This month, I visited Schwangau, where the two Ludwig II castles are: Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau. As I’d already visited Neuschwanstein 2 Octobers ago, I visited Schloß Hohenschwangau, the summer residence of Ludwig II’s parents, and later, that of his uncle, who acted as regent for his younger brother, the mentally ill King Otto. There were only 3 floors for public viewing: the main foyer with fireplace, altar and an armour; the 1st Fl for the queen and the 2nd for the king. Our tour guide was very witty and sarcastic, which was, however, wasted on non-native anglophones. Like Neuschwanstein, the walls were painted with murals depicting the Middle Ages and popular folklore, such as Tristan & Isolde, later transposed to an opera by Wagner. It is interesting to note that the murals are in its original form, meaning that the colours are still the same as it had been in the 19th C.
Other interesting facts:
- a lift was installed in the latter of the 19th C. for the Regent to use in his old age. It is located in the middle of the staircase and no longer in use since 1998.
- a 200 year old Russian (from Russia) bread is on display in a case and still looks very good. It was a gift and only partly eaten.
The other building had housed the princes Ludwig and Otto in their childhood. Although there were 2 storeys, only the main floor was in use, now converted into a gift shop. The top floor is not available to public and not much was said about the rooms there either. A kitchen can still be seen, however, behind glass, as it would have been in the past.
After the castle tour, I bought a Bavarian hat in navy blue. I then toured all of Füssen and was awed by its medieval/rustic charm. However, I also found out that Füssen was not spared from the bombings either, so much for its preserved beauty.
Still, it was good to see mountains, to smell the crisp air and to wander back in time.