FolkestoneJack's Tracks

Like father, like son

Posted in Germany, Schwangau by folkestonejack on June 4, 2015

A blisteringly hot day saw us make a return to Hohenschwangau to visit the older of the two castles and take a look around the Museum of the Bavarian Kings, but first we enjoyed a walk to the edge of the alpsee and the marvellous views up to the mountains.

It’s not hard to see why this spot so entranced Crown Prince Maximillian when he first came across it aged 18, prompting him to rebuild Schwanstein castle between 1833 and 1837 (better known as Hohenschwangau Castle today). How striking that both father and son decided to rebuild romantic castles at a similar age.

Hohenschwangau Castle

Hohenschwangau Castle

The similarities between father and son clearly don’t end there. I had imagined Hohenschwangau Castle to be a simple family home, but how wrong I was! On our tour of the castle it soon became clear that Maximillian had as much of a creative vision as his son, with wonderful rooms such as the Hall of the Swan Knight, the Hall of the Heroes and Tasso Room which feature murals painted directly onto the walls and an assortment of neo-gothic elements. The romantic vision is married with a domestic comfort that I didn’t see in Ludwig’s palaces, but there is no doubting where Ludwig’s imagination had been incubated!

The grounds surrounding the castle hold some lovely touches too, including a fountain supported by four water spiting lions, a swan fountain and a replica of the famous Gooseherd fountain (a peasant holding a water spouting goose under each arm).

The nearby Museum of the Bavarian Kings is also well worth a visit, putting the Wittlesbach line into some perspective and treating us to the wonderful Nibelungen centrepiece (commissioned by Crown Prince Maximillian in 1842 to celebrate his nuptuals), the robes of Ludwig II and the 326 piece Royal Bavarian Service created to celebrate the golden wedding of Ludwig III and Marie Therese in 1918.

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