Germany’s biggest state with an area of about eighty thousand square kilometers, Bavaria is a popular tourist destination with a wealth of natural and man-made wonders that for centuries have dazzled millions of travelers from around the world. Along with amazing rivers, beautiful lakes and dynamic colorful cities, best known are also Bavaria’s wonderful fairytale castles and palaces that are always on top of tourists’ must-see attractions any time of the year. Here are some of the most visited castles and palaces in Bavaria you should never miss out while visiting this lively charming state.
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In the midst of the German Bavaria Alps, the awe-inspiring towers of Neuschwanstein Castle rise in all their majesty. King Ludwig II ordered to build this castle as a fantastic summer retreat in 1869 to express hid idea of being a king. Unfortunately, the King did not manage to enjoy his dream castle, as before Neuschwanstein was completely finished, he drowned in a lake nearby.
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3,306 feet above sea level, this stunning castle was built on the ruins of ‘Vorder – und Hinterhohenschwangau’ in the style of the late Romanesque period of the early 13th century. The latest technology was used for the construction process. The planning was first made by the royal master-builder Eduard Riedel, and further the scene-painter Christian Jan made major contributions to the plans. Of special significance are the King’s Bedroom with carved works, paintings, mosaics and ornaments, the Throne Room, created as the Grail-Hall of Parsifal, and the Dressing and Dining Rooms.
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The castle is only visited in a guided tour that lasts approximately 35 minutes and no smoking and cameras are allowed in the castle. Entrance tickets can only be bought at the Ticketcenter Hohenschwangau in the village of Hohenschwangau below the castle.
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King Ludwig’s second castle built between 1870 and 1879 in an elaborate rococo style, Linderhof is another famous attraction in Bavaria, set in a remote valley between Fussen and Oberammergau. While the castle may be the smallest of the King’s palaces, it is the only one he survived to see in its completed grandeur. Designed in the later rococo style, the palace evidently borrows aspects of the world-renowned Versailles Palace in France.
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The highlight of the palace is the Hall of Mirrors, which is an exclusive room that once held particular comfort for Ludwig, who had the sleeping habits of a vampire. As he was awake all night, he delighted in the thousands of candlelight reflections in this mirrored hallway. Other attractions include: the Moorish Kiosk with its peacock throne, which the king bought from the Paris Exhibition of 1867 and the Moroccan House. Surrounding the palace are imitation baroque gardens and terraces, as well as cascades in the Italian Renaissance style. The palace is mainly visited in the summer months, from April to October and is closed on selected holidays, usually around Christmas and New Years.
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To celebrate the birth of their son and heir, Elector Ferdinand Maria and his consort Henriette Adelaide of Savoy appointed architect Agostino Barelli to build them a summer residence just west of Munich. Constructions of the palace began in 1664. The palace is a magnificent, semicircular construction, stretching 500 meters from one wing to the other. The architect designed the central section of the palace to resemble an Italian villa, much to the delight of Henriette. The interior is light and impressively decorated by JB Zimmerman and F. Zimmerman. In the court stables visitors can find the Marstall museum for ancient carriages, with the collection of King Ludwig II’s superb carriages. A famous feature of the palace is the ‘Gallery of Beauties,’ painted for King Ludwig I by Joseph Stieler.
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Outside the palace is the 200-hectare park, which used to be an Italian garden. Now it’s an English-style garden adorned with beautiful sculptures, trees and flowers.
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