Neuschwanstein e Hohenschwangau - L'eredità dei re bavaresi

Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau – The legacy of the Bavarian kings


The two magnificent palaces Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein add shine to the Schwangau region in Bavaria!

Contrary to what many think, both are not actually considered castles. But why? The definition is given to buildings whose functions were defense and surveillance, that is, fortifications that may have been used for housing, but this was not their main focus, unlike palaces. Now that you know the difference, let's talk about these wonderful monuments!

Hohenschwangau Palace

The place where the Bavarian royal family dynasty spent their summers for generations, and which today enchants everyone with its Gothic style.

Hohenschwangau Palace. Source: Pixabay. Author: Pixaline

The first records date back to the 12th century, when in this same location there was the Schwanstein fortress, built and inhabited by the Knights of Schwangau until the 16th century. After many years, wars, and several residents, the fortress was reduced to ruins, and in 1832 King Maximilian II, father of King Ludwig II, was enchanted by the beauty of the area around the fortress (already in ruins), acquired and rebuilt it in a phenomenal way. After the renovation, what was previously called Schwanstein Castle is now called Hohenschwangau Palace. Maximilian II and his family, his wife Maria of Prussia, and his sons Ludwig II and Otto I used the residence in the summer and for hunting.

The interior of the palace is stunning, decorated with scenes from medieval legends and poetry. An example is the banquet room, better known as the “hall of heroes”, the largest and most important room in the palace, in which different scenes from the Wilkina saga and its hero Dietrich Von Bern are represented.

A visit to the palace is unmissable, as the garden and kitchen remain in the same form since the reconstruction carried out by Maximilian II and the rest was redecorated by Ludwig II, after the death of his father.

Neuschwanstein Palace

“(…) this palace will be more beautiful and livable than the lower Hohenschwangau (…)”

King Ludwig II of Bavaria was passionate about palaces, so much so that throughout his life he left a great legacy to his kingdom (today the state of Bavaria): the incredible Neuschwanstein Palace, built in the 19th century, which was the culmination of his constructions. . The castle is situated on a cliff above Hohenschwangau Castle.

Neuschwanstein Palace.

The name Neuschwanstein is a reference to the “knight of the Swan”, Lohengrin, from the opera of the same name. The references to the swan don't stop there, as King Ludwig II himself was called the ‘swan king'. Tall, handsome, fond of the arts, with a strong personality, the life of the “swan king” of Bavaria was shrouded in speculation, as was his mysterious death, after being found dead in Lake Starnberg at the age of 40.

With his appreciation for beauty, King Ludwig II could not have chosen a better location: Neuschwanstein Palace was planned to be a place where Ludwig could retreat from the public, in a beautiful region surrounded by forests and lakes.

As a great admirer of Richard Wagner, Ludwig was inspired by his operas and medieval legends to decorate the walls of the lower and upper courtyards, bedrooms and royal rooms. Furthermore, the palace is full of modern technologies for the time in which it was built, as it was one of the first buildings at the time to have electricity.

Unfortunately, King Ludwig II died before seeing his completed work and the palace was named Neuschwanstein only after that event. Despite having been built to be a place of peace, just seven weeks after his death the place was opened to the public, becoming this great attraction of worldwide fame, which exudes beauty and splendor.

It is well worth visiting both palaces and visiting the interior of each one on a guided tour. All the grandeur, wealth of details, and history, of course, with which they were built make them dazzling, impressing everyone who passes by!

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