludwig II spent his childhood days.
Childhood Residence of King Ludwig II
The romantic neo-gothic style Schloss Hohenschwangau was built in the 19th century by King Maximilian II of Bavaria, the father of Ludwig II. This castle stands on the remains of the 12th century fortress Schwangau, a medieval fortress owned by the Knights of Schwangau. Maximilian II (then a Crown Prince), discovered the site during a walking tour and decided to buy the ruins as he was taken in by the beauty of the surrounding area. Construction of the castle took place from 1832 to 1836, with further additions
taking place to 1855.
Hohenschwangau was the summer and hunting residence of King Maximilian and his wife, Marie of Prussia. Their two sons Ludwig (who later became King Ludwig II of Bavaria) and Otto (who later became King Otto I of Bavaria) spent many of their adolescent years here. King Max and his wife lived in the main building whilst the young princes lived in the annex.
When Ludwig Became King
When King Maximilian died in 1864, Ludwig succeeded him to the throne and moved into his father’s room in the castle. Ludwig never got married and as such his mother was able to continue living on her floor. Ludwig liked living at Hohenschwangau and continued to do so whilst his own Neuschwanstein Castle was being built a short distance away.
Schloss Hohenschwangau tends to be overlooked by visitors as Neuschwanstein is the more famous of the two castles. If time permits, Hohenschwangau is worth visiting as this attractive castle, with its towers, turrets and battlement, holds centuries of history about its residents, visitors and the Schwangau region.
To visit Hohenschwangau, you’ll need to join a guided tour. Remember to buy your ticket from the Ticket Centre before making your way up to the castle. The 35-minute tour takes visitors through the various rooms in the castle, including the “Hall of the Heroes”, the banquet room which is also the largest room in the castle. The “Tasso Room” was the bedroom of Ludwig II. He was fascinated by the various legends and stories about the Knights of Schwangau and the frescoes in his room give an indication of Ludwig’s flights of fantasy.
If you’re visiting Hohenschwangau in winter, bear in mind that the castle closes early during the winter months. Also, the horse-carriage service to Hohenschwangau Castle does not operate during the winter months (it stops running from November 1st), and walking up to the castle would take about 20 minutes each way. On our first visit, we walked half way up to the castle and then had to retreat as we were short of time.
Hohenschwangau is open all through the year (except for Christmas). Opening hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (April through September) and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (October through March).