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Ludwig’s Bavarian castles. Germany

Once upon a time two centuries ago not so far away in Bavaria there was a king named Ludwig II. At first he felt so miserable because of his hard burden of a ruler and all the “royal routine”. But his keen mind helped him to find a wonderful entertainment  - he started to build fabulous castles and palaces all around Bavaria in order to use the national treasury in a right way! The treasury became empty, but German lands got rich with architectural masterpieces remained to our time!

The first was a castle with an “ordinary” name Hohenschwangau where Ludwig was brought up. The medieval entourage of the family estate lost between alpine peaks inspired the future king to read mysterious legends and to enjoy magic sounds of Richard Wagner’s music. The castle walls representing the scenes of ancient Germanic legends and chivalrous sagas formed Ludwig’s outlook. So it’s quite logic that after taking the crown and access to the national treasury the newly-made king started the building of another “fairy-tale palace” named Neuschwanstein ( continue your speech training!). Ludwig’s new home was even more beautiful and mystical than his family estate. Placed on the rock the castle exterior looks really spectacular as well as its interior decorated with the same legends’ illustrations. Besides, the windows look out on picturesque mountains, lakes and forests which hide the neighbouring castle Hohenschwangau.

But Neuschwanstein Castle is by right the most beautiful in Germany or even in all Europe. Let’s find out why? First of all it was the prototype of Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland Paris. Several decades before Neuschwanstein inspired Tchaikovsky to compose Swan Lake ballet. Having started the building of one castle Ludwig couldn’t stop blowing national savings and began the creation of the Versailles imitation in the miniature - palace Linderhof (so unexpectedly easy to spell, isn’t it?!). Though the idea of Versailles failed – too much beauty heaped up in one small edifice, this castle still seemed to me the cosiest and the liveliest of all. But what really struck me was Linderhof neighbourhood – picturesque alpine valley framed with green mountains from below and with stone rocks from above which shelter a tiny pearl of snow-white palace.

A creative folly of Ludwig came to a head with his third castle Herrenchiemsee ( let’s make a final effort!) where the king managed to found “german Versailles” recognized even by the French. However some tourists satiated with luxurious chambers and roomy parks of their Homelands won’t probably be so impressed. But they will be possibly charmed by a peaceful atmosphere of the Chiemsee lake: motor ships running between shore and two islands; snowy sailers floating on the sky-blue surface of the lake; silhouettes of the Alps disappearing in a haze.


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