Thursday, July 31, 2014

Bavaria: Schloss Linderhof

Schloss Neuschwanstein gets a lot of attention, and rightfully so... it's a fairy tale castle, despite not being finished on the inside.  But for those fascinated by "Mad King" Ludwig II, undoubtedly an eccentric your ruler, you would find Schloss Linderhof, his favorite and only completed palace, to be a more intimate look at a place where he actually lived.  (Ludwig lived at Neuschwanstein for less than 200 days, but lived about 8 years of his life at Linderhof.)

The grounds alone at Linderhof are stunning.  It is clear this palace was modeled after Versailles, and Ludwig's appreciation for all things French from that time period.  As a fellow enthusiast for Louis XIV, I totally understand!  The gardens and grounds here are worth walking around for a long time.

The palace visit includes a tour (no photos) of the interior, and it was gorgeous.  Very, very ornate, and Ludwig's bedroom was the piece de resistance.  A bit of a recluse, he even had a dining room where the table could be set in the kitchen below, then lifted via pulleys up to him so he never had to interface with any servants or people.  The sizes of the rooms are proportionate to his solitary lifestyle, and it feels very livable.  His reading room was his favorite, and I can totally understand!  It was a beautiful space too.

Ludwig was obsessed with Wagner's operas, so he had an artificial cave/grotto built on his property so he could watch performances privately.  Can you imagine him sitting alone in his "cave" watching full-scale opera performances?  The grotto even has an artificial lake that could be heated for private swimming.

In the Grotto

Among other buildings on the property is the Moroccan Kiosk, which Ludwig purchased at a World's Fair.  It is a gorgeous little retreat.

Schloss Linderhof is difficult to reach without a car, or an organized bus tour.  We took a family road trip from Munich to Neuschwanstein, dipped down into Austria, and then Schloss Linderhof.  You can hit Oberammergau on the way back to the city too.  I definitely think that it is worth comparing and contrasting the two castles, given they are such an intimate look at Ludwig's personality.


  1. WOW! Now I really want to go see this castle. It looks more like something I would enjoy. Like you said, there is so little of Neuschwanstein to see since much of it wasn't finished.

  2. It is well worth the journey, and there were things on the grounds that we didn't see.

  3. This place is gorgeous! Haven't traveled much in Europe but I love learning about European history and can't wait to visit myself (:


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