Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Hohenschwangau, Neuschwanstein & Linderhof Castles, in Bavaria.

Bavaria, Germany,
18th June, 2014.

When I was studying diploma, well, I think I've mentioned this for so many times (hikhikk) how bad I wanted to further my bachelor degrees in the UK. But actually in the same time, I secretly considered Germany, totally influenced by my favourite lecturer at that time. She kept mentioning about her life in Germany, made me go ga-ga, investigate and compare which one is better choice. When I type 'Germany', the first thing appeared on my laptop screen was Neuschwanstein Castle. And I think I had fall in love at the first sight. 

Have you guys ever watched Italian series 'The Cave of the Golden Rose'? Well, if you're 1980s or 1990s kids, I believe you have watched it. The main characters; Fantaghiro, Romualdo, Tarabas, White Witch, Black Witch.. Oh my godddd, Romualdo hihii. My old all-time favourite series! I remember watching it on TV2 for couple of times during holidays.

So apa kena-mengena? Every time each episode came to the end, there would be an ending music with a mysterious, lovely castle as background. And when I was young, I really wondered what castle was that. And when I saw Neuschwanstein Castle on the Internet one day, it reminded me of this series. It might not be the same castle I believe, but it gave me that similar feelings when I see it. Love at the first sight. And that was the moment when I promise to myself, it doesn't matter if I come to Germany to further studies or to travel, Neuschwanstein Castle, I must visit this castle. 

I definitely will.

TRIVIA: Did you know that the Neuschwanstein Castle was the inspiration for Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty castle?

Day four.

I never know I would be so much in love with the fascinating story of King Ludwig II and his castles. This is the simplest interesting story I could find about him from the internet to share with you guys. Though it is 'History', try not to skip this part. Heehe


King Ludwig II of Bavaria had a life that can be characterized as follows:

His paradise was art; His life was drama; His ideal was freedom; His destiny was isolation; His love was an unfulfilled longing; His death in the lake - A mystery, even today.

Bavaria is one of the oldest states in Europe. Its origins go back to the 6th century AD. In the Middle Ages, Bavaria was a powerful dukedom, first under the Guelphs and then under the Wittelsbachs. The most influential Bavarian kings were Ludwig I, who turned the capital Munich into a hub of arts and culture, and of course, Ludwig II, the "Fairy-Tale King", who came to be known around the world for the magnificent castles built under his name.

King Ludwig II was born in 1845 in Nymphenburg Palace in Munich (yes, the castle I've visited the previous day!). At that time his grandfather Ludwig I was King of Bavaria. The younger Ludwig's father Maximilian took over as King in 1848, but he died in 1864, so Ludwig became King at the age of only 18. Ludwig II wasn't at all prepared for the responsibilities he had to take on and was much more interested in music than in ruling the country.

Richard Wagner's operas were fascinating for him and he became infatuated with the mystical world the portrayed. Ludwig financed much of Wagner's work and also spent huge amounts of money on the three castles he is famous for: Neuschwanstein, Linderhof and Herrenchiemsee.

Ludwig II never married or had children and as the years went by, he withdrew more and more from public view. Ludwig II wanted to remain a mystery and he has to this day. His behaviour became more and more erratic and his ministers found him frustrating to work with. Finally in 1886, his ministers had him declared insane and removed from office. He was taken to the Berg Castle on Lake Starnberg on June 12th. The next day he died there under mysterious circumstances.

Ludwig II and Professor Bernhard von Gudden were found dead in the shallow water of the lake, and the cause of his death remains to this day unsolved.


Apart from Museum of Bavarian Kings, three of King Ludwig II's castles I've visited that day were; stocky Hohenschwangau, his boyhood home; the nearby and fanciful Neuschwanstein, his dream escape; and Linderhof, his final retreat.

Located about 90 minutes from our place, we've bought the combination tickets for Hohenschwangau, Neuschwanstein and Museum of Bavarian Kings. Since it is a guided tour and the entry time is fixed, we had to move fast and arrange our time properly. Anyways, the castle interior doesn't permit pictures, but it's really beautifully designed and there's swan motifs on everything I must say.

Museum of Bavarian Kings.

Not only famous Swan King Ludwig II. is being covered by the exhibition but the whole dynasty of the Wittelsbach family is being presented. For those who want to have a straight historical look on Bavaria's kings that goes above the rather kitschy perspective that is presented at the castle tours, this museum is a must! Most stories about Royal Bavaria revolve around Ludwig II, about his extravagant debaucheries, his castles and his aloof attitude.

#misimencariistana 3. Schloss Hohenschwangau. 

Hohenschwangau Castle (High Swan County Palace) is a 19th-century palace in southern Germany. It was the childhood residence of King Ludwig II of Bavaria and was built by his father, King Maximilian II of Bavaria

To walk from the museum to this castle, it took about 20 minutes walk.

Hohenschwangau Castle.
Schwansee (Swan Lake).
Sneakpeak of Neuschwanstein Castle from Hohenschwangau.

#misimencariistana 4. Schloss Neuschwanstein.

Neuschwanstein Castle (New Swanstone Castle) is a 19th century Romanesque Revival palace on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau near Füssen in southwest BavariaGermany. The palace was commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and as a homage to Richard Wagner. Ludwig paid for the palace out of his personal fortune and by means of extensive borrowing, rather than Bavarian public funds. He lived in the castle less than 6 months before his untimely and mysterious death.

The castle has never been finished (and never will be). Most of the rooms are still "under construction"! However, that makes it even more interesting in my opinion.

It took at least an hour to get near the top, but the payoff was magnificent.

Photo taken from inside of the castle.

And after a tour inside the castle, we walked up to the bridge to get the best view of Neuschwanstein. As we walked to the uphill..

Hohenschwangau Castle from the top.

And tadaaaa!

A postcard-perfect view of Neuschwanstein Castle!

Couldn't believe myself to have this chance to witness the castle of my dream in front of me!

It was not terribly strenuous since it's all downhill, but it still took about half an hour. Later we've bought souvenirs for family and friends, drove about an hour to another side in Bavaria, passed by the scenic Austria (Austria, check! haaha), to visit another castle belonged to King Ludwig II, Linderhof Castle.

#misimencariistana 5. Schloss Linderhof.

Linderhof Palace  is a castle in Germany, in southwest Bavaria near Ettal Abbey. It is the smallest of the three palaces built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria and the only one which he lived to see completed.

Unfortunately by the time we've arrived, the castle was already closed.

It was almost 8 p.m., and we had another one last place to visit before we continue to Berlin the next morning; Allianz Arena, stadium and home of FC Bayern Munich.

So my mission of #misimencariistana ended in Munich. The next morning we drove about 5 hours to Berlin, stopped by at Dachau Concentration Camp and later, Ingolstadt Village. Unfortunately it was a public holiday and the shopping outlet was closed! Danggggg.

Though walked up to the hill was way so tiring, how I see the pictures of Neuschwanstein on the internet, that was how exactly what I witnessed with my naked eyes. Stunning, spectacular. SubhanAllah.. and everything finally paid off.

A dream come true, Alhamdulillah :)

P.s From what I've read, modern historians generally concur that Ludwig was a homosexual, though this seems to remain somewhat controversial. Hmm. Very interesting, isn't it?
P.s.s. Herrenchiemsee Castle, how I wish we had more time in Bavaria to explore another King Ludwig's.

with love,

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