ok, for those who never heard of him, he is the guy that created the castle that appears in the Disney movie Sleeping Beauty and which attracts more than 1.3 Mil people every year from all over the world. Namely the Neuschwanstein Castle. He has also built the a bit less famous Linderhof Castle and Herrenchiemsee.
Neuschwanstein is build 30 min walk away from his childhood house the Hohenschwangau Castle.
Ludwig II had 2 big passions: Luis XIV of France and Richard Wagner so everything he built was with them in mind.
After a bit of research online this is what we decided to do:
Stay overnight in Füssen, which is the city nearby. We stayed at Bavaria City Hostel (lovely place, totally recommended). From there we left early morning walking towards Hohenschwangau & Neuschwanstein. You can rent a bicycle or go by car. We decided not to enter any of the 2 to have more time for Linderhof. You should know that you can only buy the tickets at the ticket office close to the Castle and there are certain hours when you can enter.
There is a reduced price if you buy entrance tickets as a bundle for the 3 Castles.
Hohenschwangau is the Castle whereLudwig II spent his childhood and the place where he lived also after his father’s (King Maximilian II of Bavaria) death.
The The construction of the Neuschwanstein started in 1869, only in 1884 could King Ludwig II move in, even so the Castle was never finished. From the about 200 designed rooms only about 15 were finished the King only spent there 11 days until he died in 1886. The Castle was built as an homage to the famous German composer Richard Wagner. Most of the rooms decoration being inspired from Wagner's operas.
The Best view of the Castle is either from Maria Brücke (unfortunately closed when I was there for refurbishment) or from up in the mountains, but you should be an excellent climber for that :)
After stopping for a Bavarian beer we headed back towards Füssen jumped in the car and headed to the castles that shows just how crazy Ludwig was: Linderhof Castle. Fee 8.5 euro (August 2015), opening hours till 18:00.
As I have mentioned before, besides Wagner, Ludwig II has as second passion the Sun King of France, thus he decided to create a small replica of Versailles in Linderholf. Ludwig II finished this castle and enjoyed spending a lot of time here. As a symbol that he was at at home 2 Peacocks statues were brought outside in front of the castle
We took the tour inside, unfortunately you can’t take picture. The hallway welcomes you with a status of Luis XIV and on the ceiling there is a huge golden sun, everything with reference to the Sun King. Once you get at the first floor you have 2 equal rooms on the 2 sides of the stairs the only difference is the piano in the first room. All the rooms have huge collection of porcelain (chandeliers & tables from Meissen porcelain).
The candles from the glass chandeliers in the bedroom have been never lighted. The room looks over fountains that create a sort of a old style aircon in summer days.
The mirror room highlight is the blue lapis-lazuli amethyst brought from Afghanistan out of which the fireplace is built and the fact that the 2 mirrors are placed in front of each other creating the impression of never ending line of mirrors if you stay right in between them. The most expensive piece in the castle is an ivory candelabra.
Ludwig II wanted to eat alone and nobody was allowed to enter the dinning room during his dinner (not even the servants) for this a magic table has been put together which could be lowered down and lifted up on ropes.
Another weird thing around the castle is the Venus Cave which is completely artificial. The cave is built out of wood and covered with cement to give the impression of having stalactites. Ludwig was often enjoying listening to Wagner’s opera Nibelungenlied while taking a swim in the lake.
The gardens in front are built in perfect symmetry except for a 300 year old linden tree that has been left on the right side of the garden in front of the castle (as you stay with the back to the castle, you can spot it in one of the pictures above).
As he never married and he actually broke the engagement with Princess Sissi’s sister, it is thought that he was homosexual. His family hired a psychiatrist (for an unknown reason, but it is thought that this is also related to his sexual orientation together with need to overtake power and all the crazy things he was doing). The psychiatrist declared him cray and unable to rule. Recently it has been demonstrated that the doctor never saw the patient before declaring him insane (more)
Ludwig was for sure a completely lunatic but still he left so many great things to see and discover. Still today investigations are being done about his death and a lot of uncertainty about the way he died.