Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Castles in the air

On the way back to Zurich on Sunday we visited two castles near Füssen in southern Germany near the Austrian border. The first is Hohenschwangau Castle.

King Maximilian II of Bavaria built Hohenschwangau (High Swan) Castle from 1832 to 1837 and was the summer residence of the family. It is still used by family but the main rooms are open to the public every day. We were shown some very elaborately decorated living rooms and bedrooms, a piano used by Wagner when he visited and magnificent silver and gold table centrepieces gifted to the king by Bavarian titled families. It's a beautiful castle.

The second castle was Neuschwanstein Castle. Maximilan's son, King Ludwig II of Bavaria, also lived at Hohenschwangau Castle and built a new castle called Neuschwanstein (New Swan) Castle nearby. (Swans have a high symbolic significance in Bavaria.) Well actually, he half-built it - it wasn't finished when he died and as he was deeply in debt it was immediately turned into a museum. Here is a view of the new castle from the first one, and from a rest/information area just below the castle. Because Ludwig was such a fan of Wagner the second castle is deeply operatic in style.

No comments:

Post a Comment