The castle Hohenschwangau is directly opposite the world-famous castle Neuschwanstein near Füssen in the Allgäu and is also a remarkable sight. The pretty residential castle served as a summer residence for the Bavarian family of Maximilian II, which is why his son Ludwig II also spent a lot of time here. The interior decoration, which has remained unchanged to this day, provides unique insights into the life and living of the royal family.
Hohenschwangau Castle first appeared in the history books at the end of the 11th century as Schwanstein Castle. At that time it served the knights of Schwangau as a domicile. After an eventful history, in the course of which the castle was damaged several times, Crown Prince Maximilian, later King Maximilian II of Bavaria, bought the building in 1832. The magnificent location in the Allgäu mountains between Alpsee and Schwansee had led the prince to fall in love with the old castle. He renamed it Hohenschwangau Castle and in the following years had the building converted into a romantic residential palace in neo-Gothic style. After his enthronement in 1848, he, his wife Marie of Bavaria and their sons Ludwig II and Otto spent much time at Hohenschwangau. Especially in summer the family regularly lived in the castle. Today the estate is owned by the Wittelsbacher Ausgleichsfonds and is used as a museum. Like Neuschwanstein Castle, it is, together with the beautiful castle garden, a popular sight that many people visit during their Allgäu holidays.
Appearance and equipment
With its yellow façade colour and the three round towers, Hohenschwangau Castle makes a beautiful and cosy impression even from the outside. The interior decoration from the Biedermeier period has remained unchanged to this day and all rooms inspire with their magnificent furnishings and artistically valuable design. The most remarkable rooms are the large banqueting hall, the Hohenstaufen Room, which served Maximilian II and Ludwig II as a dressing room, and the Orient Room, which was designed in oriental style and was Queen Marie's bedchamber. As in Neuschwanstein Palace, the rooms are decorated with numerous first-class paintings, often depicting scenes from the world of legends and fairytales. The history of the castle up to its construction as Schwanstein Castle is also depicted in the paintings. The Schwanseepark, which was once laid out in the style of a typical English landscape park, extends around the castle. During leisurely walks here, you can walk in the footsteps of the royal family and look forward to wonderful impressions of nature.
Visit Hohenschwangau Castle
Hohenschwangau Castle can be visited daily, except on some special holidays, in the context of an approximately half-hour guided tour. An employee of the castle administration leads the participants through the most important rooms and tells interesting facts about the castle and its former inhabitants. Tickets for the tour are available online or on site at the Ticketcenter Hohenschwangau, from where a short walk leads to the castle. A combination ticket for the tour of both royal castles is also available from the Ticket Centre. As they are located right next to each other, the double tour is a good option. Those who afterwards want to know more background information about the romantic gorgeous buildings and the royal family should visit the Museum of the Bavarian Kings at the Alpsee. It is one of the most modern museums in Germany and is the perfect complement to a visit to the royal castles.