March 25, 2011

Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein

Wednesday's adventure took us to the farthest point of our trip to the Bavarian Alps just along the German and Austrian border.  Nestled in the Bavarian Alps is one of the most enchanting castles in Europe.  I have to say I haven't been too impressed with the German countryside, it might be that the trees are still naked from winter, but driving through Bavaria has been my favorite part of the trip.  The Alps rise above the valleys and lakes, covered in snow.  Quaint villages are busy with tourists hoping to feel part of an enchanting past.

Three hours from Hemsbach we arrived at Hohenschwangau castle resting in the hills next to Alp see lake. This castle was originally built in the 12th century.  It was destroyed by Napoleon and rebuilt 1836 by King Maximilian of Bavaria.  The royal family used this castle as their summer vacation home.  The queen was a mountaineer and climbed the steep hills and mountains surrounding the castle.  Their sons, Otto and Ludwig II were unfortunately later committed for insanity.  Otto, when he was around 10, and Ludwig, when he was nearing 40.
 Hohenschwangau from the village

 The Alps

 Lake Alp see behind us

Coat of Arms

His son King Ludwig II would be king by his 18th birthday and later built his own castle Neuschwanstein, located higher in the hills.  Ludwig was a very rich man and built his castle with his own private money.  It was designed by a painter first and then by an architect.  This can be scene by great details that went into each and every room.  King Ludwig eventually ran out of money, was committed for being insane when he was about 40 years old, and died old days after from unknown circumstances.

On the way up the hill to Neuschwanstein Castle

See the Hohenschwangau castle behind us

 Neuschwanstein entrance 

 Inside the courtyard

 Close to sunset in the alps

 Mary's Bridge. It was closed for construction but offers an amazing view of the castle

I'm pointing out a huge spelling error in their english version 

Areal view of the Castle in Summer

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