Amazing Hohenschwangau Castle in Germany
As one of the most incredible tourist destinations in Germany, the Hohenschwangau Castle attracts over 300,000 tourists each year, and if you want to be one of them anytime soon, you might want to know some things about the history of this amazing 19th century palace. The palace was the childhood home of King Ludwig II of Bavaria, but it was actually built by his father, King Maximilian II of Bavaria.
Before the construction of the Hohenschwangau Castle, the site was occupied by remains of the fortress Schuangau, which was made by a family of medieval knights to serve as the seat of the local government of Schwangau. Impressed by the majestic beauty of the surrounding areas, Crown Prince Maximilian discovered the site in April 1829 and decided to purchase it completely in 1832. And so the reconstruction of a magnificent castle begun, a lengthy process that spanned across the decades from 1833 to 1855 including additions. The exterior layout of the palace was designed according to the principles of the neogothic style under the initial guidance of Domenico Quaglio, followed by Joseph Daniel Ohlmüller and Georg Friedrich Ziebland.
The castle served as a summerhouse and official hunting residence for King Maximilian and his wife Marie of Prussia, who were accompanied by their two sons Ludwig and Otto. During their stay, the King and Queen took up quarters in the main building, while the sons lived in the annex where they enjoyed a lavish lifestyle nonetheless.
In 1864, Maximilian died and his son Ludwig took the throne, which allowed him to move into his father’s room within the building. His mother was able to enjoy her previous privileges regarding accommodations, since Ludwig never took a wife. In 1886, Ludwig died as well, and his mother carried on living within the castle walls for three more years before passing away herself. In 1905, the queen’s brother-in law, Prince Regent Luitpold of Bavaria took care of the electrification of the castle and installed an elevator. Luitpold died 7 years later, which is when the castle was transformed into a museum.
The World Wars followed, but the castle sustained no damage fortunately. From 1933 to 1939, Crown Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria and his family used the Hohenschwangau Castle as a summerhouse since the Bavarian Landtag recognized the right of the Bavarian royal family to reside within its walls.