Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Castles of King Ludwig II and Mary's Bridge

A series on our trip to Germany and Austria in October 2014

Neuschwanstein Castle
Schwangau, Germany
1,300,000 people a year visit Neuschwanstein  making it one of the most famous castles in Germany. Neuschwanstein, near Fussen, was built by King Ludwig II who was also known as the fairy tale king. He began building Neuschwanstein in 1869 and it still wasn't finished when he mysteriously died in 1886. One look at his castle and you'll know why Walt Disney used this castle as a model for the Cinderella's castles that grace the Disney parks.

Due to the long wait time to get a tour we decided to skip the inside of Neuschwanstein. Instead we headed up to Marienbrucke (Mary's Bridge) to get a view of the castle and surrounding areas.

Tip: Don't ever get in front of a tour group. They must have about 3 minutes at any given stop to get out, take selfies and get back on the bus. Seriously just step aside and let them go by. In a few minutes they'll be gone and you'll have the place to yourself. That is until the next tour bus pulls up.

Hohenschwangau Castle
On the lower hill from Neuschwanstein Castle

This was the childhood home of King Ludwig II built by his father King Maximilian II of Bavaria

Mary's Bridge was free and although we could have/should have walked it we did pay 2 euro each to ride the bus up and back down. There was also a parking fee of 5 euro. 

Linderhof Palace
Ettal, Germany

King Ludwig II had a great admiration for the French monarchy and in 1868 he began building what he called a new Versalles in the Linderhof valley.
We did tour the inside of Linderhof. No photos allowed and it's just as well. I don't think I could have possibly captured the opulence of this palace. Gold, mirrors, crystals, brocades,and even a chandelier carved from ivory. Wow!

I felt overwhelmed and a little sad while touring the inside of the palace. According to Theodor Hiernels, a servant in the palace, they would prepare meals for 3 or 4 people even though Ludwig always ate alone. The king would pretend he was dining with people such as Louis XIV and Louis XV and their lady friends. I think he was just a lonely man but the government declared him insane, he was disposed from the throne. In 1886 he was sent to Berg Palace where he mysteriously died the next day. Hum... I wonder what really happened?

The best part of Linderhof Palace is actually the grounds. Beautifully maintained park setting complete with a man made grotto and fountains.  I'd go back just to walk around the palace.

Linderhof Palace entrance fee for the palace and the grounds and grotto was 8 euro each. Parking was 5 euro.

No Day is Complete Without a Little Something to Eat

I'd read several good reviews of the Stortwirt cafeteria style restaurant in Reutte so we decided to stop on our way out of town. Unfortunately the cafeteria portion was closed for the day but the little sandwich shop was still open. We ordered schnitzel sandwiches and they were pretty darn good!

Apple Spritzer - my new favorite drink

Our next stop will be in the Black Forest.


  1. Beautiful castles. They look just magical.

  2. Yet another one of our foods checked off the list here. Fun, fun, fun


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