Our suggestion of a car ride to the King’s Castles, starting at our b&b in Diessen.
The fairy-tale king Ludwig II, born
in 1845, was only 18 years old when he was crowned king
of Bavaria. He transformed his dreams into some of the regionss
most elaborate castles, attracted by millions of people
each year from around the globe. We need to take our time
to admire the beauty and splendor of former times, the richness
of the decoration and the craftsmanship which no longer
exist in our rational world.
The most charming castles are all situated in Southern Bavaria:
Neuschwanstein near Fuessen, Linderhof near Oberammergau
and Herrenchiemsee near Rosenheim.
We leave Diessen to the south, heading towards the Alps
and soon we arrive in Fuessen. In the hundreds tourists
from all over the world are visiting each day Neuschwanstein,
the creation of the mad king Ludwig II of Bavaria, known
as the fairy-tale king. From the car-park we reach the castle
on foot in about 30 minutes or by a horse-drawn carriage.
Highlights of the guided tour (English): singers room (taking
up the entire fourth floor with pictures of the Thannhäuser
saga), knights room, the throne room, the living room, the
chapel. Musical lovers are encouraged to see the Ludwig
II musical at its historic place close by, performed each
evening, sometimes in the afternoons, too.
Before we drive back, we will
stroll through the old pictoresque town of Fuessen and take
delight in its alleys, places and souvenir shops.
One last attraction before we reach Diessen again: the pilgrimage
church Wieskirche in the midst of meadows and forests,
the quintessence of a Bavarian rococo church, which today
is a UNESCO World Cultural Inheritance.
One hour south of Diessen is Schloss Linderhof, king
Ludwig II secluded hunting lodge. Linderhof
is the smallest of the three royal castles and the only
one which was completely finished (1878). Visitors are most
thrilled by the West Gobelin Room with gilded paneling and
richly colored tapestries, the Hall of Mirrors, or the kings
bedchamber. The garden is full of baroque sculptures and
elegant fountains. In the park the visitor can marvel at
an oriental curiosity, the Moorish Kiosk but also the magical
Venus grotto built of artificial rock with stalagmites and
stalactites.The main chamber is occupied by an artificial
lake illuminated from below.
The afternoon will be spent in near-by Oberammergau
most famous for its passion play, given every 10 years (next
in 2010). But also without this spectacle its worth
spending few hours in this marvellous town: We visit the
Passion Theatre with an exhibition on the history of the
Passion Play with text, props and original costumes. Next
stop: the Pilatushaus with different craftsmen (wood-carvings,
cuckoo clocks, mantel clocks, religious subjects). Wandering
the streets, visitors will enjoy the many houses with the
artistic Lüftlmalerei (wall-painting).
There is only one attraction on our agenda today: the visit
of Herrenchiemsee 2 hours east of Diessen and Munich.
Well park the Mercedes in the city of Prien, where
a rather old steam street car will bring us to the harbor
of Stock. The following boat-ride will last about 20 minutes
to get to the island of Herreninsel. Now we have a choice:
to walk to the castle in about 20 minutes or - more romantic
- to take a carriage to the castle.
This biggest and most expensive castle of Ludwig II looks
like Versailles. The guided tour (English) will show us
the royal bed chamber where no-one ever slept, the Hall
of Mirrors (98 meters long, with 44 candelabras and 33 chandeliers),
the audience hall, the splendid staircase, the royal kitchen
and the heated swimming pool.
For our sporty visitors we offer a hiking tour all around
the island, seven kilometers long with many scenic views.
Others may want to just relax with a cup of coffee and good
German cake at the sea shore, before we hit back.