Over the course of our four day trip to Munich, we managed to see three very impressive Bavarian palaces, while still finding time to enjoy pretzels, sausages and beer (but more about that in another post!)
In city centre, the Residenz is a massive building, with walled courtyards and impressive architecture. This building served as the home of kings/dukes/electors from 1508 to 1919, with many rulers making additions or architectural improvements based on the styles of the times. Parts of it were damaged during the Second World War, and it is currently undergoing restoration, but there is more than enough to see. There are 10 courtyards and 130 rooms, just to give an idea of size, and several of the rooms are enormous halls. You could easily dedicate anywhere from one or two hours to most of a day here. The treasury (a separate area) is also worth a visit, as it holds the Bavarian Crown Jewels, and lots of other interesting artifacts and valuables. You can get a combo ticket for a discount with admission to the Residenz.
The tours are by audio guide, available in several languages, including English.
The other two palaces we visited were those of Ludwig II, Linderhoff and Neushwanstein, both on a bus tour from the city. Both had pretty good guided tours, although the groups were good so hearing the guide was not always easy.
Linderhoff, the hunting lodge, was where Ludvig II went to be alone (a palace’s worth of servants apparently didn’t count). It was modeled after Versailles, and they told us on the tour that this was because he admired the absolute power that his hero Louis XIV had. Unfortunately, we couldn’t take photos inside but it was very beautiful and impressive, if a bit overdone. We were limited because of the bus tour, but the grounds definitely would have been great to wander around a bit more.
Neushwanstein is best known for being the palace that the Disney castle is modeled after. One of the most impressive things about it is the location in the mountains and the panorama of views it offers. There were many people hiking around the castle in search of the perfect view, and in fact, the options to get to the castle are to hike, take a horse drawn carriage or a bus up a steep windy road. The lines for the bus/carriage can be very long, so plan ahead if you don’t think you can do the walk. Unfortunately, only about 15 rooms in the palace were finished, so I found the castle far more impressive from the outside. The guided tour was interesting though, and the fact that the castle was opened to tourists almost immediately after King Ludwig II’s untimely death.
What is your favorite castle or palace?