Schloss Hohenschwangau is a twenty-minute walk up a paved path that starts
just north of the Ticket Center in Hohenschwangau. As noted
previously, you must buy your ticket for the castle tour from the
Ticket Center. The slight, uphill walk to the castle includes
beautiful views of the countryside,
especially of the dark blue waters of the Alpsee, and is
quite pleasant in warm weather. If you prefer, you can take a buggy to the
top of the hill for a modest price, although rides in the uphill direction
are more expensive than those going downhill.
After your tour, you can rent a boat and paddle around the Alpsee, observing
its flock of wild swans while soaking in the beautiful mountain scenery
that is the hallmark of the Bavarian Alps.
The Schloss Hohenschwangau consists of four sections. On the way up the paved
walkway is a small chapel, followed by an outbuilding, which was the
servants quarters and now serves as a gift shop. The
main castle building is a towering four-story affair reserved for
the king and his consort. Slightly below the castle,
overlooking the lake, is a garden featuring gorgeous views of the
surrounding area, as well as panoramic views of the main castle.
The entrance to the castle tour is in a courtyard behind the building that
once served as the servant’s quarters and where the royal
children were schooled and raised. By the way, Hohenschwangau castle
is privately owned by members of the Wittelsbach family who ruled Bavaria for over 700 years. Maximillian II and Ludwig II were part of
The interior of Schloss Hohenschwangau is attractive and its design may give you
additional insights into the mindset of Ludwig II. Ludwig was raised here
and ruled the castle after his father’s death. It is clear from a
visit to Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein that Ludwig would have preferred
to live in the alternate universe of knights, epic tales and chivalry.
Since Ludwig had the money to make his dreams come true (at least for a
time), it might not be fair to call him Mad Kind Ludwig, but that is how he
remembered by his countrymen.
All rooms in the castle are decorated with magnificent frescos
based on medieval stories or decorated with themes based on
royal trips taken by Maximillian. The Oriental Room, once the Queen’s
bedroom, is decorated with artistic rendering of the King’s visit to Turkey
early in his reign and the room's artwork has the exotic "feel" of the
The Tasso Room was the bedroom
of both kings. Ludwig had it transformed into a magical experience. The
ceiling above his sleeping chamber, which was painted dark blue to resemble the night
sky, features small lenses of glass that were drilled through to the attic.
At night, the staff place lighted candles in the attic that would reflect
“starlight” though his ceiling. In addition, a section of
the ceiling is a portrait of the moon equipped with a movable shade allowing the
extent of the visible moon
to be altered to reflect the transition of the moon through its phases
during the month.
In addition, Ludwig's room had a compact, but beautiful chapel, as well as a
small telescope used for viewing the construction progress of the Neuschwanstein, which was built on hill just across the valley from the Hohenschwangau Castle.
Perhaps the most outstanding room of the Hohenschwangau Castle is the large Helden - oder Rittersaal
(Heroes or Knights Room), which is adorned with neo-gothic ornaments and a
center table with gilded trays and platters. While all other rooms in the
castle are smaller, each is lavishly decorated and worthy of your attention.
As you guide whisks you through the castle, take some time to peek at the
spectacular views of the lake, as it is visible from the upper floors.
Once the thirty-minute tour is over, be sure to take some time to visit the
gift shop and to enjoy the views of the surrounding countryside. If
you nave not yet visited the garden make sure to see it before you leave.
The shortest way down is the route described for entering the castle.
There is a second path that is longer, but takes you closer to the Lake. Also, the Neuschwanstein Castle is visible from Castle Hohenschwangau and
you might want to take a photo of from this perspective before departing.
Click for information on visiting Hohenschwangau
Click to Visit the Neuschwanstein Castle
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