Castles of Ludwig II
The sites of that day couldn’t have been more opposite than our visit to Dachau. Instead of the bleak starkness of barracks that housed too many men, the castles we visited were the home of one man, King Ludwig II of Bavaria (1845–1886 ). After boarding a tour bus in Karlsplatz, we heading into the Bavarian countryside towards our first of two castles to be visited this day. With the beautiful green of the fields, that often appear to be mowed, and into the mountains we head .
We first visited the smallest of his homes, Linderhof. While meager in size to the others, Linderhof has the largest park surrounding it. At a mere 5,000 sq. ft., the palace had more gold overlay and opulence per square feet than many castles I have seen in the past. That fact is not surprising at all once you know that King Ludwig was a big fan of Louis XIV, a man not known for his modesty. As we were not allowed to take pictures inside the palace, I have graciously borrowed some from the palace website for this postcard. However, for what they are, the exterior pictures are my own. For a castle not large in size, it lacks not in grandeur both inside and out.
After leaving Linderhof, we drove through the little village of Oberammergau, known across the world for its 380-year tradition of mounting Passion Plays. Unfortunately, because of the reduced size of tours at the castles, we were not able to stop at the village but drove slowly through it to see the paintings on the sides of their buildings.
We continued our ride through the Bavarian countryside to next visit Neuschwanstein. The palace was commissioned by King Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and in honor of Richard Wagner. Construction began in 1869 but was never fully completed. Getting to the castle was a feat in and of itself. After parking our tour bus, getting to the castle was an uphill 25-minute journey. We chose an easier path and rode in a horse pulled cart for the first 15 minutes and the steepest part of the hill. Once we have conquered the hill, we were able to enter the castle in a guided tour of 10 persons that began every 5 minutes. We were informed that pre-COVID the tours could have as many as 60 people in a single group. I must admit that I am glad that the tour group was much smaller. Is it said that Walt Disney was so inspired by Neuschwanstein’s fairytale architecture, that he used it to create Cinderella's castle in the 1950 cartoon film and the basis for the Disney logo. The size, 13 times the size of Linderhof, is not the only major difference between the two castles. Although not as architecturally as impressive as Neuschwanstein Castle, Linderhof is the most approachable of Ludwig's palaces. More of a hunting lodge than a palace and was the only one of his buildings finished in his lifetime.
Once again, we were not allowed to take pictures inside the palace. I was able to take a few outside the café on the top floor; all interior shots are published by the castle while the exterior are my own. We returned to Munich, tired, but having enjoyed a beautiful sunny day in the country. Before returning to the apartment to do this postcard, we enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Schiller Bräu; I highly recommended it. Good night as I close another day in Germany. Auf Wiedersehen!